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University of Phoenix Owner Apollo Group Sees Jump in Profit With Surge In Enrollment


Apollo Group Inc., an education provider that owns the University of Phoenix, said Monday its fourth quarter earnings rose by more than a third as revenue jumped from a surge in enrollment.

The Phoenix-based company said it earned $103.2 million, or 60 cents per share, for the three-month period that ended Aug. 31. That compared with net income of $75.7 million, or 43 cents share, for the same period last year.

Revenue for the period was $713.9 million, a 14 percent jump from $624.9 million last year. Total degreed enrollments grew 11 percent to 313,700.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, on average, forecast earnings of 60 cents per share and revenue of $701 million.

The company posted profits of $408.8 million, or $2.35 per share, for the 2007 fiscal year compared with $414.8 million for 2006. Total revenue in 2007 was $2.7 billion, a 10 percent increase from fiscal 2006.

Apollo President Brian Mueller said the company is seeing the benefits of expanded programs, more productive enrollment counselors and advertising.

“During the fiscal year we strengthened our management team, particularly in the finance and legal areas, and added additional talent and expertise to our board of directors,” Mueller said in a statement. “We also fortified our financial controls and corporate governance, and as a result, Apollo Group is a stronger company today.”

Apollo offers educational programs and services at 260 locations in 40 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Netherlands, and Mexico. In addition to the University of Phoenix, Apollo Group operates the Institute for Professional Development, The College for Financial Planning Institutes Corp. and Western International University Inc.

The company emerged from a turbulent period at the start of the fourth quarter when the Securities and Exchange Commission completed its investigation into the company’s stock option awards practices. The SEC started its inquiry last year, but Apollo said in July the agency would not recommend any disciplinary action against the company.

The company reconstituted its compensation committee and filed delinquent financial documents to the SEC during the investigation.

Apollo released its earnings report after the stock market closed. Its shares rose 73 cents, or 1 percent, to $65.93 in Monday trading.

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