What happened

Shares of Grand Canyon Education (LOPE 1.32%) have gotten crushed today, down by 14% as of 11 a.m. EDT, after the company reported first-quarter earnings. The results modestly topped expectations, but guidance was a little light.

So what

Service revenue in the first quarter was $236.9 million, which was almost exactly what analysts were looking for. That resulted in adjusted earnings per share of $1.72, slightly ahead of the consensus estimate of $1.67 per share in adjusted profits. The company, which provides technology services to educational institutions, said partner enrollments grew 7.2% to 115,390 at the end of the quarter.

Red stock chart going down with numbers in the background

Image source: Getty Images.

Grand Canyon Education finished the quarter with $262.3 million in cash, with $150 million of additional liquidity available through an existing credit facility. Adjusted EBITDA was $95.6 million. The company warned that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact service revenue collected from university partners, including a $4.5 million reduction in the first quarter.

Now what

Outlook for the second quarter calls for revenue of $202 million and adjusted earnings per share of $1.09. Compare those forecasts with the $203.1 million in sales and adjusted earnings per share of $1.09 that Wall Street is currently modeling for. Grand Canyon Education believes that second-quarter revenue will be negatively impacted by $1.2 million due to the pandemic.

Looking farther out, full-year 2021 revenue is expected to be $919.9 million, which should result in adjusted earnings per share of $6.19. The consensus estimate for 2021 revenue is $925.1 million.