Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Apollo Education Group were looking smarter today, climbing as much as 19% before finishing up 14% on a strong quarterly earnings report.

So what: The parent company of the University of Phoenix posted adjusted earnings of $1.04 per share, beating estimates of $0.90, while revenue fell 19% to $856.3 million, short of estimates at $861.5 million, however, Wall Street overlooked the sales drop in favor of the better-than-expected profit numbers and strong outlook. CEO Greg Capelli said the company was making "good progress on our strategic plan to differentiate" the company, and management also said it expected revenue of $3.0 billion to $3.1 billion for the fiscal year on operating income of $400 million to $450 million, or approximately $2.50 in net income per share.


Now what: It's normal to see a stock bounce after a strong earnings beat, but Apollo's numbers are still moving in the wrong direction. Overall enrollment fell 17.7% to 263,000, while new student enrollment, seen as a key indicator in the industry, fell 22.9% to 41,700, meaning profits are still falling even if they're beating expectations. With a P/E of 15 and an average valuation, after today's gain, the company seems to need to stanch its enrollment decline for the stock to move higher.

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With the vicissitudes of the for-profit education industry and the recent declines in enrollment, perhaps the sector isn't the best place to put your money. For some stock picks you can keep with you til retirement, our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has permitted us to reveal The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever. These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love. 

The article Why Apollo Education Group, Inc. Shares Jumped originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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