Apollo's Earnings Show Cost Increases Outpacing Revenue Gains

Jul. 2.07 | About: Apollo Education (APOL)

Mid Cap and Large Cap Watch List member Apollo Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:APOL) reported financial results for the third quarter ended May 31, 2007. The Company also announced that its Board of Directors (”Board”) authorized the repurchase of up to $500 million of Apollo Group Class A common stock.

Consolidated revenues for the three months ended May 31, 2007, totaled $733.4 million, which represents a 12.2% increase over the third quarter of fiscal 2006. Total degreed enrollments grew by 12.2% year-over-year to 311,100.

Net income was $131.4 million, or $0.75 per diluted share (174.6 million weighted average shares outstanding), compared to $131.5 million, or $0.75 per diluted share (174.5 million weighted average shares outstanding) for three months ended May 31, 2007 and 2006, respectively.

For some reason Apollo still finds it necessary to break out the results as though stock based compensation did not exist (what I call Unaccepted Accounting), despite the fact that the consensus estimate of $0.67 apparently is on the basis of earnings reported under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Revenues were also ahead of analyst expectations, which helped the shares rally after the report was issued.

With revenues rising double-digit but earnings actually down, it is clear that costs are rising faster than sales. Bad debt expense continues to rise, which the company attributes to “a shift in the Company’s student mix.” Clearly the mix has shifted (to students who are not paying their bills) but the company has not presented a clear justification for admitting students who cost more than the incremental revenue they generate.

APOL 1-yr chart:

APOL 1-yr chart