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ESI: As EBITDA Generation Dwindles, The Cash Wind-down Begins in Earnest

April 21st, 2016

ESI shares traded higher after hours based on the company's long awaited 4Q15 operating results.  It appears some investors are emboldened by the earnings upside in 4Q15 despite continued weakness in student...

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ESI: Department of Education Letter Suggests Liquidity Woes Could Accelerate – The End Game Is Nigh

October 19th, 2015

In a letter released today, the Department of Education informed ESI that the company will be placed on a form of delayed disbursement of Title IV funds and become subject to even more stringent reporting requirements...

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ESI: Was That the Final Goodbye? We’ve Reached the Point of No Return – ESI Might Not Survive Beyond the Next 6-9...

July 30th, 2015

Following a conference call that sounded 50% like a deposition and 50% like an advertisement (it was 100% strange), we can’t help but wonder if this could be the last time we might here from ESI...

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ESI: A Grand Exercise in Greater Fool Theory as the March to Zero Continues

June 2nd, 2015

It’s as if the SEC never filed suit against ESI, the CEO, and the CFO….The 100%+ rally in shares of ESI over the past three trading days has been truly something to behold.  The stock has been acting like the typical villain in a horror...

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ESI: The ZERO Scenario Is Finally Here and the For-Profit Education Space Might Never Be the Same

May 12th, 2015

“You shouldn’t talk to that guy, he’s a liar”You might be thinking that’s a quote from someone talking about Kevin Modany, but in fact this is a quote FROM Kevin Modany which was said to a reporter when he was...

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For-Profit EDU: A Few Thoughts on Obama’s Free Community College Initiative

January 9th, 2015

Sorry we didn't pass along some feedback sooner, but we wanted to share a few key data points and thoughts on Obama's proposal to make community college free for students that maintain a 2.5 GPA.  The program is largely modeled on one...

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ESI: The Lender of Last Resort Comes a Knockin’; The Stock RALLIES 30%+ Even As Bankruptcy Risk Increases, Follow the...

December 5th, 2014

“On November 17, 2014, we obtained a commitment from Cerberus Business Finance, LLC to provide us with a new $100 million senior secured term loan facility”-          ESI 2Q14 10-Q...

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ESI: A Temporary Reprieve from, but Likely Not a Full Resolution of the Company’s Liquidity Woes

October 17th, 2014

There’s a well-known adage in this business that the “highs are never as high as the lows are low”.  No truer statement could be made about our feelings on our short call on ESI today even with ESI shares down 72%...

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ESI: All That Matters Are Starts and Cash, Both of Which Appear to Be In Increasingly Short Supply; ESI Needs to Raise...

October 16th, 2014

From our perspective, the long awaited filing of ESI’s 2013 10-K was as notable for what was NOT in the document as for what was.  After all, at this stage the only two data points that truly...

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ESI: A Liquidity Crisis Has Arrived (Finally), As Regulatory and Litigation Tail Risk Looms Large, Taking Price Target...

September 19th, 2014

For several years now we have argued that ESI needed to raise capital to position the company to meet its contingent liabilities related to guarantee payments on private student loan portfolios and...

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ESI: It Finally Has Come to This – Who Is the Lender of Last Resort? Lowering Price Target to $5

August 3rd, 2014

“In the process of taking his jacket off, the Artiste [Harry Zale] thrust his thick chest forward. Running down it were a pair of suspenders. They were broad and black, these suspenders, and even at the other end of...

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For-Profit EDU: The Career College Crisis of Summer 2014; Checks Suggest Continued Weakness in Fundamentals – Where...

July 28th, 2014

“The cheaters usually get caught--just never soon enough. Plenty more heads will roll.” Anonymous executive in the for-profit education space Given our longstanding bearish stance on...

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ESI: In a Shock to No One PEAKS Is Finally Being Consolidated, Now ESI Attempts to Thread the Needle on Financial...

June 25th, 2014

In a surprise to no one at this point, ESI disclosed in an 8-K filing yesterday that the company’s Audit Committee in concert with the SEC Office of the Chief Accountant determined that the...

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ESI: What Is the Value of a Higher Education Company with Private Student Loan Default Rates in Excess of 75%?

May 22nd, 2014

Rather than give you our usual initial diatribe, we’re going to present you with some quotes from ESI management over the past few years...

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ESI: College Portfolio Buyer Agrees to Purchase a Real Estate Portfolio From ESI, Wait Who?

May 14th, 2014

After the close today, ESI announced that the company has reached an agreement with College Portfolio Buyer LLC for a sale leaseback transaction.  College Portfolio Buyer will purchase 24 ITT Tech locations for approximately...

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ESI: Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures… ESI Attempts to Access the Only Source of Incremental Capital It...

April 11th, 2014

For more than a year now, we have been arguing that ESI might need to raise capital to shore up its liquidity position in light of the company’s deteriorating operating fundamentals and...

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ESI: PEAKS Losses Inform Investors as Much about the Present as the Past; Lowering Estimates Due to Reduced Starts...

March 25th, 2014

It what has become standard practice for ESI, the company filed an 8-K last Friday after the market close which delivered more unfavorable news.   If bulls are to be believed the latest development...

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ESI: In a Web of Partial Truths, Mis-statements, and False Promises, Focus on These Realities

January 30th, 2014

Really, who would trust this management team?  The current management team of ESI has been wrong on almost every front over the past 3-4 years whether it be: student start prospects, market clearing tuition levels, or actual...

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For-Profit EDU: The Hope for Hope Trade Could Be Coming To an End as Winter Term Enrollment Results Bring a Cold Dose...

January 29th, 2014

The for-profit postsecondary education sector has been a “contrarian’s delight” for the better part of 12-months.  Initially what started as a long trade predicated on overly bearish sentiment...

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ESI: The PEAKS Problem – It’s Bigger than You Think

November 14th, 2013

“On the cost reduction efforts….As far as opportunities going forward there aren't a ton of opportunities right now, so we're not throwing another target out there, we're not throwing another bogey out there right now.” 10/24/13 Kevin Modany,...

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ESI: Despite the Stock Action, All Evidence Suggests the Downward Spiral in Earnings Power Could Continue

October 24th, 2013

Only in this environment might some people view an 10% move in a stock as a “relief”, but that is certainly how we feel today with ESI. That’s not to say our conviction in our short thesis has wavered in any...

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For-Profit EDU: The Stocks Have Been Telling Us For the Past 6-Months That the Fall Term Enrollment Intake Would...

October 22nd, 2013

“It’s real the pain you feel, you trust, you must confess Is someone getting the best, the best, the best of you?”-          Foo FightersOften wrong, never in doubt…. If we could use...

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ESI: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul in a Race to the Bottom

July 26th, 2013

In a vacuum, there might be legitimate cause for excitement.  After 11 consecutive quarters during which ESI reported a YOY decline in new student starts the company was finally able to identify an elixir to its enrollment woes – aggressive tuition discounting...

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For-Profit EDU: Just When You Think You Have All of the Answers, We Change the Questions; Feedback from Privately Held...

July 24th, 2013

“And you all know how the story go….Not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good…”-          Run-DMCWith all due respect to Monsieurs Simmons, McDaniels, and Mizell we doubt that they...

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For-Profit EDU: Has a New Legal Precedent Been Established For Institutions? A Recent CECO Case Warrants Closer...

June 19th, 2013

Earlier this week, the American Arbitration Association ruled on a dispute between a former student of CECO’s California School of Culinary Arts (since rebranded the Le Cordon Bleu College of...

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ESI: The Latest 90/10 Compliance Strategy/”Work Around” – Charter Schools and Free Associate’s Degrees

June 12th, 2013

In a move that received little fanfare this past February, ESI’s board of directors established a short term element to the company’s compensation policy for senior management that could be payable in...

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ESI: The Absurdity of Reported “Earnings” As FCF Collapses and Balance Sheet (Off and On) Obligations Loom Large

April 26th, 2013

How much are 400-600 ITT Tech students worth?  In a report in which we will outline some of the critical questions surrounding ESI, this is the question we have been pondering all day.  Afterall, it...

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ESI: 10-K Highlights – the SEC Subpoena Is Not the Sole Cause for Concern

February 25th, 2013

We have little doubt that among the kernels of information included in ESI’s 2012 10-K filing that the disclosure of the subpoena from the SEC will receive the greatest attention – as it should.  However, for anyone who has followed the...

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ESI: And So It Begins…. What Do You Believe?

January 25th, 2013

Who said volatility is dead?  In a day that will go down in infamy for ESI investors, the stock traded in an astounding 40%+ range today.  After gaping down in excess of 20% in early trading ESI shares rebounded over the course of the day to close up 17.7% - efficient...

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ESI: The True Nature of ESI’s Educational Outcomes Finally Coming to Light, Liquidity Position Looks Tenuous, Taking...

January 6th, 2013

If you were to distill our short thesis on ESI into its central elements (which we’ve now had in place for almost four years now) it can be succinctly summarized in two points: 1. The company’s...

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