For-profit college chain Education Management Corp EDMC.O posted a quarterly loss on a huge impairment charge and forecast a surprise loss for the first quarter after new student enrollments fell.
The company, which owns the Art Institutes, Argosy University, Brown Mackie College and South University, forecast a loss of 8 cents per share, excluding items, for the first quarter of fiscal 2013.
Analysts on average were expecting an adjusted profit of 5 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Student enrollments at U.S. for-profit colleges have been under pressure for the past several quarters following a government crackdown on high levels of student debt that forced them to tighten admission standards.
New student enrollments fell 20 percent in the fourth quarter to 21,400, the company said.
EDMC reported a net loss of $1.19 billion, or $9.51 per share, for the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of $34.8 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company took a charge of $1.25 billion in the quarter.
Revenue fell 8 percent to $639.2 million.
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based company's shares, which traded at about $30 just over seven months ago, fell 10 percent in extended trade. They closed at $3.99 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)