Apollo Group


posted a jump in second-quarter earnings Tuesday, sending shares higher.

The adult-education company said consolidated net income rose 62.6% to $45.7 million from $28.1 million in the same period last year. Consolidated revenue was $295.2 million, up 32.6% from $222.6 million in the second quarter of last year.

Apollo's shares were up 2.4% at $49.40 in afternoon trading after being down earlier in the day. Senior research analyst Gary Bisbee of Lehman Brothers attributed the muted early reaction to broader market uncertainty, not the company's results. "This was still a strong quarter for the company," he said.

Net income attributed to the company's main unit, Apollo Education Group, was $42.6 million, or 24 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $26.6 million, or 15 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Analysts were expecting the unit to earn 18 cents a share.

The company's

University of Phoenix Online


unit also beat analysts' expectations. Net income attributed to University of Phoenix Online was $3.1 million, or 19 cents a share, up from $1.5 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts had expected the company to earn 18 cents a share.

The unit's shares were up 0.7% at $42.25. Jeffery Silber of Gerard Klauer Mattison said the subdued trading activity may be due to investors' surprise that the unit didn't beat expectations by more than a penny, as it usually does.

Apollo Group President Todd S. Nelson said, "During the second quarter, the University of Phoenix opened new campuses, in Wichita, Kansas, and Cincinnati, Ohio. We also received state licensure in North Carolina. We plan to open our first campus in Charlotte."

Looking ahead, Apollo Education Group expects to earn 35 cents a share for the third quarter, and $1.21 a share for full-year 2003. Analysts expect earnings of 34 cents a share and $1.17 a share, respectively. University of Phoenix Online expects to earn 25 cents a share in the third quarter, with analysts expecting 24 cents a share. For 2003, the unit expects earnings of 87 cents a share, while analysts expect 85 cents a share.