Several for-profit education stocks are retreating after Citigroup analyst James Samford issued a note on for-profit education company ITT Educational Services (ESI). In a note to investors earlier today, Samford wrote that the rally by the company's stock yesterday was "unwarranted." ITT reported a fourth quarter loss due to write-downs and charges, and the company has still not reserved enough capital to cover the costs of the private student loans it has guaranteed, Samford wrote. ITT confirmed this assessment, the analyst reported. Moreover, the company rolled out new scholarships which are expected to trigger an improvement in its enrollment outlook, but will cause revenue per student and margins to drop significantly, added Samford. Citi reiterated its Sell rating on ITT shares. Conversely, William Blair analyst Brandon Dobell wrote that ITT's losses on student loans it has guaranteed appear to be more limited than some investors had assumed. The company has become more transparent about its loan default outlook, making the stock "more investable," according to Dobell, who maintained an Outperform rating on the shares. In mid-morning trading, ITT Educational tumbled 7.35% to $15.62, Strayer (STRA) sank 3.15% to $54.19, Apollo Group (APOL) dropped 1.75% to $20.20 and Bridgepoint Education (BPI) gave back $1.52% to $10.40.
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