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LOPE > SEC Filings for LOPE > Form 10-Q on 14-Nov-2011All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for GRAND CANYON EDUCATION, INC. | Request a Trial to NEW EDGAR Online Pro

Form 10-Q for GRAND CANYON EDUCATION, INC.


14-Nov-2011

Quarterly Report


Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations has been restated to reflect the restatement of the balance sheet and statements of income, stockholders' equity and cash flows for the quarter ended September 30, 2010 and should be read in conjunction with our financial statements and related notes that appear elsewhere in this report. Forward-Looking Statements
This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, including Item 2, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, contains certain "forward-looking statements," which include information relating to future events, future financial performance, strategies, expectations, competitive environment, regulation, and availability of resources. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding: proposed new programs; expectations regarding the material adverse effect that regulatory developments or other matters may have on our financial position, results of operations, or liquidity; statements concerning projections, predictions, expectations, estimates, or forecasts as to our business, financial and operational results, and future economic performance; and statements of management's goals and objectives and other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. Words such as "may," "should," "could," "would," "predicts," "potential," "continue," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar expressions, as well as statements in future tense, identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time those statements are made or management's good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to:
our failure to comply with the extensive regulatory framework applicable to our industry, including Title IV of the Higher Education Act and the regulations thereunder, state laws and regulatory requirements, and accrediting commission requirements;

the results of the ongoing program review being conducted by the Department of Education of our compliance with Title IV program requirements, and possible fines or other administrative sanctions resulting therefrom;

the ability of our students to obtain federal Title IV funds, state financial aid, and private financing;

potential damage to our reputation or other adverse effects as a result of negative publicity in the media, in the industry or in connection with governmental reports or investigations or otherwise, affecting us or other companies in the for-profit postsecondary education sector;

risks associated with changes in applicable federal and state laws and regulations and accrediting commission standards;

our ability to hire and train new, and develop and train existing, enrollment counselors;

the pace of growth of our enrollment;

our ability to convert prospective students to enrolled students and to retain active students;

our success in updating and expanding the content of existing programs and developing new programs in a cost-effective manner or on a timely basis;

industry competition, including competition for students and for qualified executives and other personnel;

the competitive environment for marketing our programs;

failure on our part to keep up with advances in technology that could enhance the online experience for our students;

the extent to which obligations under our loan agreement, including the need to comply with restrictive and financial covenants and to pay principal and interest payments, limits our ability to conduct our operations or seek new business opportunities;


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potential decreases in enrollment, the payment of refunds or other negative impacts on our operating results as a result of our change from a "term-based" financial aid system to a "borrower-based, non-term" or "BBAY" financial aid system;

our ability to manage future growth effectively; and

general adverse economic conditions or other developments that affect job prospects in our core disciplines.

Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those described in this "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and in "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, as updated in our subsequent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including any updates found in Part II, Item 1A of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q or our other reports on Form 10-Q/A and Form 10-Q. You should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statements are made and we assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions, or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws. If we do update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that we will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.
Throughout this Form 10-Q all referenced amounts reflect the balances on a restated basis for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2010.


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Overview
We are a regionally accredited provider of postsecondary education services focused on offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs in our core disciplines of education, business, healthcare, and liberal arts. We offer programs online, at our approximately 110 acre traditional campus in Phoenix, Arizona and onsite at the facilities of employers.
At September 30, 2011, we had approximately 44,500 students, an increase of 5.2% over the approximately 42,300 students we had at September 30, 2010. At September 30, 2011, 88.7% of our students were enrolled in our online programs, and 43.0% of our nontraditional students were pursuing master's or doctoral degrees. In addition, revenue per student increased between periods as we increased tuition prices for students in our online and professional studies programs by 0.0% to 6.5%, depending on the program, with an estimated blended rate increase of 3.2% for our 2011-12 academic year, as compared to tuition price increases for students in our online and professional studies programs of 0.0% to 5.7% for our 2010-11 academic year, depending on the program, with an estimated blended rate increase of 3.5% for the prior academic year. Tuition for our traditional ground programs had no increase for our 2011-12 or 2010-11 academic years.
The following is a summary of our student enrollment at September 30, 2011 and 2010 (which included less than 500 students pursuing non-degree certificates in each period) by degree type and by instructional delivery method:

                                                    September 30,
                                    2011(1)                              2010(1)
                         # of Students       % of Total       # of Students       % of Total
 Graduate degrees(2)             17,497             39.3 %            18,128             42.9 %
 Undergraduate degree            26,989             60.7 %            24,158             57.1 %

 Total                           44,486            100.0 %            42,286            100.0 %




                                              September 30,
                              2011(1)                              2010(1)
                   # of Students       % of Total       # of Students       % of Total
      Online(3)            39,447             88.7 %            38,593             91.3 %
      Ground(4)             5,039             11.3 %             3,693              8.7 %

      Total                44,486            100.0 %            42,286            100.0 %

(1) Enrollment at September 30, 2011 and 2010 represents individual students who attended a course during the last two months of the calendar quarter.

(2) Includes 1,808 and 977 students pursuing doctoral degrees at September 30, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

(3) As of September 30, 2011 and 2010, 42.3% and 45.5%, respectively, of our online students are pursuing graduate degrees.

(4) Includes both our traditional on-campus ground students, as well as our professional studies students.

Critical Accounting Policies and Use of Estimates Our critical accounting policies are disclosed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010. During the nine months ended September 30, 2011, there have been no significant changes in our critical accounting policies.
Key Trends, Developments and Challenges
Our key trends, developments and challenges are disclosed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010 and were updated in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q/A for the quarter ended June 30, 2011. See Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Key Trends, Developments and Challenges" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for our fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, and Part I, Item 2, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Key Trends, Developments and Challenges" in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q/A for our fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2011, each of which is incorporated herein by reference. During the nine months ended September 30, 2011, there have been no significant changes in these trends, other than as referenced above.


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Results of Operations
The following table sets forth income statement data as a percentage of net
revenue for each of the periods indicated:

                                         Three Months Ended          Nine Months Ended
                                            September 30,              September 30,
                                          2011          2010          2011         2010
     Net revenue                            100.0 %      100.0 %        100.0 %     100.0 %
     Operating expenses
     Instructional cost and services         44.9         46.2           46.0        46.7
     Selling and promotional                 28.7         28.4           28.3        29.4
     General and administrative               6.6          6.7            6.7         6.6
     Lease termination fee                    0.8          0.0            0.3         0.0
     Exit costs                               0.0          0.0            0.0         0.1

     Total operating expenses                81.0         81.3           81.2        82.8

     Operating income                        19.0         18.7           18.8        17.2
     Interest expense                        (0.2 )       (0.2 )         (0.1 )      (0.2 )
     Interest income                          0.0          0.0            0.0         0.0

     Income before income taxes              18.8         18.5           18.7        17.0
     Income tax expense                       7.0          7.7            7.7         6.9

     Net income                              11.8         10.9           11.2        10.1

Three Months Ended September 30, 2011 Compared to Three Months Ended September 30, 2010
Net revenue. Our net revenue for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $108.9 million, an increase of $10.0 million, or 10.1%, as compared to net revenue of $98.9 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2010. This increase was primarily due to an increase in ground and online enrollment and, to a lesser extent, increases in the average tuition per student as a result of tuition price increases, partially offset by an increase in institutional scholarships. End-of-period enrollment increased to approximately 44,500, as we were able to continue our growth and increase our recruitment, marketing, and enrollment operations. We are anticipating increased pressure on new and continuing enrollments due primarily to the increasing challenges presented in the economy, the impact of new and proposed regulations, and increased competition.
Instructional costs and services expenses. Our instructional costs and services expenses for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 were $48.9 million, an increase of $3.2 million, or 7.0%, as compared to instructional costs and services expenses of $45.7 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2010. This increase was primarily due to increases in employee compensation, depreciation and amortization, and other instructional compensation and related expenses, of $2.2 million, $0.9 million and $0.1 million, respectively. The increase in employee compensation is primarily due to an increase in headcount (both staff and faculty) needed to provide student instruction and support services to support the increase in enrollments. The increase in depreciation and amortization is the result of us placing into service $74.9 million of new buildings for our ground traditional campus in the last twelve months. Our instructional costs and services expenses as a percentage of net revenues decreased by 1.3% to 49.9% for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, as compared to 46.2% for the quarter ended September 30, 2010 primarily due to improvements in bad debt expense. Bad debt expense decreased as a percentage of net revenues from 9.8% in the third quarter of 2010 to 8.8% in the third quarter of 2011 as a result of improved collections of receivables due from current students between periods due to operational improvements made during 2011 and a reduction in receivables due from former students. We also incurred an increase in employee compensation and instructional supplies due to increased licensing fees related to educational resources and increased miscellaneous costs associated with making continued improvements in curriculum development and developing new and enhanced innovative educational tools, partially offset by our ability to leverage the fixed cost structure of our campus-based facilities and ground faculty across an increasing revenue base.
Selling and promotional expenses. Our selling and promotional expenses for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 were $31.2 million, an increase of $3.1 million, or 11.2%, as compared to selling and promotional expenses of $28.1 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2010. This increase is primarily the result of increases in employee compensation and advertising of $3.6 million and $0.6 million, respectively, which is partially offset by lower promotional expenses of $1.1 million for the quarter. Our selling and promotional expenses as a percentage of net revenue increased by 0.3% to 28.7% for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, from 28.4% for the quarter ended September 30, 2010. This increase occurred due to an increase in employee compensation and related expenses as a percentage of revenue as a result of increasing the number of enrollment counselors between years primarily for our ground traditional campus. Although we incur immediate expenses in connection with hiring new ground traditional campus enrollment counselors, these counselors will typically not recruit students that are enrolled at the University until September 2012. We plan to continue to add additional enrollment counselors in the future, although the number of additional hires as a percentage of the total headcount is expected to remain flat or decrease.


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General and administrative expenses. Our general and administrative expenses for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 were $7.1 million, an increase of $0.5 million, or 8.1%, as compared to general and administrative expenses of $6.6 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2010. This increase was primarily due to increases in employee compensation and related expenses of $0.5 million. Our general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net revenue decreased by 0.1% to 6.6% for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, from 6.7% for the quarter ended September 30, 2010.
Lease termination fee. In July 2011, the University notified a current landlord of its intent to vacate leased space by the fourth quarter of 2011. As a result, the University was required to pay a termination fee to terminate the lease resulting in $0.9 million of expense in the current period. The termination fee was paid on our behalf by our new landlord. This payment was recorded as an expense in the third quarter of 2011 with the offset being to a deferred liability. The deferred rent liability will be amortized into income over the new lease term.
Income tax expense. Income tax expense for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 and 2010 was $7.6 million. Our effective tax rate was 37.3% during the third quarter of 2011 compared to 41.5% during the third quarter of 2010. The decrease in the effective tax rate was primarily due to certain non-recurring tax items, which had the effect of decreasing our effective tax rate in the third quarter of 2011 and increasing the effective tax rate in the third quarter of 2010. Net income. Our net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $12.9 million, an increase of $2.1 million, as compared to $10.7 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2010, due to the factors discussed above. Nine Months Ended September 30, 2011 Compared to Nine Months Ended September 30, 2010
Net revenue. Our net revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 was $313.7 million, an increase of $28.1 million, or 9.9%, as compared to net revenue of $285.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2010. This increase was primarily due to increased ground and online enrollment and, to a lesser extent, increases in the average tuition per student as a result of tuition price increases and an increase in the number of students taking four credit courses between years, partially offset by an increase in institutional scholarships and reduced revenue caused by our transition to BBAY from a term-based financial aid system. End-of-period enrollment increased 5.2% between September 30, 2011 and 2010, as we were able to continue our growth and increase our recruitment, marketing, and enrollment operations. We are anticipating increased pressure on new and continuing enrollments due primarily to the increasing challenges presented in the economy, the impact of new and proposed regulations, and increased competition.
Instructional cost and services expenses. Our instructional cost and services expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 were $144.1 million, an increase of $10.7 million, or 8.1%, as compared to instructional cost and services expenses of $133.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2010. This increase was primarily due to increases in instructional compensation and related expenses, faculty compensation, depreciation and amortization, and other miscellaneous instructional costs and services of $8.0 million, $4.2 million, $2.8 million, and $1.1 million, respectively, partially offset by a decrease in non-capitalizable system conversion costs of $4.0 million and a decrease of $1.4 in bad debt expense. Bad debt expense decreased to $27.9 million or 8.9% of net revenues in the nine months ended September 30, 2011 from $29.3 million or 10.3% of net revenues in the nine months ended September 30, 2010 as a result of improved collections of receivables due from current students between periods due to operational improvements made during 2011 and a reduction in receivables due from former students. The increase in instructional and faculty compensation are primarily attributable to an increase in headcount (both staff and faculty) needed to provide student instruction and support services to support the increase in enrollments. The increase in depreciation and amortization is the result of us placing into service $74.9 million of new buildings for our ground traditional campus in the last twelve months. Our instructional cost and services expenses as a percentage of net revenue decreased by 0.7% to 46.0% for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, as compared to 46.7% for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 primarily due to the decrease in bad debt expense as a percentage of revenue. In addition, we experienced an increase in faculty compensation as a percentage of revenue as we saw decreases in class size as the result of increasing the number of starts, increased instructional supplies due to increased licensing fees related to educational resources, and increased miscellaneous instructional costs associated with making continued improvements in curriculum development and developing new and enhanced innovative educational tools, offset by our ability to leverage the fixed cost structure of our campus-based facilities and ground faculty across an increasing revenue base and the non-capitalizable system costs incurred in the second quarter of 2010.
Selling and promotional expenses. Our selling and promotional expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 were $88.8 million, an increase of $4.8 million, or 5.8%, as compared to selling and promotional expenses of $84.0 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2010. This increase was primarily due to increases in selling and promotional employee compensation and related expenses, advertising and is partially offset by lower selling and promotional expenses of $4.2 million, $0.9 million and $0.3 million, respectively. These increases were driven by the continued expansion in our marketing efforts, which resulted in an increase in recruitment, marketing, and enrollment staffing especially for our ground traditional campus, partially offset by the termination of our revenue sharing arrangement with MindStreams, L.L.C. in December 2010. Our selling and promotional expenses as a percentage of net revenue decreased by 1.1% to 28.3% for the nine months ended September 30, 2010, from 29.4% for the nine months ended September 30, 2010. This decrease occurred primarily due to the termination of our revenue sharing arrangement with MindStreams, L.L.C. in December 2010.


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General and administrative expenses. Our general and administrative expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 were $21.0 million, an increase of $2.1 million, or 11.3%, as compared to general and administrative expenses of $18.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2010. This increase was primarily due to increases in employee compensation, share based compensation, and other general and administrative expenses of $1.3 million, $0.4 million, and $0.4 million, respectfully. These increases were primarily as a result of hiring to support our continued growth. Our general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net revenue increased by 0.1% to 6.7% for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, from 6.6% for the nine months ended September 30, 2010. Lease termination fee. In July 2011, the University notified a current landlord of its intent to vacate leased space by the fourth quarter of 2011. As a result, the University was required to pay a termination fee to terminate the lease resulting in $0.9 million of expense in the nine months ended September 30, 2011. The termination fee was paid on our behalf by our new landlord. This payment was recorded as an expense in the third quarter of 2011 with the offset being to a deferred liability. The deferred rent liability will be amortized into income over the new lease term.
Interest expense. Our interest expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 was $0.3 million, a decrease of $0.4 million from $0.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2010, as a higher amount of interest expense is capitalized in 2011 as compared to 2010 as a result of our continuing expansion of our ground infrastructure.
Income tax expense. Our income tax expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 was $23.4 million, an increase of $3.8 million from $19.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2010. This increase was primarily attributable to increased income before income taxes. Our effective tax rate was 39.9% during the first nine months of 2011 compared to 40.4% during the first nine months of 2010. The decrease in the effective tax rate was primarily due to certain non-recurring tax items, which had the effect of decreasing our effective tax rate in the nine months ended September 30, 2011 and increasing the effective tax rate in the nine months ended September 30, 2010.
Net income. Our net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 was $35.2 million, an increase of $6.2 million, as compared to $29.0 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2010, due to the factors discussed above. Seasonality
Our net revenue and operating results normally fluctuate as a result of seasonal variations in our business, principally due to changes in enrollment. Student population varies as a result of new enrollments, graduations, and student attrition. The majority of our traditional ground students do not attend courses during the summer months (May through August), which affects our results for our second and third fiscal quarters. Since a significant amount of our campus costs are fixed, the lower revenue resulting from the decreased ground student enrollment has historically contributed to lower operating margins during those periods. As we have increased the relative proportion of our online students, this summer effect has recently lessened. However, one of our current focuses is to accelerate the growth of our ground student enrollment. Thus, it is likely that this seasonal effect could be more pronounced in the future. Partially offsetting this summer effect in the third quarter has been the sequential quarterly increase in enrollments that has occurred as a result of the traditional fall school start. This increase in enrollments also has occurred in the first quarter, corresponding to calendar year matriculation. In addition, we typically experience higher net revenue in the fourth quarter due to its overlap with the semester encompassing the traditional fall school start and in the first quarter due to its overlap with the first semester of the calendar year. A portion of our expenses do not vary proportionately with these fluctuations in net revenue, resulting in higher operating income in the first and fourth quarters relative to other quarters. We expect quarterly fluctuation in operating results to continue as a result of these seasonal patterns. Liquidity and Capital Resources
Liquidity. We financed our operating activities and capital expenditures during the nine months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010 primarily through cash provided by operating activities. Our unrestricted cash and cash equivalents were $19.0 million and $33.6 million at September 30, 2011 and December 31, 2010, respectively. Our restricted cash and cash equivalents at September 30, . . .

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