Corinthian Colleges Issues Pleasing Outlook

Shares of for-profit education company Corinthian Colleges (COCO 17.34) are spiking ahead of Tuesday’s opening bell after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter and issued upside guidance for the first quarter and full year.

Corinthian Colleges reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings of $0.31 per share, excluding nonrecurring items, $0.07 better than the First Call consensus of $0.24.

Revenues rose 29.0% year-over-year to $353.5 million, topping the $342.9 million consensus.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said that total student starts in the quarter were 29,188, an increase of 26.8% from the same period last year.

CEO Peter Waller said that he expects student growth to continue in 2010 and said "we expect continued high unemployment to contribute to overall growth."

For its fiscal first quarter Corinthian Colleges expects earnings to range from $0.26 to $0.29 per share, well ahead of the current consensus of $0.17. The company expects revenues between $375 million and $385 million, also well ahead of the $348.77 million consensus. Corinthian expects student starts to grow 15-17%.

For fiscal 2010, the company anticipates earnings of $1.30 to $1.36 per share on revenue of $1.58 billion to $1.60 billion. The consensus estimates expect earnings of $1.14 per share on revenue of $1.51 billion. Corinthian expects student starts for the full year to grow 10-12%.

Shares of COCO are just under 6% higher year-to-date but are advancing more than 12% a few minutes ahead of Tuesday’s opening bell.

BRIEFING.COM

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