Bridgepoint Education, the San Diego parent company of two for-profit colleges, Ashford University and the University of the Rockies, reported 2013 first quarter net loss of $4.4 million, compared with net income of $26.9 million for the like quarter of 2013, in preliminary results that didn’t include all financial data because of ongoing negotiations with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bridgepoint said the company is working to respond to an SEC comment on its revenue recognition policies and accounting for doubtful accounts. The SEC notified Bridgepoint May 2 that it should be reassessing its revenue stream whenever its students lose financial aid. Based on an internal analysis, applying this policy would result in an estimated decrease in revenue of $700,000, and in $200,000 of bad debt expense for the first quarter.
The company is evaluating whether a lack of student-by-student assessment applied to earlier reporting periods would have a material effect on past financial statements dating to 2011. If Bridgepoint does conclude the results are material it would have to restate them. But even if those past results weren’t impacted by the policy, the company said it may have to revise its first quarter results.
In the report, Bridgepoint reported first quarter revenue of $160.5 million, compared with $222 million in the first quarter of 2013.
Total student enrollment at Bridgepoint’s two colleges at the end of March was 64,495, compared with 78,782 for the like quarter of last year.
Shares of Bridgepoint, traded under BPI on the New York Stock Exchange were at $14.62 at midday May 12, down $1.30 from the prior day’s trading price. Its 52-week range was $10.39 to $20.33.