Universal Technical Institute's 4Q profit rises

AP News
Posted: Dec 01, 2009 4:14 PM

Universal Technical Institute Inc., a trade school for automotive, motorcycle and boat repair, said Tuesday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit soared as a record number of students enrolled amid the economic slump.

Net income of $76 million, or 32 cents per share, climbed from $551,000, or 2 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30 jumped 18 percent to $99.5 million.

The results topped estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who expected Universal Technical Institute to earn 19 cents per share on revenue of $95.4 million.

The Phoenix-based company said student enrollment was a record 18,800 in the fourth quarter, helping it return to double-digit operating margins.

For the full year, Universal Technical Institute earned $11.7 million, or 48 cents per share, up 43 percent from $8.2 million, or 32 cents per share. Revenue rose to $366.6 million from $343.5 million.

Analysts expected the company to earn 35 cents per share on revenue of $362.5 million, on average.

The company did not provide an outlook for fiscal 2010. But it said it expects student contracts, student starts and average undergraduate full-time enrollment for the year to increase on a percentage basis in the low- to mid-teens. It cautioned that due to the seasonality of its business and fluctuations in student populations, quarterly results could be volatile.

Shares fell 54 cents, or 2.9 percent, to close at $18.35.