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News Breaks
February 25, 2013
11:45 EDTESIITT Educational sinks after disclosing SEC probe
For-profit educational company ITT Educational (ESI) is tumbling after the company disclosed late Friday in a regulatory filing that it is being investigated by the SEC. The SEC subpoenaed, among other things, documents related to two private student loan programs launched by ITT, the company stated. The first private loan program was launched by ITT with an "unaffiliated entity" in 2009 and included a risk sharing agreement between the entity and ITT. The SEC also subpoenaed information related to the PEAKS Private Student Loan Program, which ITT initiated in 2010. Under the PEAKS program an unaffiliated lender provided loans to ITT students, and then sold the loans to a trust. ITT Educational agreed to guarantee the trust's debt, the company stated. In a note to investors earlier today, Wells Fargo analyst Trace Urdan reported that critics have said that ITT has not set aside enough money for both of these programs, and that the company should include liabilities from the programs on its balance sheet. If the SEC agrees with these conclusions, ITT may be forced to sell additional stock in order to provide sufficient collateral for its loans under federal law, Urdan wrote. Furthermore, the Department of Education may determine that the funds which ITT obtained from the loan programs should not qualify as independent cash tuition payments under the 90/10 rule. This rule requires for-profit education companies to obtain at least 10% of their revenue from sources other than the federal government. Under either of the scenarios, ITT students may be temporarily unable to obtain student loans, Urdan wrote, but added that he doesn't expect this scenario to occur. The analyst maintained a Market Perform rating on the stock, which sank $2.50, or 13.5%, to $16.05 in late morning trading.
News For ESI From The Last 14 Days
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January 15, 2015
14:45 EDTESIFor-profit education names slip after Wells says search data negative
Shares of a number of for-profit education companies are falling after Wells Fargo wrote that Google search trends do not bode well for the sector. WHAT'S NEW: Google search trends for the fourth quarter indicate that students' interest in for-profit education companies probably did not increase significantly during that period, Wells Fargo analyst Trace Urdan wrote in a note to investors today. The data indicates that new student enrollment at the schools could even come in below already pessimistic expectations, Urdan reported. The analyst found that searches for terms related to for-profit schools dropped in Q4, versus the same period a year earlier. Moreover, there were many more searches in Q4 for non-profit schools than for-profit colleges, Urdan stated. Sentiment towards for-profit education names is already "quite weak" after President Obama on January 9 proposed allowing all Americans to attend community college at no cost and Apollo Education (APOL) on January 8 provided lower than expected Q2 revenue guidance, Urdan stated. As a result, investors may already be expecting schools in the sector to report weak enrollment data, Urdan believes. However, the search data for Strayer (STRA) is "more negative than positive," even though expectations for the company appear to be elevated, the analyst reported. On a positive note, search results for Capella Education (CPLA), Grand Canyon (LOPE), and DeVry's (DV) Chamberlain looked better than average, Urdan reported, adding that investors' expectations towards those names are relatively upbeat. PRICE ACTION: In mid-afternoon trading, Strayer fell 1% to $68, ITT Educational fell 3.6% to $8.37, Bridgepoint Educational (BPI) tumbled 4.5% to $10.10, American Public (APEI) slid 2.25% to $33.89, and Grand Canyon gave back 2% to $43.

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