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16. Bridgepoint Education
Bridgepoint Education

3-year average
Revenue Growth: 57%
Profit Growth: 187%
Total Return: 9%

Among the most successful of the for-profit colleges, Bridgepoint Education’s revenues soared to $933 million, up from $85 million, in the five years prior to 2011. The company attributes its phenomenal growth to the number of students enrolling for online courses. Last year Bridgepoint had 85,527 online students along with an additional 1,115 based at its Ashford University and University of the Rockies campuses. The company now has over 2,000 so-called “admissions counselors” who work the phones to get students to sign up. However, Bridgepoint’s stock plunged more than 50% in July when the Western Association of Schools and Colleges denied accreditation to Ashford College for its failure to comply with certain standards. The company has since re-applied for accreditation but announced in August that it would suspend, until further notice, its practice of providing full-year financial guidance “due to reduced visibility arising from recent regulatory developments.” -- N.S.

Get stock quote: BPI
Revenue ($ millions): $954
Net Income ($ millions): $152
Sectors: Education
From the September 24, 2012 issue.

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To qualify, a company -- domestic or foreign -- must be trading on a major U.S. stock exchange; file quarterly reports to the SEC; have a minimum market... More