ITT Educational says enrollment fell less than expected, shares soar

IndustriesAssociated Press

ITT Educational Services Inc. shares skyrocketed Friday after the for-profit education company said that enrollment fell less than expected at its schools in recent months.

It was welcome news for investors in ITT, which has been struggling with a number of financial and regulatory setbacks.

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ITT said Friday that new student enrollment fell 8.1 percent for its second quarter and 9.5 percent for its third quarter. It had warned in May that new student enrollment for the second quarter could be down 10 percent to 15 percent.

The company's total enrollment fell 6.3 percent in its most recent quarter ending September with 57, 172 students.

ITT hadn't updated investors on its financial performance or enrollment since May as it worked to revise prior financial statements. It filed that paperwork with the SEC Thursday, clearing the way for the update.

The company also withdrew its financial forecast in May, leaving investors thirsty for an update. The Carmel, Indiana, company also said Friday that its cash balances improved 21.3 percent from its third quarter, by comparison to the same period last year. It had cash and cash equivalent of $206.9 million at the end of the quarter.

ITT shares, which plummeted in May after it withdrew its forecast, soared nearly 75 percent by early afternoon to $9.73 Friday. Its stock traded as high as $11.75 earlier in the day, its highest trading level since August.