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Capella's 4Q profit tumbles, student sign-ups tick up

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Capella Education Co., which runs the for-profit Capella University, says its fourth-quarter attributable net income fell to $8.6 million, down 29 percent from $12.1 million a year earlier, the Star Tribune reports.

Capella's student sign-ups grew slightly for the second straight quarter, Reuters reports. The Minneapolis-based provider of online post-secondary education expects new enrollments to increase by about 5 percent in the first quarter ending March.

However, total active enrollment fell 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter to 36,329 students, according to the Associated Press.

“We are encouraged by our progress in stabilizing new enrollment growth, improving learner persistence and strengthening Capella’s competitive position,” Kevin Gilligan, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Most importantly, we are gaining traction as we execute our strategy to drive affordability, speed-to-competency and certainty of outcomes for our learners to differentiate Capella. While the overall market environment remains challenging, our improving position heading into 2013 gives us confidence that we are on the right path to return to total enrollment and revenue growth.”

For the fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, 2012, net income fell 30 percent to $36.5 million, compared to $52.1 million in 2011, according to a company news release.

“2013 will be about execution, increasing market share and continued improvements to drive more consistent, sustained growth,” Steve Polacek, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said in a statement. “We will continue investing in learner success, further driving Capella’s differentiation and diversification while diligently managing costs, as we position Capella for long-term sustainable growth and shareholder returns.”

Click here, to follow Capella Education's stock performance.

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Related

Capella Education's net profit plummets 49 percent in third-quarter

Capella Education, the parent company of the for-profit Capella University, says its third-quarter net income was $5.1 million, down nearly 50 percent compared to the $9.9 million it earned in the July-September quarter last year, the Associated Press reports. Even as total enrollment, revenue and net income fell, new student enrollment at the Minneapolis-based provider of online post-secondary education rose 10.5 percent compared to last year -- the first increase in nearly two years, Reuters reports.