I know one industry that seems to be flourishing in the current economy and that’s the education business. One company in particular stands out as a real winner in this industry, and has proven itself to be a successful enterprise and a successful stock market investment — even in this lackluster market.
DeVry, Inc. (NYSE/DV), not surprisingly, is the parent company of DeVry University and other schools like Advanced Academics, Ross University, Chamberlain College of Nursing and Becker Professional Review.
Most people know DeVry and its related schools. It seems that, even with a slowing economy, people like to invest in their education. The numbers seem to confirm this notion.
According to the company, in its latest quarter, the fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30, 2008, its revenues grew a solid 19% to close to two hundred seventy-seven million dollars, up from revenues of almost two hundred and thirty-three million dollars in the same quarter last year.
Bottom-line net income grew an impressive 54% to twenty-four and a half million dollars, up from net income of sixteen million dollars in the same period last year.
For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, DeVry’s revenues grew 17% to $1.09 billion, up from revenues of nine hundred and thirty-three and a half million dollars in the previous fiscal year.
Net income for the fiscal year grew an impressive 65% to one hundred twenty-five and a half million dollars, up from net income of just over seventy-six million dollars generated in fiscal 2007.
DeVry reported that its total student enrollments grew just under 13% to 45,907 at DeVry University in fiscal 2008. Going forward, the company expects to generate double-digit revenue growth and targets 20% in earnings growth over the coming years.
This stock is fully priced on the stock market, but it’s been a fairly consistent wealth creator over the last number of years. I think the for-profit education business is only going to keep growing, even if the economy goes into recession. When times are slow, a lot of people like to go back to school and upgrade their skills. It doesn’t matter if the school is for-profit or not, a little more education never hurt anyone.