ITT Educational profit soars as classes bulge

An influx of students going back to school in sluggish economic times drove third-quarter profit 26 percent higher for ITT Educational Services Inc., the Carmel technical school operator reported today.

Profit shot to $50.2 million, and enrollment of new students soared more than 19 percent from the same period last year.

The $1.28 in earnings per share shattered the $1.17 anticipated by analysts surveyed by Thomson/Reuters.

Stronger-than-expected earnings prompted ITT to raise its earnings forecast for the year to between $4.90 and $5 per share from its prior guidance of $4.65 to $4.75. Analysts anticipate $4.78 per share.

Chairman and CEO Kevin Modany said that not only are students flocking to school, advertising rates were attractive in the quarter, a trend he expects to last into next year.

ITT shares closed yesterday at $71. The stock is down from a peak of $124 reached a year ago.

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