Career Education Corp. (NASDAQ:CECO)

CAPS Rating: 2 out of 5

A dynamic educational services company committed to quality, career-focused learning and led by passionate professionals who inspire individual worth and lifelong achievement.


Player Avatar Loerke (92.04) Submitted: 11/16/2010 10:36:39 AM : Underperform Start Price: $20.79 CECO Score: +133.83

With only a few exceptions, the for-profit education sector is doomed, especially those which are heavily dependent on online revenue. Ultimately their doom won't be attributable to government intervention; that might just speed up the inevitable. The problem is competition from traditional universities, which are increasingly running for-profit ventures, as I've seen firsthand in the education industry. Competition from real universities is something most investors don't understand: most of these traditional schools are now offering online and continuing education courses, often in remote parts of the globe, that use precisely the same business models that outfits like Phoenix are using. Universities finance their traditional programs out of these for-profit enterprises. These schools have a huge leg up on the for-profit colleges: (a) zero taxes on endowment gains; (b) a reputable name/accreditation; (c) government support in the form of subsidies, grants, etc. Meanwhile, the for-profit schools only have tons of research showing that for-profit schools are the equivalent of quicksand for students. The only thing that the for-profit schools have going for them is the insistence that the free market can do everything more efficiently -- to which one can only reply: the traditional colleges have already figured that one out for themselves, and are heavily invested in for-profit strategies already.

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