EDMC reports third-quarter loss

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Downtown-based Education Management Corp. reported a net loss of almost $284 million for the third quarter after the stock market closed Wednesday. Still, that was an improvement from the same quarter of the previous year, when the company recorded a $417 million loss.

In its guidance for the coming quarter, the company says it expects a loss between $3 million and $6 million.

EDMC is struggling with a declining enrollment trend at all four of its college systems. Overall enrollment was down by 11.4 percent in the quarter, which is worse than the drop in the third quarter of last year, when overall enrollment had fallen by 9.3 percent.

Total student enrollment at the four college systems was 128,300, with 67,000 of those students at the Art Institutes, an 11.1 percent decline from last year's third quarter enrollment of 75,300 students.

EDMC's Argosy University had total enrollment of 25,300 students (down 10.9 percent), Brown Mackie Colleges had 17,000 students (down 8.3 percent) and South University had 19,000 students (down 15.6 percent) .

Joan Walker, the new executive vice president of corporate communications at the for-profit education company, said new student enrollment in the bricks-and-mortar campuses at the three smaller college systems was up. Overall new student enrollment was down at South University by 39 percent because of a drop in the fully-online program there.

New student enrollment at the Art Institutes, the company's largest college system with more than half of its students, was down by 7.3 percent.

EDMC's net revenue of $638.9 million was 9.1 percent lower than the third quarter last year.

But the net loss of $284 million was better than the same quarter of last year when the company lost $417 million. Earnings per diluted share in the quarter reflected a loss of $2.28. Analysts were expecting a 20 cent per diluted share gain, according to a Thompson/Reuters survey.

Excluding certain charges, EDMC would have earned 24 cents a share.

With lower revenues and a smaller student body, the company took a goodwill impairment charge of $294.5 million and another non-cash, indefinite-lived, intangible asset impairment of $28 million at the Art Institutes.

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Ann Belser: abelser@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1699.


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