In other words,
enrollment growth has been slowing across the for-profit education sector
, and regulatory uncertainty persists, so "it's tough to get excited about the outlook." Wetenhall told
the sector is in need of "something dramatically material to provide torque to the stocks," adding that "with the absence of a hard catalyst, we tend to focus on what can go wrong rather than right."
For-profit school stocks faced harsh criticism in 2010 about colleges' staggeringly low graduation rates and high student loan default rates
. Future enrollment figures were called into question,
schools were accused of failing to adequately prepare students for profitable careers yet leave them saddled with heavy debt
and federally proposed restrictions on the industry's business operations cast a shadow no bull market could fully offset.
A few sector players -- such as
(BPI - Get Report)
American Public Education
(APEI - Get Report)
-- did manage to offer investors positive returns in 2010, even if some failed to beat the S&P 500.
With all this in mind, we'd like to know which for-profit postsecondary education provider you think will outperform in 2011. Click through our roundup of
2010's winners and losers of the for-profit education sector
. Then take our poll and see what readers of
-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.
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