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Ambassadors Group, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2013 Results

SPOKANE, Wash., May 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ambassadors Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:EPAX), a leading provider of educational travel experiences and online education research materials, today announced its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013.

  • Gross revenue, from all sources including non-directly delivered programs, of $2.9 million during the seasonally slower first quarter compared to $2.7 million in the prior year period. Traveled 572 delegates compared to 747 delegates in the first quarter of 2012.  
  • Net loss of $8.1 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, compared to $7.9 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2012. Net loss before special items of $6.7 million compared to $7.4 million in the 2012 period.  
  • Gross margin of $1.4 million, in line with prior year period.  
  • Operating expenses down $0.2 million year-over-year, excluding special items.  
  • Cash and cash equivalents and available-for-sale securities balance of $55.9 million compared to $83.7 million at the same point in 2012; no debt outstanding.  
  • Enrolled revenue for 2013 programs down 19.4 percent year-over-year for all programs and 21.5 percent year-over-year for the core Student Ambassadors Programs, consistent with statistics noted last quarter.  
  • Retention rates for enrolled students continuing to trend better than 2012.    
  • Launched first ever spring sales campaign for 2014; early results from multichannel approach positive.
Financial Highlights (in thousands except percent and per share data)
  Quarter ended March 31,
  2013 2012
Gross revenue, all travel programs  $ 1,894  $ 1,489
Internet content and advertising revenue  $ 999  $ 1,198
Gross revenue, all sources  $ 2,893  $ 2,687
Gross margin, all travel programs  $ 522  $ 381
Gross margin, internet content and advertising  $ 870  $ 1,028
Gross margin, all sources  $ 1,392  $ 1,409
Gross margin percentage 48.1% 52.4%
Operating expense  $ 14,185  $ 12,894
Operating expense, before special items  $ 11,994  $ 12,161
Operating income, internet content and advertising  $ 332  $ 477
Net loss before special items  $ (6,663) $ (7,391)
Net loss  $ (8,059)  $ (7,906)
Loss per diluted share  $ (0.47)  $ (0.45)

Commenting on the Company's results, Anthony Dombrowik, Ambassadors Group Interim Chief Executive Officer said, "Our efforts during the seasonally slower first quarter were focused on solidifying our 2013 delegate counts through securing late enrollments and strengthening retention as we prepare for our peak summer travel season. Our increased social media presence, digital engagement and high touch customer service have all contributed to our improvement in retention rates relative to prior year levels. Our selling efforts will run right up to June in an effort to capture incremental enrollments from last minute demand.  Through increased customized family engagement, we are working hard to preserve our delegate base." 

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