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Higher education provider

Laureate Education

(LAUR) - Get Laureate Education, Inc. Report

said its third-quarter earnings rose 36% from the year-ago period, helped by increase in new student enrollment.

The Baltimore-based company earned $11.99 million, or 23 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $8.84 million, or 17 cents a share, a year ago. Third-quarter income from continuing operations rose 9% from a year ago to $9.88 million, or 19 cents a share. Excluding the impact of stock option expense of 3 cents a share, income from continuing operations would have been 22 cents a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 18 cents a share.

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Third-quarter revenue rose 35% from a year ago to $260.9 million as against analysts' expectation of $256.69 million.

The company expects to earn $1.09 to $1.14 a share in the fourth quarter, excluding stock option expenses of 3 cents to 4 cents a share, on revenue of $315 million to $340 million. Analysts expect earnings of $1.11 a share, on revenue of $335.59 million.

For the full year, earnings are expected to be $2.11 a share to $2.16 a share, excluding stock option expenses of 10 cents a share to 12 cents a share. Analysts expect earnings of $2.02 a share for the full year.

For the full year 2007, the company expects to earn $2.59 a share to $2.67 a share, excluding stock option expenses of 12 cents a share to 14 cents a share, as against analysts' expectation of $2.49 a share .

The company's total student enrollment at campus-based institutions increased 28% to 209,480 students and total student enrollment at Laureate online education increased 20% to 31,136 students. New student enrollment at Laureate online education was up 10%.

"The third quarter marks the end of the primary enrollment season for Laureate's Northern Hemisphere institutions and is our largest intake season of the year," the company said. "Our strong enrollment growth in this period, coupled with substantial margin improvement in our Laureate Online division, positions us well to achieve our goals for 2006."

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