|14:43 EDT||COCO, LOPE, BPI, CECO, LINC, ESI, EDMC, APEI, DV, NAUH, STRA, APOL||For-profit education stocks sink after Senate Democrats propose crackdown|
Shares of for-profit education companies are sinking after Senate Democrats proposed a bill that would strengthen the Department of Education's oversight of these companies. The legislation would require the department to conduct reviews of colleges that are spending more than 20% of their revenue on recruiting and marketing and obtain more than 85% of their revenue from federal student aid programs, according to a summary of the bill posted on the website of Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg. The reviews would assess several areas, including the schools' use of incentive compensation, graduation rates, and misuse of federal funds, the summary added. In a note to investors earlier today, BMO Capital wrote that it believes the bill is unlikely to become law, and that the sell-off in the sector is "a bit severe." However, the firm added that it does understand why investors are concerned about the legislation. In mid-afternoon trading, Apollo Group (APOL) fell 3.4% to $16.08, Career Education (CECO) slid 9.3% to $2.72, Strayer (STRA) dropped 4% to $46.86, ITT Educational (ESI) tumbled 7% to $12.60 and DeVry (DV) declined 1.2% to $29.63.