SPOKANE, Wash., July 21, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ambassadors Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:EPAX), a leading provider of educational travel experiences and online education research materials, announced $0.78 fully diluted per share earnings for the quarter ended June 30, 2010, a 21 percent decline from $0.99 fully diluted per share earnings for the second quarter of 2009. Net income for the quarters ended June 30, 2010 and 2009 was $15.2 million and $19.2 million, respectively. Fully diluted per share earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2010 was $0.40, a 44 percent decline from $0.72 for the same period in 2009. Net income for the six months ended June 30, 2010 and 2009 was $7.7 million and $13.9 million, respectively.
"The second quarter is a very important financial and operational quarter for our company," stated Jeff Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Ambassadors Group, Inc. "Typically, the second quarter is our largest revenue and earnings quarter of the year, and for this quarter we realized $34.5 million in net revenue while maintaining our gross margin at 42 percent.
Operationally, travel commenced for our largest program, the Student Ambassador Program. In the quarter just ended, we traveled 13,396 delegates to 40 countries. As previously discussed, we continually solicit feedback from our customers, and our earliest survey results indicate that our programs continue to be rated favorably in terms of quality and meeting customer expectations.We have continued to maintain a strong balance sheet. We concluded the quarter with $107.8 million in cash and short term investments, of which $52.5 million is defined as deployable cash, representing a 21 percent increase from our deployable cash measurement at June 30, 2009. We continue to distribute capital back to our shareowners in the form of dividends totaling $2.3 million year to date and common stock share repurchases of $1.8 million in the second quarter.