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1 Education Stock to Watch Right Now

With remote learning more popular than ever before, you might be wondering whether this space presents some compelling investment opportunities. Online course provider Coursera (NYSE: COUR) went public this past summer. Since that time, shares of the stock are down about 40%. Could now be the time to snag this stock at a discount? In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Nov. 1, Fool.com contributors Jose Najarro and Danny Vena discuss what investors need to watch before buying this stock.

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Jose Najarro: The second stock I'm going to talk about is one that focuses on online education. Give me a quick second to share my screen. I always miss the button, Control F. This is going to be Coursera, is traded under the New York Stock Exchange as ticker COUR. The IPO date was a few months ago, March 31st of 2021. Like I mentioned, this is a company that focuses on online education. It really has three main markets. First is the consumer. If I want to go online and take a course, I can do that and I would count as consumers.

They also have the enterprise market. The enterprise market is, hey, if you're working for some good big company, most of the time they provide some form of online education where if you are a worker, you want to learn a little bit more, they pay for licenses here and now that worker or that employee can go and learn a little bit more and improve their education on whatever market they're learning about. The also finally have a degrees program. This is a little bit more costly where a normal consumer class will probably be about $20, $40, something usually below $100. A degree program here, they're actually working with some big schools, we'll take a quick look in a bit. But here you can actually take a full online degree and it's backed up by the college or the university that you're taking the course with.

This is usually in the high thousands range, just like your typical course right now. Growth potential, I personally see online education has seen a huge growth in the past year, especially during COVID right now. I feel like more people, especially in the younger generation, are seeing ways to move outside of traditional learning. Another growth potential, more schools partnering up with Coursera and actually let me just jump in real quick to the company's website.

Coursera, this is their website. You can go to coursera.org and you can see right here there's Illinois, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Stanford, they've worked with some great universities. Let me just make sure this is not Penn state is University of Penn and is not Michigan, the one everybody knows as University of Michigan. I believe there's a little difference between them. They also worked with a lot of big companies like IBM, Google.

For example here if you want to take a course on data sensor, you want to do the most popular on data science. You're going to see the original ones, that the top most popular, are usually hosted by Google. There's either some Google professional or someone certified by Google to teach this classes, and at the end you're going to get a Google career certificate. I think that's super powerful right now.

Just because I've seen that first-hand experience where now in jobs, especially if you're looking something in the software, in the technology field, they're not really focused too much in your educational background. Obviously, if you have a degree in a great school, it can go a long way.

But if you have some experience or even some of these certificates, they can actually open the door for a lot of places. First-hand experience, I'm definitely seeing a lot of jobs. I wouldn't say in forgetting about traditional schooling, but opening these certificate certified by these big companies to enter into the workforce. One of the biggest risks I want to say is the competitive market. Some of these schools can just create their own online degree.

There's a lot of other companies, Udemy, Udacity that also focus in this product as well, so there's definitely a competition. I also want to show you guys their most recent quarter two earnings, and let me move this out the way so you guys can see. We can see revenue is about $102 million and this was reported as of June 30th of 2021, their most recent quarter. They should be expected to report earnings this upcoming month of November, but $102 million up 38% year-over-year. Consumer makes a good portion of the revenue roughly 62%, enterprise roughly 28%, degrees roughly 10%. But we can see all of them are growing.

The biggest ones that are growing are the enterprise and the degrees. I feel those are the ones that probably have a little bit higher segment margins and they do right. Segment margins for enterprise is about one percentage point bigger than consumer, degrees are usually a little bit higher there. Those are two main markets, and I can see the growth potential there. Right off the bat, let me just cancel this and go back to the presentation. This is a stock that has underperformed the overall market right now.

I think online education as COVID cases are going down and people are going back to their traditional workplace. Some people are worried that, hey, people are not going to be doing online education, and the more they're going to go back to traditional schooling. The company is also not profitable at the moment. It's still very early business, one that, hey, I want to see how growth is going now that these eases in lockdown, eased out right now. I want to keep an eye out for sure if one is interested in the online education market.

Danny Vena: That's definitely one that I think you want to watch how things are progressing. I think this is one of the companies that folks pretty much wrote-off. They said, OK, the pandemic is over now people are going to abandon education. But really, I think when people get back to corporate environments, I think companies are still going to require their employees to improve their education, improve their personal education, professional education. I think there's a good opportunity there.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Danny Vena owns shares of Alphabet (A shares). Jose Najarro owns shares of Alphabet (C shares). Rachel Warren owns shares of Alphabet (A shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares) and Alphabet (C shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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