Learning Tree posts 4th-qtr loss as sales fall

AP News
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 6:54 PM

Learning Tree International Inc., which sells professional development courses for IT workers, said Thursday it fell to a loss in the fourth quarter as sales dropped and it recorded a big settlement charge.

The company, based in Reston, Va., lost $1.4 million, or 10 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Oct. 2. That compares with a profit of $2.8 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.

Learning Tree said those results included a $4.2 million expense to cover the settlement of a claim made by the U.S. government about the company's voucher and passport programs, and a $700,000 benefit related to dividends from foreign subsidiaries. Excluding those items, the company said it would have earned $2 million in profit.

Revenue fell 28 percent in the quarter to $31.8 million from $44.2 million.

CEO Nicholas R. Schacht said the company had faced the worst economic conditions in its 35-year history during 2009.

For the full year, Learning Tree's profit fell 91 percent to $1.2 million, or 8 cents per share, from $13.8 million, or 83 cents per share, the year before. Yearly revenue tumbled 27 percent to $132.6 million from $181.3 million.