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Why Career Education Corporation Stock Popped 14.5% Today

By Rich Smith – Updated Nov 7, 2019 at 11:43AM

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Sales show steady growth, while earnings leap ahead.

What happened

For-profit educator Career Education Corporation (PRDO 0.15%) reported its Q3 2019 earnings after close of trading last night. With trading resumed this morning, Career Education stock is off to the races -- up 14.5% as of 10:35 a.m. EST.  

Heading into earnings, analysts had predicted Career Education would report $0.24 per share in profit on $146.7 million in sales. Instead the company earned $0.33 per share (pro forma) on sales of $155 million, beating on both the top and bottom lines.  

Hand draws rising stock chart in red colored pencil

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Career Education grew its student enrollment 6.1% in Q3, and its revenues from those students by 6.4%.

"Adjusted" earnings (the ones the beat-or-miss decision is based on) grew 32% year over year. But profits as calculated according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) grew, too -- up 19% to $0.25 per diluted share.

CEO Todd Nelson said the results "reflect how we have further underscored the value proposition of our academic institutions while emphasizing student retention and academic outcomes." It didn't hurt that they showed pretty impressive growth for shareholders, either.

Now what

Career Education wrapped up with an improved outlook through the end of this fiscal year, predicting that Q4 adjusted earnings will range from $0.27 to $0.29 per share, and GAAP earnings will be right behind them -- $0.26 to $0.28.

All those numbers are well ahead of the $0.24 per share consensus estimate on Wall Street, which gives investors just one more reason to cheer today.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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