Investors cheered Thursday after ITT Educational Services Inc. reversed a three-year slide in new-student enrollment during the second quarter.
The Carmel-based operator of for-profit colleges signed up 16,883 new students in the three months ended June 30, a 7.5-percent increase from the same quarter last year.
ITT shares rose as much as 8.4 percent Thursday morning from their Wednesday close at $27.07 apiece.
The level of new students is still more than 20 percent lower than in the second quarter of 2010—the last time ITT saw a gain in new students at its 150 ITT Technical Institute campuses around the country.
But the turnaround gives hope that ITT can also reverse its long slide in revenue and profit, a trend still startlingly evident in the company’s second-quarter results.
Profit tumbled 54.7 percent from a year earlier, to $20.9 million. The earnings totaled 89 cents per share, down from $1.96 a year earlier. Wall Street analysts expected a penny more per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.
Revenue fell 21 percent, to $260 million; analysts expected $273 million.
Total enrollment at ITT campuses was 58,617 on June 30, down 11.7 percent from the same time last year.