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ITT Educational's quarterly profit, revenue climb

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Fourth-quarter earnings for ITT Educational Services Inc. topped analysts’ expectations, as profit rose 49 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

The Carmel-based for-profit educator said Thursday morning that its profit in the quarter climbed to $93.7 million.

ITT earned $2.56 per share, topping Wall Street analyst predictions of $2.36 per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial Network. A year ago, the company earned $1.61 per share.

Revenue in the fourth quarter spiked 33.8 percent, to $374.4 million.

“We are very pleased with our results in the final quarter and full year of 2009, ITT CEO Kevin M. Modany said in a prepared statement. “As we begin the new year, we believe that we are well positioned to achieve our internal financial and operating goals for 2010.”

For the entire year, profit rose 49 percent, to $300 million. Revenue was $1.3 billion, a 29.9-percent increase over 2008.

Student enrollment in the fourth quarter increased to 19,563, up 31.2 percent from the fourth quarter in 2008. Total student enrollment for the year grew to 80,766, a 30.3-percent increase compared to 2008.

In spite of the growth, the company said its bad-debt expenses, as a percentage of revenue, grew to 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 4.9 percent in the year-ago period.

Some analysts and investors are worried that the recession is keeping fewer ITT graduates from finding jobs, causing them to default on their loans.

ITT shares opened Thursday morning at $97.91 each, a 26-percent decline since they peaked in early February 2009.
 

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