Apollo Group (APOL) continues to top Wall Street estimates and has once again sent analysts scrambling to catch up.

Company Description

Apollo Group, Inc. has been providing higher education to working adults for over 25 years. They operate through their subsidiaries, the University of Phoenix, Inc., the Institute for Professional Development, the College for Financial Planning Institutes Corporation, Western International University, Inc., and Apollo Learning Group, Inc.

Grade-A Results

On Jun 29 Apollo announced third-quarter results for fiscal 2009 that included a 26% growth in revenue, on a year-over-year basis.

When people are unemployed, many will seek opportunities to bolster their skill set and resume. Apollo offers both and unemployment is at its highest level in decades. These factors combined to increase Total Degree Enrollment by 22% to over 420,000.

Beat the Street

The previously mention announcement also contained earnings per share of $1.26, well above Wall Street estimates, which averaged $1.13. This was the fifth consecutive surprise and spurred analysts to up their forecasts in the future.

Estimates for full-year 2009 are now averaging $4.15, up from $3.97 before the earnings report, after 11 of 20 analysts raised estimates. The consensus for 2010 is also up, now $5.16 from $4.81 since the report.

These estimates are projecting 46% growth in 2009 and 24% in 2010.


On Jul 30 the company completed its acquisition of the BPP Holdings, a London-based legal and financial education company. While the $607 million deal does expand Apollo’s global presence, it will not have a material impact until fiscal 2011.

The Chart

Apollo Group has a solid earnings history and if unemployment continues to rise as projected, it should continue.

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