Strayer Education Inc. (STRA) (STRA), a for- profit college with most of its campuses in the eastern U.S., rose as much as 22 percent after saying quarterly new student enrollment increased 12 percent.
Strayer plans to open eight new campuses in 2012 if it gets approval from regulators, the Herndon, Virginia-based company said today in its first-quarter earnings statement. The stock rose $15.61, or 18 percent, to $101.79, at 11:36 a.m. New York time, the biggest gain in 10 months.
For-profit college enrollment has been falling as Congress, the U.S. Justice Department and state attorneys general have investigated their marketing practices, and the Education Department restricted recruiting. This is the first quarter that Strayer has recorded growth in new student sign-ups since its second quarter of 2010, said Jeffrey Silber, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets in New York.
Strayer’s new enrollment increase is “likely one of the better performances to be seen this quarter,” he said in a note to clients. He rates the company “market perform,” and said the increase was “unexpected.”