Corinthian Colleges

(COCO)

said fourth-quarter earnings rose from a year ago and the company forecast 2004 first-quarter and full-year earnings that are within the range of Wall Street's consensus estimate.

The education company earned $18 million, or 39 cents a share, in the quarter ended June 30, compared to $12 million, or 27 cents a share, in the prior year. Analysts were expecting 37 cents a share.

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Revenue was $138.9 million, up from $94.6 million last year. The company's total student population rose 26% to 43,229 in 2003.

Corinthian projected first-quarter earnings of 36 cents to 37 cents a share, and a full-year profit of $1.77 to $1.80 a share. Analysts expect 37 cents a share in the quarter and $1.79 for the year, on average.

In 2004, the Santa Ana, Calif., company expects revenue to climb 44% to 46%, with sales being strongest in the second half of the year.

Recently, shares of Corinthian were down $1.74, or 3%, to $54.27.