Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (LOPE) Q4 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

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Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOPE) Q4 2022 Earnings Conference Call February 16, 2023 4:30 PM ET

Company Participants

Dan Bachus – Chief Financial Officer

Brian Mueller – Chief Executive Officer

Conference Call Participants

Jeff Meuler – Baird


Hello, and convey you for opinionated by. Welcome to Grand Canyon Education Inc. Fourth Quarter 2022 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, each participants are successful a listen-only mode. After nan speakers’ presentation, location will beryllium a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] Please beryllium advised that today’s convention is being recorded.

I would now for illustration to manus nan convention complete to CFO, Dan Bachus. Sir, you whitethorn begin.

Dan Bachus

Joining maine connected today’s telephone is our Chairman and CEO, Brian Mueller. Please statement that galore of our comments coming will incorporate forward-looking statements that impact risks and uncertainties. Various factors could origin our existent results to beryllium materially different from immoderate early results expressed aliases implied by specified statements.

These factors are discussed successful our SEC filings, including our Annual Report connected Form 10-K, quarterly reports connected Form 10-Q and existent reports connected Form 8-K. We undertake nary responsibility to supply updates pinch respect to forward-looking statements made during this telephone and we urge that each investors reappraisal these reports thoroughly earlier taking a financial position successful GCE.

And pinch that, I’ll move nan telephone complete to Brian.

Brian Mueller

Good afternoon, and convey you for joining Grand Canyon Education’s 4th fourth fiscal twelvemonth 2022 convention call. GCE had a very bully quarter, exceeding enrollment expectations, exceeding gross guidance astatine mid-point by $2.7 cardinal and producing an $0.11 hit successful adjusted diluted net per stock to consensus. Given really astir of higher acquisition is coming retired of nan COVID years, these are fantabulous results.

Most importantly, GCU online caller enrollment maturation for the 2nd consecutive 4th successful nan mid-teens, complete 4th fourth anterior year, and that momentum is expected to proceed into nan first 4th of 2023.

I want to statesman by – again by taking a measurement backmost and explaining why this is happening and concisely reappraisal what has happened since nan GCE-GCU transaction took spot 4.5 years ago. I person said often that successful nan past, mini and elite has won a time successful higher education, particularly successful areas for illustration U.S. News and World Report rankings.

In nan future, it will beryllium institutions who are large, scalable and elastic successful really they connection higher education. We expect to effect young group and adults crossed nan lifespan, utilizing exertion to build platforms that return into relationship nan life business of nan student and nan quality of nan contented and skills that request to beryllium learned.

GCE has invested astir $300 million, producing its ain learning guidance and administrative strategy that allows it and its partners to negociate complete 7,000 full-time and adjunct faculty, 113,000 students and complete 315 world programs, emphases and certificates crossed 4 transportation platforms.

This strategy has automated processes, including admissions, transcript postulation and information scheduled building, financial assistance processing, module recruitment, module duty and payroll, contented acquisition, assessing learning outcomes, student coach placement, counseling and societal activity internships and nan database goes on.

The administrative capacity of nan strategy allows module and students to attraction connected nan learning, which is still successful a mini group instructor-led process that is highly interpersonal, collaborative, focused connected writing, captious reasoning and problem-solving and produces outstanding outcomes.

GCE presently employs astir 4,000 full-time professionals and astir 1,500 student workers arsenic it continues to build retired its capabilities to turn faculty, students, programs and transportation platforms for its assemblage partners.

Leveraging this infrastructure has allowed GCE’s partners to grow programs that are captious to nan economy, support tuition levels successful a play of accelerated tuition increases crossed nan state and make entree to higher acquisition affordable to each socioeconomic classes of Americans without immoderate load connected nan taxpayer.

In nan 4.5 years since GCE has go a work supplier has helped its partners execute nan following: successful that time, GCE has helped Grand Canyon University postgraduate 125,654 students, 34,709 successful education, including 16,287 first-time teachers astatine a clip erstwhile coach shortages person created a nationalist crisis. 36,292 successful nursing and healthcare professions including 1,767 pre-licensure nurses astatine a clip erstwhile location is simply a immense shortage of nurses.

28,836 successful nan College of Humanities and Social Sciences, including thousands successful counseling and societal work, wherever location are besides immense shortages. The College of Business has go 1 of nan largest business schools successful America and has produced 21,370 graduates. The College of Science, Engineering and Technology has grown by 200% and provided 4,401 graduates.

The Doctoral College, Honors College and College of Theology besides continued to grow. The numbers that I person conscionable cited person each happened successful nan past 4.5 years since GCU has go a non-profit institution, and GCE has go an acquisition work provider. Our business pinch GCU has fixed america nan expertise to put $544 cardinal further dollars successful world and residential life infrastructure for its crushed accepted campus, bringing nan full finance to almost $2 billion.

Currently, nan field is classed 17th successful nan state by Very importantly, GCE has assisted GCU successful opening 144 caller world programs, emphases and certificates during nan past 4.5 years. 13.7% of nan caller students enrolled successful nan 4th fourth enrolled successful those caller programs.

During this time, GCU has not raised tuition connected its crushed accepted field pinch only nominal increases successful definite programs online. As a result, GCU students return retired little indebtedness than nan mean State University student. GCU students return retired only 50% successful genitor indebtedness amounts compared to students astatine our 3 authorities universities.

GCU students person a 1.5% cohort default complaint connected student loans compared to nan astir precocious released nationalist mean of 2.3% and has a 90/10 calculation of 66.2% per GCU’s audited financials.

In addition, GCU has accumulated complete $400 cardinal successful rate and finance reserves while going done pinch yearly net increases each twelvemonth for each module and staff. Compared to nan declining enrollments and antagonistic financial trends successful higher ed crossed nan state that accelerated during COVID, this exemplary has produced important results for GCU, nan State of Arizona and nan country.

I’m besides pleased to denote that Grand Canyon University was classed arsenic nan number 3 champion employer successful Arizona successful nan 2022 Forbes America’s Best Employers By State Report. During this clip period, GCE has established 26 further assemblage partnerships.

These partnerships, on pinch our business pinch GCU person created 35 locations to nutrient healthcare professionals, particularly baccalaureate prepared nurses. This is highly important activity since nan state is expected to request 1.3 cardinal further nurses successful nan adjacent 5 years alone.

The number of existing and caller partners will yet lead to 80 locations crossed nan country. Since January 2019, 9,182 students person graduated from our assemblage partners ABSN aliases OTA programs. I want to see this little summary because location is presently a batch of chat astir nan early of higher education.

Regardless of governmental aliases ideological positions, nan chat should attraction connected wherever nan system is going and wherever nan caller jobs and careers are going to be. Models that tin standard and connection opportunities for entree to each socioeconomic classes of Americans astatine nary disbursal to nan taxpayers should beryllium supported.

Critics constituent to nan gross stock exemplary is bad for universities. The past 2 years person proven them wrong, and we expect that successful nan adjacent year, this will go moreover much apparent. In inflationary periods for illustration nan 1 we are presently experiencing aliases erstwhile request declines arsenic it has GCE arsenic a work supplier absorbs nan mostly of nan financial consequence and our expertise, exertion and processes person allowed our assemblage partners to proceed to use during these challenging times.

Now, I want to reappraisal nan 4 pillars aliases transportation platforms of Grand Canyon Education. First, GCU’s accepted field saw an summation of 8.9% successful caller students successful nan autumn of 2022 complete anterior year, an summation of 8% successful full crushed accepted enrollment and an summation of 10.5% successful residential enrollment astir 69.9% of crushed accepted students unrecorded connected campus.

The mean incoming GPAs of nan 2022, 2023 people roseate to 3.6%, and nan prestigious Honors College has grown 8.3% year-over-year pinch mean incoming GPAs of 4.1. Retention of returning students this autumn was amended than expected pinch nan larger percent of those students choosing to stay connected campus, resulting successful nan assemblage having to move distant astatine slightest 200 caller students owed to deficiency of beds.

This successful spite of nan truth that nan assemblage built 2 caller residence halls and repurposed a residence hallway that was utilized to location prospective students, truthful successful essence, added 3 residence halls. These are singular results fixed nan truth that undergraduate enrollment declined by 4.2% nationally betwixt nan autumn of 2020 and autumn of 2022 wherever during this aforesaid period, GCU’s crushed accepted enrollment accrued by 18.3%.

In nan outpouring semester that precocious started successful January, GCU started 670 caller students, bringing a full crushed enrollment to astir 22,500, supra what was budgeted. We expect autumn caller enrollments to beryllium betwixt 10,000 and 11,000. The value and relevancy of GCU’s world programs, nan low-class sizes successful support of its module that has little than a 5% turnover rate, nan value of counseling services via 20 advisory boards pinch complete 500 companies represented who are creating internships and employment opportunities for GCU students successful a very affordable tuition, which hasn’t been raised successful 15 years are each important contributing factors.

I besides want to mention, dissimilar nan nationalist trend, complete 2,600 of nan 9,300 autumn 2022 caller students this twelvemonth were first-gen assemblage students. The mean incoming GPAs of these first-gen students is 3.55 are almost identical to nan incoming people overall.

These students are mostly from nan little socioeconomic strata, but their enrollment astatine nan University because of nan very affordable tuition complaint is going straight against nan nationalist inclination and is simply a very affirmative portion of nan GCU/GCE story.

As I said before, successful nan autumn of 2023, we are anticipating betwixt 10,000 and 11,000 caller students. We are nether building connected 2 caller residence halls that will summation nan number of beds connected field by 1,500. The number of caller students will yet dangle connected nan retention of continuing students and their desire to stay connected field and a very competitory situation fixed nan trends we person discussed previously, little precocious schoolhouse graduates, little graduates going straight to college.

Pillar two, moving big students attending GCU online. As pinch accepted students attending universities crossed nan country, 2021 saw a downturn successful moving big students attending online. Unlike pinch nan accepted students attending GCU’s campus, we knowledgeable a downturn successful online arsenic well.

GCE has worked pinch GCU connected 2 main strategies to travel backmost to downturn, and we are now seeing affirmative maturation again. Number one, we person invested successful B2B strategies that are good timed for this post-COVID period. The proviso and demand, astatine slightest successful nan short tally for knowledgeable labour has flipped. Since nan state has reopened, we are moving pinch complete 25,700 manufacture partners successful K-12 education, wellness care, financial services, societal work agencies, exertion and engineering companies, subject bases, et cetera, processing civilization strategical initiatives that are helping organizations turn their talent from inside. The number of caller students that started done these strategies grew 27% complete nan anterior twelvemonth successful nan 4th quarter.

Number two, GCE continues to activity pinch GCU to rotation retired caller and applicable programs. Since nan modulation 4.5 years ago, GCU has rolled retired 144 caller programs, emphases and certificates. 13.7% of caller students enrolled successful these programs successful this latest quarter. This has resulted successful 4th fourth caller online enrollments increasing successful nan mid-teens complete nan anterior year, and we are presently projecting caller enrollment maturation successful nan first 4th of 2023 to beryllium similar, precocious azygous digit to debased teens.

Based connected these trends, we will return to full online maturation this quarter, which is quicker than we thought. It is important to statement that this return to affirmative maturation has been accomplished pinch nary nonaccomplishment of spot successful nan value of GCU’s online student assemblage and arsenic a result, nary degradation of nan value metrics, including bully graduation rates, debased cohort default rates and continued debased student indebtedness levels.

We expect caller enrollment maturation to again beryllium successful nan precocious azygous digits, debased teens successful nan 2nd quarter, and past we’ll statesman to return to our semipermanent nonsubjective of mid-single-digit maturation successful nan backmost half of nan twelvemonth arsenic nan comps get overmuch tougher. This should let america to turn full enrollment connected a year-over-year ground successful nan debased to mid-single digits by nan extremity of nan year.

Next, I would for illustration to talk GCE’s 3rd pillar arsenic wellness attraction partnerships. Short term, COVID had a antagonistic impact. Hospitals were highly engaged and preoccupied pinch COVID patients and galore objective placement opportunities were canceled. Despite these very important challenges, galore instructional assignments requiring one-on-one objective relationship successful nan infirmary were replaced by simulations. Some of our assemblage partners requested that we reduced nan cohort sizes owed to concerns astir nan deficiency of objective capacity and immoderate of nan caller sites that we dream to open, particularly successful ample markets person been pushed backmost to nan autumn of 2023 aliases 2024.

Although affirmative signs are emerging connected this front, nan tight labour marketplace has had a important effect connected nan type of student willing successful recurring into nursing. When we acquired Orbis Education successful 2019, their partnerships were predominantly focused connected post-baccalaureate students, those that had already completed a bachelor’s program. And having a completed bachelor’s grade was a request to commencement successful nan ABSN program. Students that did not person a bachelor’s grade returned away.

Today, nan mostly of nan students willing successful recurring into nursing person not completed a bachelor’s degree. Thus, we person been moving pinch our partners and their authorities nursing boards to set these programs to let students pinch 60-plus assemblage predestinated admittance into nan ABSN program.

In addition, arsenic I will talk successful much item below, successful business pinch GCU, we person created a overmuch little costly and much businesslike measurement for these students aliases students that do person a bachelor’s degree, but don’t person nan subject prerequisites to complete nan coursework basal to commencement successful nan ABSN program. These challenges person successful nan short tally caused immoderate of our mature locations that were astatine capacity to shrink successful immoderate of our newer locations to not turn arsenic accelerated arsenic we would person expected. While different mature locations stay astatine aliases adjacent capacity and immoderate newer locations are gathering our caller enrollment expectations.

We are hopeful that these strategies will reaccelerate maturation opening successful nan autumn of 2023. As we activity done this, we will beryllium overmuch much selective successful nan caller locations that we open. We scheme to unfastened a caller tract pinch a caller partner successful Southern California and 2 caller sites pinch GCU successful nan Phoenix area successful nan autumn of 2023. We besides scheme to unfastened a mates of smaller sites pinch caller partners that we’re committed to previously.

I americium very pleased to denote that GCU locations grew 19% year-over-year from 269 students to 320, and that their first 71 graduates walk nan NCLEX introspection pinch a 100% first clip walk rate. This is highly important because GCU would yet for illustration six – 40 of our 80 sites to beryllium GCU locations. This narration is bully financially for GCU, but it is besides bully for GCE fixed GCU’s nationalist footprint and marque recognition, nan excellence of its nursing programme and its proven expertise to scale.

As pinch GCU’s accepted campus, nan semipermanent situation is very affirmative for these GCE wellness attraction partnerships for nan pursuing reasons: number one, nan state needs 1.3 cardinal further nurses successful nan adjacent 5 years alone. Nursing programs are very costly to run and fixed nan financial pressures facing galore universities, they will beryllium incapable to put nan dollars it will return to standard nan programs.

Number two, GCE has nan superior to put successful nan continued build-out to yet 80 locations. Number three, successful summation to nan runway of 80 locations, up from 35 locations currently, our enrollment fund for this coming twelvemonth is only 50% of nan existent spots that beryllium today. The 50% shortfall is partially owed to nan deficiency of businesslike and highly supportive prerequisite people environments. Regulatory issues creating slowdowns successful opening of planned locations and deficiency of objective placements owed to COVID issues.

However, location are now complete 800 students successful GCU’s accelerated online subject courses, preparing to gain spots successful 1 of our 35 locations. We expect that number to turn and beryllium a starring parameter of our expertise to reestablish maturation connected nan hybrid campuses. GCE is moving difficult successful investing successful caller enrollment, simulation, virtual reality and prerequisite strategies to, successful nan future, capable each nan spots that are available.

This is simply a transitional twelvemonth for nan wellness attraction partnerships. However, there’s a 10-year runway that is very promising. It creates a winning script for students that want into a promising career, wellness attraction providers desperately needing master nurses and universities who want a low-risk measurement to thief lick nan nursing shortage, while astatine nan aforesaid time, creating further gross streams.

Last, arsenic we discussed connected past quarter’s call, we proceed to activity connected a caller pillar. We are highly excited because this is desperately needed successful higher ed to date. In collaboration pinch our largest partner, GCU, we are processing accelerated certificate programs. Two of nan certificate programs are for students who want an businesslike measurement to get into nursing school. We judge there’s a large opportunity here. Getting prepared academically to use a nursing schoolhouse tin beryllium a daunting and confusing process.

The first, a pre-nursing certificate programme allows caller precocious schoolhouse graduates to enactment location and return nan first 60 credits of their bachelor’s grade wholly online. GCU has worked pinch GCE to creation state-of-the-art subject courses that hole students to use for a spot and yet 1 of our GCE’s 80 locations. These courses are taught chiefly by full-time module pinch a tremendous magnitude of world support for nan students.

The 2nd certificate programme is designed for students who person completed a assemblage grade successful different world area aliases person a partially completed degree. The students return chiefly nan subject courses basal to nutrient to use to 1 of our partners successful 1 of our 80 locations. The first certificate has a synchronous component, while nan 2nd certificate is being taught wholly asynchronously. Given that yet GCE will person astir 24,000 ABSN slots to our partners crossed 80 locations, we will request much than 24,000 students successful certificate programs preparing for those opportunities. As I said earlier, complete 800 students are taking these pre-nursing courses currently.

The 3rd certificate programme began successful September and comes retired of GCU’s recently formed Institute of Workforce Development. This certificate is preparing students for a master electrician apprenticeship program. This is simply a 16 credit, 1 semester programme heavy focused connected nan mathematical concepts basal to hole for a profession arsenic an electrician. This programme has been designed pinch a awesome manufacture partner who will connection apprenticeships to nan students successfully completing nan program.

This partner needs 1,000 electricians for their business successful Arizona alone. This partner besides indicates that nan state is short of minimum 100,000 electricians basal to complete nan building projects presently underway. This fall, 300 students applied for this program, and we accepted 40 into nan program. 39 of nan 40 graduated successful our apprenticeships making betwixt $50,000 and $65,000 currently. An further 200 submitted applications for nan outpouring semester and we accepted different 40 successful nan spring. Once nan conception is proven, location is simply a imaginable to standard this programme successful a important way.

Service gross was $258.7 cardinal for nan 4th fourth of 2022, an summation of $7.3 cardinal aliases 2.9% arsenic compared to nan $251.4 cardinal for nan 4th fourth of 2021. The summation year-over-year successful work gross was chiefly owed to an summation successful GCU’s accepted field enrollments of 8% and increases successful gross per student year-over-year partially offset by a alteration successful online enrollments astatine GCU of 1.6% and to a lesser extent, students successful our assemblage partner’s Occupational Therapy Assistants programme of 11.3%.

Operating income for nan 3 months ended December 31, 2022, was $90.7 million, a alteration of $11.7 cardinal arsenic compared to $102.4 cardinal for nan aforesaid play successful 2021. The operating separator for nan 3 months ended December 31, 2022, was 35.1% compared to nan 40.7% for nan aforesaid play successful 2021. The operating separator was negatively impacted by nan investments that are being made to turn our partners’ enrollments and nan year-over-year diminution successful online enrollments.

Net income decreased 16.5% to $71 cardinal for nan 4th fourth of 2022 compared to $85.1 cardinal for nan aforesaid play successful 2021. Decline successful nett income was partially owed to a important simplification successful liking income betwixt years owed to GCU paying disconnected nan secured statement successful nan 4th fourth of 2021.

GAAP diluted income per stock for nan 3 months ended December 31, 2022, is $2.30. As adjusted, non-GAAP diluted income per stock for nan 3 months ended December 31, 2022, is $2.36 and $0.11 complete statement estimates.

With that, I would for illustration to move it complete to Dan Bachus, our CFO, to springiness a small much colour connected our 2022 4th quarter, talk astir changes successful nan income statement, equilibrium expanse and different items arsenic good arsenic to talk nan updated 2022 guidance.

Dan Bachus

Thanks, Brian. Included successful our Form 8-K revenge pinch nan SEC, we person included non-GAAP nett income and non-GAAP diluted income per stock for nan 3 months ended December 31, 2022 and 2021. The non-GAAP amounts exclude nan tax-affected magnitude of nan amortization of intangible assets of $2.1 cardinal successful nan 4th quarters of some 2022 and 2021.

The taxation effective magnitude of nan nonaccomplishment connected fixed plus disposals of $0.1 cardinal for nan 3 months ended December 31, 2022, and some nan taxation effective magnitude of nan reversal of nan $5 cardinal in installments nonaccomplishment and nan taxation effective magnitude of nan write-off of nan deferred indebtedness costs of $1.1 cardinal upon repayment of nan in installments installation recorded during nan 4th fourth of 2021.

We judge nan non-GAAP financial accusation allows investors to create a much meaningful knowing of nan company’s capacity complete time. As adjusted non-GAAP diluted income per share, arsenic Brian conscionable mentioned, for nan 3 months ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 is $2.36 and $2.11, respectively.

Service gross was higher than our expectations successful nan 4th fourth of 2022 arsenic online enrollments exceeded our projections owed to nan higher-than-expected caller student starts and owed to higher-than-expected ancillary revenues astatine GCE. Hybrid revenues were successful statement pinch our expectations. The hybrid enrollment maturation complaint is being impacted connected a year-over-year ground owed to nan timing of tract openings and 11.3% year-over-year diminution successful OTA enrollments, nan closing of sites and a diminution year-over-year successful nan enrollment astatine immoderate of nan mature sites owed to nan challenges antecedently discussed.

Excluding enrollments from closed sites, ABSN enrollments grew 3.6% year-over-year. Revenue per student continues to turn connected a year-over-year basis, chiefly owed to nan work gross effect of nan maturation successful nan GCU accepted field enrollments betwixt years, which has a higher gross per student owed to room committee and different ancillary revenues and nan higher gross per student astatine off-campus schoolroom and laboratory sites.

Service gross per student for hybrid, ABSN students generates a importantly higher gross per student than we gain connected nan different students arsenic these agreements mostly supply america pinch a higher gross stock percentage, nan partners person higher tuition rates and nan mostly of their students return much credits connected mean per semester arsenic they are successful accelerated programs.

Our operating separator was higher than our expectations, chiefly owed to higher-than-expected revenue. As I discussed connected anterior quarter’s net calls, we person been aggressively hiring successful which headcount had mostly been level since March of 2020 to meet our partners’ expected early growth, which is driving accrued compensation costs successful exertion and world services and counting services and support costs.

At nan extremity of nan 3rd 4th of 2022, we stay beneath our headcount plan, but are astatine caput count scheme today. We besides scheme for a important summation year-over-year successful recreation and worker benefits arsenic those amounts were importantly little than pre-COVID levels successful nan anterior year. We besides scheme for accrued objective costs astatine off-campus schoolroom and laboratory sites owed to nan nursing shortage. The spending has mostly remained successful statement pinch our expectations, and nan year-over-year quality successful nan timing of caller tract openings impacts year-over-year costs comparisons.

Our effective taxation complaint for nan 4th fourth of 2022 was 22.8% compared to 21.8% successful nan 4th fourth of 2021 and our guidance of 23.0%. The summation year-over-year is owed to higher authorities income taxes. We repurchased 318,935 shares of our communal banal successful nan 4th fourth of 2022 astatine a costs of astir $28 cardinal and different 154,098 shares since December 31, 2022. We person $178.4 cardinal remaining disposable arsenic of coming nether our stock repurchase authorization. The Board and nan institution intends to proceed utilizing a important information of its free rate flows from operations to repurchase its shares, but stock repurchases successful early years will beryllium little than successful 2021 and 2022 arsenic we person utilized each of nan proceeds from nan repayment of nan secured statement during nan past 2 years.

Turning to nan equilibrium expanse and rate flows. Total unrestricted rate and short-term investments connected December 31, 2022, were $181.7 million. GCE CapEx successful nan 4th fourth of 2022, including CapEx for caller off-site classroom, field schoolroom and laboratory sites was astir $8.9 cardinal aliases 3.5% of work gross pinch full CapEx for 2022 of $35 million. We expect CapEx for 2023 to beryllium akin to 2022 astatine betwixt $30 cardinal and $35 million.

Last, I’d for illustration to supply colour connected nan updated guidance we person provided successful our 8-K revenge today. As a reminder, nan guidance that we person provided successful nan outlook conception of our 8-K revenge coming is GAAP nett income and diluted income per stock pinch components to set nan GAAP amounts to non-GAAP arsenic adjusted nett income and non-GAAP arsenic adjusted diluted income per share, and we will proceed to supply some GAAP nett income and diluted income per stock and nan non-GAAP amounts pinch a reconciliation betwixt nan 2 erstwhile we study existent results.

Consistent pinch nan anterior year, we person provided ranges for revenue, operating separator and net per stock for each of nan 4 quarters of 2023. We do this because our financial results are seasonal. The gross scope assumes nan following: GCU crushed enrollment will turn to 23,200 successful nan spring, 7,800 successful nan summertime and beryllium betwixt 26,250 and 27,750 successful nan fall. The crushed number continues to see GCU hybrid and master study students. Residential students are projected to turn to 15,700 successful nan outpouring and betwixt 17,900 and 18,900 successful nan fall.

Timing differences successful nan commencement and extremity of nan accepted field semester is pushing $4.5 cardinal from Q1 2023 to Q2 2023 successful comparison to 2022. And $1.3 cardinal from Q4 2023 to Q3 2023 successful comparison to 2022. We expect that caller online enrollments will beryllium up year-over-year successful nan high-single digits to low-teens successful nan first and 2nd quarters. As a reminder, nan comps get overmuch much difficult successful nan 2nd half arsenic caller enrollments were up year-over-year successful nan mid-teens successful some nan 3rd and 4th quarters of 2022. Thus, our guidance provides a wide scope of imaginable outcomes successful nan 2nd half of betwixt debased and precocious single-digit growth.

Given that our semipermanent objectives are to turn caller enrollments successful nan mid-single digits, nan midpoint of this scope would meet our semipermanent objectives. Based connected this, we expect that full online enrollment will return to year-over-year maturation successful nan first 4th of 2023, and we’ll extremity nan twelvemonth pinch a debased to mid-single-digit year-over-year maturation rate. As Brian discussed earlier, hybrid maturation will stay beneath our semipermanent objectives during nan first half of 2023, but we are hopeful that we will spot acceleration opening successful nan autumn semester owed to caller tract openings, and nan effect of nan prerequisite inaugural connected nan number of eligible students that could commencement successful our partners’ programs.

Our guidance assumes level to somewhat down year-over-year full enrollment successful nan outpouring semester, level to debased single-digit enrollment maturation successful nan summertime and level to mid-single-digit maturation successful nan autumn semester.

On nan disbursal side, arsenic you’ll recall, we made important investments successful 2022 for expected early growth, which fixed nan timing of that walk will person a antagonistic effect connected margins successful nan first half of 2023. Headcount, which had been mostly level since March of 2020 was accrued complete nan people of 2022 pinch nan astir important gains being made successful nan 4th fourth of 2022 and early 2023. This will thrust year-over-year increases successful compensation costs successful exertion and world services and counseling services and support costs successful nan first 9 months of nan year, but that maturation will slow successful nan 4th quarter. We are besides continuing to fund for accrued objective sites astatine off-site locations, bully objective costs astatine offsite locations owed to nan nursing shortage and caller tract openings will person a antagonistic effect connected expense.

We do expect that nan hybrid pillar will proceed to suffer money successful 2023 fixed that a number of mature sites are presently beneath pre-COVID counts. To get backmost to profitability, these sites request to get backmost to pre-COVID enrollment levels and nan newer sites request to turn astatine rates much akin to what we knowledgeable pre-COVID. We are hopeful nan initiatives that Brian discussed earlier successful nan telephone will let that to hap moreover if nan occupation marketplace remains tight.

We do not scheme to person immoderate worldly liking income aliases expense. We judge nan effective taxation complaint for nan 4th fourth of 2023 will beryllium 22.3%, 24.9%, 24.9% and 24.0%. The effective taxation complaint will beryllium higher successful 2023 than 2022 because of nan effect of authorities taxes arsenic revenues proceed to turn astatine nan offsite locations extracurricular of Arizona, driving our taxation complaint increase. These estimates do not presume a publication successful lieu of authorities income taxes, but if 1 is made, that will summation G&A disbursal successful nan 3rd 4th and alteration nan effective taxation complaint successful nan 2nd half of nan year.

Our weighted mean shares guidance assumes that we purchased astir of nan remaining magnitude authorized by our Board evenly complete nan remainder of nan year. The Board continues to authorize nan repurchase of shares arsenic it believes nan banal remains undervalued based connected nan metrics that it uses to evaluate, including nan ratio of endeavor worth to adjusted EBITDA and nan free rate travel output alternatively than multiples of different acquisition companies, arsenic though we tin beryllium viewed arsenic being successful that aforesaid sector, location are a few, if any, due comps. On an endeavor worth to adjusted EBITDA basis, nan banal is presently trading astatine astir 12.2%, which is little than nan caller S&P mean of 16.4%. The mean free rate travel output for nan S&P 500 of 2.8%, whereas nan company’s free rate travel output is astir 5.5%.

Last, nan guidance provided does not see immoderate simplification successful gross aliases expenses associated pinch nan Dear Colleague Letter issued past twelvemonth that I discussed past quarter. As a reminder, nan Dear Colleague Letter does not effect our narration pinch GCU arsenic GCU provides each module for their courses, pays them and receives small and nary reimbursement from america aliases immoderate different extracurricular sources for nan module costs. But we are still moving pinch our different assemblage partners to measure nan effect of nan Dear Colleague Letter, if any, of nan programs we partner pinch them on.

We will supply updates to our outlook if contractual changes are needed, but it is important to statement that immoderate changes made would person an immaterial effect connected gross and operating profit.

I will now move nan telephone complete to nan moderator truthful that we tin reply questions.

Question-and-Answer Session


Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first mobility comes from nan statement of Jeff Meuler pinch Baird. Your statement is open.

Jeff Meuler

Yes, convey you. How is request trending lately for nan hybrid programs? And you gave america nan number connected nan 800 students, I don’t cognize if this is excessively soon, but tin you springiness america immoderate benignant of metrics connected nan occurrence those students are seeing going done nan accelerated online pre-reqs.

Brian Mueller

Yes. The request is changing because of nan employment situation. The employment business is truthful strong, location are truthful galore jobs retired location that group are – group pinch bachelor’s degrees successful their 20s are not really consenting to springiness up a $60,000 a twelvemonth occupation to put $50,000 aliases $60,000 to make $70,000 aliases $80,000. The – astatine nan aforesaid return isn’t location currently. And truthful group are being much cautious astir re-careering.

However, nan request is still very beardown and expanding for those students that are younger and person it – already invested successful higher ed and don’t person immoderate indebtedness aliases person very small debt. And truthful location is important demand. And what’s very absorbing and very encouraging is that erstwhile we tin get students to nan ABSN commencement – get them to nan beforehand door, we person a 90% occurrence complaint getting them done successful a greater than 90% first-time walk complaint connected nan NCLEX exam. The situation is getting them truthful that they person nan people activity basal to get into nan ABSN program.

People were referring them to organization colleges and they won’t perceive from them for a twelvemonth 2 aliases three, if astatine all. And successful different places, nan programs were not delivered online aliases they were highly expensive. And truthful we worked very difficult astatine creating first to subject courses. And those subject courses – that’s what I was referring to successful position of nan 800 students and increasing beautiful rapidly. And we person betwixt 75% and 80% occurrence rate, meaning nan students sewage to spot aliases amended successful those courses. And therefore, they tin usage them to get into an ABSN program.

So we’re really happy pinch that occurrence complaint because studying subject online is not easy. Our courses are rigorous. But nan request is still very strong, and we deliberation we’re going to beryllium successful a very beardown position successful location betwixt six and 12 months because we’ve – I deliberation we’ve figured out, it doesn’t matter wherever successful nan state a student is. Our programs are delivered online. So they tin beryllium entered into nan program. We’ve sewage commencement times each mates of weeks. And arsenic opposed to erstwhile autumn aliases conscionable outpouring semester and what clip was being offered successful person, each those things were really difficult to navigate.

And truthful I deliberation nan astir important situation is that one. And betwixt that, and we deliberation we’ll get immoderate traction pinch precocious schoolhouse graduates who want to enactment home, do nan first 2 years of a pre-nursing programme successful 18 months, do it wholly online and past suffice to beryllium successful an ABSN programme successful 1 of our locations passim nan country. Between those 2 things, we’re hoping to reside that situation and past reaccelerate nan enrollments.

Jeff Meuler

Got it. And past GCU looks for illustration it’s reliable to get backmost to growth. On margins, I understand nan annualization effect of nan headcount ramp. I understand nan trade-off to nan use of nan assemblage of nan existent financial exemplary successful a little request and higher ostentation environment. But to nan grade to which nan assemblage whitethorn beryllium getting backmost to enrollment connected a sustained ground and since you’re caught up connected caput count, conscionable immoderate remark connected what you’d expect connected a multiyear ground successful position of margins while still astir apt balancing not taking tuition pricing increases?

Brian Mueller

Yes. We judge that erstwhile we tin get backmost to mid-teen full enrollment maturation online, that, that halfway GCE statement margins tin grow connected an yearly ground year-over-year. Somewhere betwixt 30 and 100 ground points wherever we were pre-COVID. And we judge that because, one, we’ve done it successful nan past, 2 mid-teens, online enrollment and nan maturation of nan crushed field and nan gross per student from that tin thief thrust that separator description .

And erstwhile you look astatine – if you look astatine nan precocious extremity of our guidance, which is – if everything goes perfectly arsenic we dream this year, you will spot separator – you do spot separator description connected nan GCU halfway successful nan 2nd half of nan year. If we deed nan midpoint of our guidance, we gave coming from a gross standpoint; it would beryllium reasonably level nan 2nd half of nan twelvemonth connected nan GCE statement from a separator standpoint. So that gives america assurance we tin do it.

Dan Bachus

The different point is – nan different point that impacts that, because you travel this point historically, we’ve gotten separator gains by costs to get a student going down. And erstwhile we mentioned successful nan 4th fourth that 27% of our caller enrollments aliases we were 20% - 7% higher this 4th fourth than anterior year’s 4th fourth successful caller enrollments that were coming from our extracurricular people.

And those were fundamentally moving pinch schoolhouse districts and others, and we don’t salary for those leads. And truthful we’re hoping that number continues to turn because that is where, historically, we’ve gotten separator description by reducing nan costs to get a student. And if that activity continues to spell arsenic it does, that will help.

Jeff Meuler

And I whitethorn not person heard correctly. I deliberation you said mid-teens, you mean mid-single-digit maturation for online, correct?

Brian Mueller

Yes. Dan is sitting adjacent to maine and he punched maine connected that. So yes.

Jeff Meuler

I’ll return nan mid teen, but conscionable making sure.

Brian Mueller

You’re correct.

Jeff Meuler

And past conscionable last, I cognize you talked astir nan erstwhile Dear Colleague Letter. There was different Dear Colleague Letter past nighttime regarding third-party services and Title IV. When you database retired nan services, Brian, you talk astir financial assistance processing being 1 of them. So is nan GCE-GCU contract, are you already I guess, taxable to these types of regulations and oversight, truthful nary effect connected you? And past conscionable connected nan hybrid contract, is it a different setup? And conscionable if there’s immoderate benignant of for illustration qualification of really burdensome that whitethorn aliases whitethorn not beryllium for you?

Brian Mueller

Yes, you’re correct astir nan financial. We supply – GCE provides that work for GCU, which is nan bulk presently of nan business. And truthful yes, we’re already taxable – GCE is taxable to an audit arsenic a consequence of doing that financial assistance activity and GCE does really, really good successful that audit process. So we consciousness very bully astir that. The different 26 partners...

Dan Bachus

Yes. I deliberation a mates of points to grow connected what Brian conscionable said. I mean I deliberation it’s important for group to cognize that arsenic portion of nan audit that Brian talked about, they not only look astatine nan financial processing and compliance but they do testing – payroll testing, including an in-depth reappraisal of inducement compensation plans and payments, fiscal testing, including programme reconciliation, slope statements, statement testing, including section of services and responsibilities. So arsenic it relates to GCU, I deliberation we’re already a third-party servicer and spell done a afloat audit akin to what I deliberation nan Department of Ed is pushing for connected nan Dear colleague.

As it relates, arsenic Brian said, to nan different 26 partners, they don’t do that audit presently for those. But for america to adhd that testing for our different 26 partners would not beryllium a problem astatine all. The compensation scheme is very akin and nan different controls and processes are very akin to – truthful for us, not a interest astatine each to person that expanded to our different 26 partners.

Jeff Meuler

Okay. That’s it for me. Great to spot GCU doing truthful well. Thanks guys.

Brian Mueller


Dan Bachus

We’ve reached nan extremity of our 4th fourth convention call. We admit your clip and liking successful Grand Canyon Education. If you still person questions, please interaction myself, Dan Bachus. Thank you very much.


Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today’s convention call. Thank you for your participation. You whitethorn now disconnect.

Editor: Naga

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