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ESI: 3Q11 EPS Beat, Overshadowed by Balance Sheet Issues, Weakening Free Cash Flow

October 20th, 2011

ESI reported inline revenues and a healthy 3Q11 EPS beat.  New student starts and total enrollments were both better than our expectations, but still showed weakening trends on a 2-year stacked basis.  There are some in the sell-side...

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For-Profit EDU: More of the Same, Checks with Private Institutions Suggest Primary Fundamental Issues Likely Remained...

October 17th, 2011

What a difference a few months can make.  To put the performance of the publicly traded for-profit postsecondary education companies in perspective for the past few months, we thought it might be...

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For-Profit EDU: More Details Emerge on the Extent of Online Fraud Rings, APOL Outlines Its Exposure

October 11th, 2011

In an article on Insidehighered.com today entitled “Hitting Hard at Fraud”, more details on the extent of online fraud rings in higher education have emerged.  As a reminder, two weeks ago, the Department of...

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For-Profit EDU: Highlights from Our Conference Call with a Representative from an Influential Consumer Advocacy Group

October 5th, 2011

Earlier today PAA Research hosted a conference call with Deanne Loonin of the National Consumer Law Center, one of the best known and most influential non-profit consumer advocacy organizations in the...

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REMINDER: For-Profit EDU - TODAY at 2:30PM EST, PAA Research Conf. Call with Deanne Loonin of the National Consumer Law...

October 5th, 2011

PAA Research will host a conference call TODAY at 2:30PM ET with Deanne Loonin of the National Consumer Law Center, one of the best known and most influential non-profit consumer advocacy...

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REMINDER THIS WED: For-Profit EDU, Wed. 10/5 at 2:30PM, PAA Research Conf. Call with Industry Expert on Student Loans...

October 3rd, 2011

PAA Research will host a conference call at 2:30PM ET Wednesday October 5th with Deanne Loonin of the National Consumer Law Center, one of the best known and most influential non-profit consumer...

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For-Profit EDU: OIG Report on Online Fraud Rings Could Have Serious Implications for the Sector

September 29th, 2011

Earlier this week, the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General published an investigative program advisory report on “Online Education Fraud Rings”.  The report was sent to Federal Student Aid (FSA) and...

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INVITE: For-Profit EDU, Wed. 10/5 at 2:30PM, PAA Research Conf. Call with Industry Expert on Student Loans and the...

September 26th, 2011

PAA Research will host a conference call at 2:30PM ET Wednesday October 5th with Deanne Loonin of the National Consumer Law Center, one of the best known and most influential non-profit consumer...

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ESI: Here Comes the Earnings Reset

July 21st, 2011

Key Observations from ESI’s 2Q11 Results and Summer Term Enrollment IntakeESI reported a headline revenue and EPS beat for 2Q11, but we think most investors are likely to be focused on the rapid deceleration in new student starts witnessed in the Summer term.  Despite the revenue...

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For-Profit EDU: The Simple vs. the Complex, Checks with Private Institutions Indicate Further Deterioration in...

July 20th, 2011

For the past six weeks, we feel like we have been “spitting into the wind” when it comes to our bearish call on stocks in the for-profit postsecondary education sector.  Despite our best efforts...

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ESI: 2Q11 Preview, What Questions Could and Should Be Asked On the Conference Call

July 19th, 2011

Approximately one-month ago, we published a report entitled “Connecting the Dots on ESI’s Increasingly Worrisome Off-Balance Sheet Exposure – The Potential Daisy Chain of Events”.  Apparently our comprehensive and detailed...

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For-Profit EDU: 12 Reasons Why We Remain Bearish; Observations from Our Proprietary Paid Search Analysis

July 12th, 2011

In the 6 trading days following APOL’s earnings release, the shares of publicly traded for-profit postsecondary education companies have rallied anywhere from 10-20% compared to a modest sell-off of (-0.2%) for...

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ESI: Connecting the Dots on ESI’s Increasingly Worrisome Off-Balance Sheet Exposure – The Potential “Daisy...

June 21st, 2011

In the two years since we initially introduced ESI as a short idea a great deal has changed for both the company and the for-profit postsecondary education sector at large. We would summarize the...

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For-Profit EDU: Did the Dept. of Education Really Blink?

June 2nd, 2011

Details of the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment regulation were released this evening.  The full regulation will likely be published tomorrow on the Department of Education’s website here or here, or ultimately in the Federal Register by Friday...

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ESI: Durbin (and others) Proposal on Private Student Loans Could Negatively Impact ESI’s PEAKS Prospects and Alter...

May 27th, 2011

In a move that has received little fanfare thus far, yesterday Senators Durbin (D-IL), Franken (D-MN), and Whitehouse (D-RI), along with Representatives Cohen (D-TN), Davis (D-IL), Miller (D-CA), and...

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For-Profit EDU: Proposed Cuts to IL MAP Funding Could Establish an Alarming (and Increasingly Common) Precedent

May 16th, 2011

In a move that has received little attention among investors in the for-profit postsecondary education space, approximately 10-days ago, the Appropriations Higher Education Committee in the House of...

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ESI: 1Q11 Evokes Many Questions, Headline EPS Beat Almost Entirely Share Repurchase and Bad-Debt Expense Driven

April 21st, 2011

ESI report 4Q10 earnings and the results of their spring term enrollment intake.  Overall the company reported revenues and EPS of $383.2 million and $2.91 compared to consensus of $383.3 million and...

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For-Profit EDU: Checks with Private Institutions Indicate Enrollment Slowdown Continues to Gain Steam

April 20th, 2011

For an industry that has distinguished itself in the equity markets as a consistent source of trading opportunities, the “whip-saw” action in the for-profit education sector in the first four months of the year has...

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For-Profit EDU: The Cal Grant Precedent

April 19th, 2011

In a move that has been largely overlooked by most investors in the for-profit postsecondary education space, Governor Jerry Brown (CA-D) signed Senate Bill 70 into law on March 24, 2011.  While SB 70 includes many other elements aimed at reducing unwieldy budget deficits in...

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For-Profit EDU: What’s at Stake in the Pell Grant Debate – The Potential EPS Impact is Bigger than You Might Think

April 13th, 2011

There was a time not too long ago when investors in the for-profit postsecondary education sector viewed those institutions that generated a high percentage of their revenues from Pell Grant funding...

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For-Profit EDU: Why the Amended Complaint Against DV Might Be Worth Reading

March 8th, 2011

From what we can gather, few investors if any have paid close attention to the progress of the various securities class action suits filed against almost every one of the publicly traded for-profit postsecondary education companies.  We are...

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ESI: 10-K Observations and Plenty of Lingering Questions

February 21st, 2011

Call us crazy, but we have been eagerly anticipating the release of ESI’s 10-K filing for several weeks now.  The company finally released its 2010 10-K filing on Friday, 2/18/11 after the market close.  We have to admit, we are somewhat disappointed.  On...

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Winners and Losers from the FY08 3-Year CRD Data – The Usual Suspects

February 4th, 2011

The Department of Education released “trial” 3-year cohort default rate data this morning on an national level and institution by institution basis. Before we get into a discussion of the national level data and some of our findings on a school...

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For-Profit Education: 4Q10 FAFSA Data Confirms Enrollment Slowdown Across ALL of Higher Education

January 24th, 2011

Today the US Department of Education released data on the number of Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submitted during 4Q10-11 (calendar fourth quarter of 2010).   In our view the FAFSA data provided by...

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For-Profit Postsecondary Education: Checks with Private Institutions Indicate STRA Was Not an Anomaly, the Slowdown Is...

January 19th, 2011

For an industry that has distinguished itself in the equity markets as a consistent source of trading opportunities, the “whip-saw” action in the for-profit education sector in the first few...

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ESI: Thoughts on Upcoming 4Q10 Results, Winter Term Enrollment

January 18th, 2011

Before we get into our discussion of our expectations for ESI's upcoming 4Q10 earnings results we wanted to highlight a few changes that we have made to our publishing process that should result in an improved experience for you, our valued...

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For-Profit Education: What is "It"? The Implications of STRA's Pre-Announcement and APOL's Upcoming Earnings Release

January 10th, 2011

At the risk of dating ourselves, we couldn't help but think of Faith No More's edgy rock tune from the late 1980's "Epic" when STRA's negative pre-announcement hit the tape late Friday afternoon."What is...

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ESI: SEC Correspondence Suggests Heightened Scrutiny of Accounting Treatment of PEAKS

November 30th, 2010

We want to eliminate any potential confusion immediately: As far as we know, ESI is not currently subject to an investigation from the SEC. It is not uncommon for the SEC's Division of Corporate Finance to issue comments on a...

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Implications of Explosive Keyword Price Inflation on the For-Profit Education Sector

November 23rd, 2010

Over the past several months there has been a growing bifurcation in the for-profit postsecondary education industry between those companies that have enacted significant "self regulation" measures in order to improve compliance with...

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3Q10 FAFSA Volumes Provide Further Confirmation That Enrollment Trends Are Rolling Over

October 26th, 2010

Over the past few weeks, three large, publicly traded for-profit postsecondary education companies reported earnings.  The general feedback from each company (APOL, CPLA, and ESI) has been fairly similar: 1) new student starts have...

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