Apollo Group

Thursday reported higher second-quarter earnings for its two education companies

Apollo Education Group

(APOL)

and

University of Phoenix Online

( UOPX), beating analysts estimates and issuing strong guidance, but that didn't stop shares from taking a hit as part of yet another sectorwide selloff.

The operator of postsecondary schools reports earnings separately for each of the two publicly traded companies.

On that basis, Apollo Education has net income of $101.1 million, or 56 cents a share, vs. $69.8 million, or 39 cents a share, a year ago. The consensus forecast was 51 cents, according to Thomson First Call.

Phoenix Online had net income of $8.2 million, or 48 cents a share, vs. $4.4 million, or 27 cents a share, in the year-ago period and a consensus expectation of 41 cents.

On a consolidated basis, Apollo Group had net income of $10.9.3 million on revenue of $497 million compared with $74.3 million and $364.2 million a year ago.

In premarket trading, Apollo shares fell $7.12, or 7.9%, to $83.50 while Phoenix shares lost $5.53, or 6.3%, to $83.

The highflying and controversial education sector was under pressure again Thursday. The trigger was a

Financial Times

report that the Department of Education had discovered federal loan violations at

Corinthian Colleges

(COCO)

, whose shares fell $4.21, or 16.8%, to $20.85.

Career Education

(CECO) - Get Report

, which plunged Wednesday after disclosing it had received a formal order of investigation from the

Securities and Exchange Commission

, dropped $1.92, or 4.3%, to $42.19.

ITT Educational Services

(ESI) - Get Report

shed $2.02, or 5.6%, to $34.

The industry has been repeatedly hit by questions about its operations and possible violations.

As of the quarter ended May 31, enrollment was 239,300 vs. 187,500 in the year-ago period. The company had 211 campuses and learning centers.

Apollo Group also issued earnings guidance for the two education units.Apollo is expected to have EPS of 48 cents in the fourth quarter and $1.83 for the full year, with revenue of $483 million to $486 million in the quarter and $1.78 billion to $1.79 billion for the year.

Analysts are expecting EPS of 48 cents and $1.78, respectively.

Phoenix Online is expected to have fourth-quarter EPS of 42 cents and revenue of $237 million to $238 million. The full-year forecasts are for EPS of $1.55 and revenue of $832 million to $833 million. The consensus forecasts are full EPS of 42 cents and $1.48.