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|Apollo Group, Inc. Reports Fiscal 2011 First Quarter Results|
PHOENIX, Jan 10, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Apollo Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOL) ("Apollo Group," "Apollo" or the "Company") today reported financial results for the three months ended November 30, 2010.
"During the first quarter of fiscal 2011, we began the important process of implementing several of the key strategic initiatives that we've been developing in recent quarters and that are designed to enhance the student experience, expand student protections and ensure that we enroll students who we believe have a greater likelihood to succeed in our programs," said Apollo Group Co-Chief Executive Officer and Apollo Global Chairman Greg Cappelli. "While we do not yet have enough data from these new initiatives to draw firm conclusions, we are pleased with the early results."
Apollo Group Co-Chief Executive Officer Chas Edelstein added, "While these initiatives are resulting in a period of transition, we expect to prudently manage our cost structure to appropriately align it with both the size of the business and the needs of our students. We believe these actions are the right things to do for our students, and importantly, we are confident that over time they will solidify our leadership role within the industry and put our organization on a path of more consistently delivering high quality growth."
Unaudited First Quarter of Fiscal 2011 Results of Operations
Consolidated net revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 totaled $1,326.4 million, which represents a 5.4% increase over the first quarter of fiscal 2010. Consolidated net revenue growth in the first quarter was primarily driven by selective tuition price increases at University of Phoenix. Although University of Phoenix Degreed Enrollment declined 3.8% year-over-year to 438,100, average enrollment during the quarter increased slightly, resulting in a modest increase in revenue. A $9.0 million decrease in net revenue from BPP, due to lower student enrollment and the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates, also offset some of the increase. Lower Degreed Enrollment at University of Phoenix is in part the result of a 42.4% decrease in New Degreed Enrollment. The Company believes this decline is principally due to the adverse impact on the admissions process arising from changes in the manner in which admissions and other employees are evaluated and compensated, the full implementation of University Orientation as well as continued refinement of the Company's marketing approaches.
The Company reported income from continuing operations attributable to Apollo Group for the three months ended November 30, 2010, of $236.0 million, or $1.61 per share (146.7 million weighted average diluted shares outstanding), compared to income from continuing operations attributable to Apollo Group of $240.4 million, or $1.54 per share (156.0 million weighted average diluted shares outstanding) for the three months ended November 30, 2009. Results for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 contain special items totaling $4.7 million pre-tax ($2.9 million after tax) consisting of a $3.8 million restructuring charge associated with a strategic reduction in force, primarily at University of Phoenix, and a $0.9 million charge for accrued incremental post-judgment interest related to a securities class action lawsuit. The fiscal 2010 first quarter results included a tax benefit of $11.4 million resulting from the settlement of disputed tax issues with the Internal Revenue Service.
Excluding these special items, income from continuing operations attributable to Apollo Group for the three months ended November 30, 2010, was $238.9 million, or $1.63 per share, compared to income from continuing operations attributable to Apollo Group of $229.0 million, or $1.47 per share for the three months ended November 30, 2009. (See the reconciliation of GAAP financial information to non-GAAP financial information in the tables section of this press release.)
Effective during the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, the Company elected to revise its presentation of operating expenses and reclassified prior periods to conform to the revised presentation. There were no changes to total operating expenses or operating income as a result of these reclassifications. (Please refer to the Form 10-Q for the period ended November 30, 2010, filed concurrently with this release for the presentation of operating expenses as previously reported and as reclassified for prior periods of fiscal 2009 and 2010.)
Instructional and student advisory expenses increased by $25.2 million, or 5.8%, to $455.8 million for the three months ended November 30, 2010, compared to the three months ended November 30, 2009. As a percentage of revenue, instructional and student advisory expenses increased 10 basis points to 34.3% versus 34.2% in the prior year's first quarter. The increase, as a percentage of revenue, was primarily due to various strategic initiatives implemented to more effectively support students and improve their educational outcomes, which has resulted in increased compensation related to certain student advisory and infrastructure support functions.
Marketing expenses increased by $14.5 million, or 9.6%, to $166.1 million for the three months ended November 30, 2010, compared to the three months ended November 30, 2009. As a percentage of revenue, marketing expenses increased 50 basis points to 12.5% versus 12.0% in the prior year's first quarter. The increase, as a percentage of revenue, was primarily a result of higher advertising expenditures, driven by the increased costs associated with the Company's transition in marketing approaches to more effectively identify students who have a greater likelihood to succeed in its educational programs and increases in advertising rates for traditional and online media. This increase was partially offset by lower employee compensation costs as a percentage of revenue.
Admissions advisory expenses decreased by $1.5 million, or 1.3%, to $113.8 million for the three months ended November 30, 2010, compared to the three months ended November 30, 2009. As a percentage of revenue, admissions advisory expenses decreased 60 basis points to 8.6% versus 9.2% in the prior year's first quarter. The decrease, as a percentage of revenue, was a result of lower admissions advisory headcount during the first quarter of fiscal 2011 as compared to the prior-year period. This decrease was partially offset by higher average employee compensation costs, as the Company elevates the educational profile for admissions personnel. The above-mentioned strategic reduction in force that eliminated approximately 700 full-time positions, principally among admissions personnel, will favorably impact expenses beginning in the second quarter of fiscal 2011.
General and administrative ("G&A") expenses increased by $14.2 million, or 20.1%, to $84.9 million for the three months ended November 30, 2010, compared to the three months ended November 30, 2009. As a percentage of revenue, G&A expenses increased 80 basis points to 6.4% versus 5.6% in the prior year's first quarter. The increase, as a percentage of revenue, is primarily attributable to expenses associated with the Company's investments in its information technology resources and capabilities, as well as various expenses related to regulatory and external affairs activities, partially offset by lower legal expenses.
The provision for uncollectible accounts receivable ("bad debt expense") decreased by $5.8 million, or 9.3%, to $56.9 million for the three months ended November 30, 2010, compared to the three months ended November 30, 2009. As a percentage of revenue, bad debt expense decreased 70 basis points to 4.3% versus 5.0% in the prior year's first quarter. The decrease, as a percentage of revenue, is primarily attributable to reductions in gross accounts receivable as a result of the full implementation of University Orientation and other recent operational changes and initiatives to more effectively support students and improve their educational outcomes. Improved collection rates at University of Phoenix also contributed to the decrease as a result of improved effectiveness of the Company's collection efforts for aged receivables.
Depreciation and amortization increased by $2.4 million, or 6.9%, to $37.1 million for the three months ended November 30, 2010, compared to the three months ended November 30, 2009. The increase was primarily due to increased depreciation related to computer equipment and software, partially offset by a decrease in amortization of BPP intangible assets. As a percentage of revenue, depreciation and amortization expenses were unchanged at 2.8% when compared with the prior year's first quarter. The Company expects an increase in capital expenditures in fiscal 2011 resulting from investments in core information technology and network infrastructure to adversely impact depreciation and amortization beginning in the second quarter of fiscal 2011.
Financial and Operating Metrics
Below are Apollo Group's unaudited financial data and operating metrics for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 versus the prior-year period.
Unaudited Balance Sheet
As of November 30, 2010, the Company's cash and cash equivalents, excluding restricted cash, totaled $1,040.5 million as compared to $1,284.8 million as of August 31, 2010. The decrease is attributable to repayments on borrowings, share repurchases, capital expenditures and an increase in restricted cash, partially offset by cash generated from operations. Restricted cash and cash equivalents (including long-term) increased by $28.3 million compared to August 31, 2010, primarily due to increased student deposits associated with students receiving financial aid.
At November 30, 2010, accounts receivable decreased to $256.9 million from $264.4 million at August 31, 2010. Excluding accounts receivable and the associated net revenue for Apollo Global, the Company's days sales outstanding ("DSO") was 26 days at November 30, 2010, compared to 30 days at August 31, 2010, and compared to 32 days at November 30, 2009. The decrease in DSO versus a year ago is primarily attributable to reductions in gross accounts receivable as a result of the full implementation of University Orientation and other recent operational changes and initiatives to more effectively support students and improve their educational outcomes. Improved collection rates at University of Phoenix also contributed to the decrease as a result of improved effectiveness of the Company's collection efforts for aged receivables.
Total debt outstanding (including short-term borrowings and the current portion of long-term debt) decreased by $403.0 million to $181.4 million at November 30, 2010, from $584.4 million at August 31, 2010. The decrease is due to the repayment of U.S. denominated borrowings on the Company's $500 million credit facility.
During the first quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company repurchased approximately 4.7 million shares of its common stock at a weighted average purchase price of $37.58 per share for a total expenditure of $176.5 million. Subsequent to quarter end, the Board of Directors increased the authorization of management to repurchase Class A common shares to the current total amount of $600 million.
Conference Call Information
The Company will hold a conference call to discuss these earnings results at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, 3:00 p.m. Phoenix time, today, Monday, January 10, 2011. The call may be accessed by dialing (877) 292-6888 (domestic) or (973) 200-3381 (international) and entering the conference ID number 29367436. A live webcast of this event may be accessed by visiting the Company's website at www.apollogrp.edu. A replay of the call will be available on the website or by dialing (800) 642-1687 (domestic) or (706) 645-9291 (international) and entering the conference ID number 29367436 until January 17, 2011.
About Apollo Group, Inc.
Apollo Group, Inc. is one of the world's largest private education providers and has been in the education business for more than 35 years. The Company offers innovative and distinctive educational programs and services both online and on-campus at the high school, undergraduate, master's and doctoral levels through its subsidiaries: University of Phoenix, Apollo Global, Institute for Professional Development, College for Financial Planning and Meritus University. The Company's programs and services are provided in 40 states and the District of Columbia; Puerto Rico; Canada; Latin America; and Europe, as well as online throughout the world (data as of November 30, 2010).
For more information about Apollo Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, call (800) 990-APOL or visit the Company's website at www.apollogrp.edu.
Forward-Looking Statements Safe Harbor
Statements about Apollo Group and its business in this release which are not statements of historical fact, including statements regarding Apollo Group's future strategy and plans and commentary regarding future results of operations and prospects, are forward-looking statements, and are subject to the Safe Harbor provisions created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual plans implemented and actual results achieved may differ materially from those set forth in such statements due to various factors, including without limitation (i) changes in the overall U.S. or global economy, (ii) changes in enrollment or student mix, including as a result of the roll-out of the Company's University Orientation program to all eligible students, (iii) the impact of recent changes in the manner in which the Company evaluates and compensates its counselors that advise and enroll students, (iv) changes in law or regulation affecting the Company's eligibility to participate in or the manner in which it participates in U.S. federal student financial aid programs, including the final program integrity regulations published by the U.S. Department of Education on October 29, 2010, and the proposed regulations relating to "gainful employment" initially published for comment by the Department on July 26, 2010 and which are expected to be published in final form in early 2011, (v) changes in the Company's business necessary to remain in compliance with U.S. federal student financial aid program regulations, including the so-called 90/10 Rule and the limitations on cohort default rates, and to remain in compliance with the accrediting criteria of the relevant accrediting bodies, and (vi) other regulatory developments. For a discussion of the various factors that may cause actual plans implemented and actual results achieved to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements, please refer to the risk factors and other disclosures contained in Apollo Group's Form 10-K for fiscal year 2010 and subsequent Forms 10-Q, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, all of which are available on the Company's website at http://www.apollogrp.edu.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Information
This press release and the related conference call contain non-GAAP financial measures, which are intended to supplement, but not substitute for, the most directly comparable GAAP measures. Management uses, and chooses to disclose to investors, these non-GAAP financial measures because (i) such measures provide an additional analytical tool to clarify the Company's results from operations and help to identify underlying trends in its results of operations; (ii) as to the non-GAAP earnings measures, such measures help compare the Company's performance on a consistent basis across time periods; and (iii) these non-GAAP measures are employed by the Company's management in its own evaluation of performance and are utilized in financial and operational decision-making processes, such as budgeting and forecasting. Exclusion of items in our non-GAAP presentation should not be construed as an inference that these items are unusual, infrequent or non-recurring. Other companies, including other companies in the education industry, may calculate non-GAAP financial measures differently than we do, limiting their usefulness as a comparative measure across companies.
SOURCE: Apollo Group, Inc.
Apollo Group, Inc.