DOWNERS GROVE -- DeVry Inc., a for-profit college operator, surged to its highest level since May in New York trading after reporting profit and sales that topped analysts’ estimates and JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded the shares.
DeVry climbed 20 percent to $31.39 at 10:07 a.m. It rose as much as 23 percent to $32.20, the biggest gain since October. The shares had fallen 32 percent in the past year before today.
New enrollment gains at DeVry’s Chamberlain and Carrington colleges offset a decline in new students at DeVry University The company has been moving into international markets in Brazil and the Caribbean to provide additional sources of revenue as Congress and state authorities investigate marketing practices at for-profit education companies in the U.S.
“We were impressed by stellar results” in the company’s units outside of DeVry University, and “recognize that DeVry’s diversification strategy is working,” Jeffrey Volshteyn, an analyst at JPMorgan in New York, said today in a note. He raised his rating on the shares to neutral from underweight and boosted his 12-month price target to $28 from $22.
Profit excluding some items was 87 cents a share, DeVry said yesterday in a statement. That beat the 59-cent average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue fell 3.6 percent to $505.2 million, exceeding analysts’ projections of $496.4 million.