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National American University Holdings, Inc. (NAUH) Leveraging Strong Balance Sheet to Expand Presence in Online University Industry

National American University Holdings, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, operates National American University (NAU), a regionally accredited, proprietary, multi-campus institution of higher learning offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in technical and professional disciplines. NAU opened its first campus in Rapid City, South Dakota in 1941, and the university has since grown to include over 35 campuses across 11 states, in addition to offering a full selection of online courses. By offering degree programs in traditional, online and hybrid formats, NAUH is able to maximize enrollment figures by providing the flexibility needed for students from a variety of backgrounds to take courses at the times and places most convenient to their individual lifestyles.

With an established and growing presence in the online university industry, NAUH is in a formidable position to benefit from the industry’s strong performance moving forward. According to a report by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, an estimated 5.5 million students reported taking at least one online course in the fall of 2012, representing roughly one-quarter of total enrollment. Among these students, approximately 2.6 million were reportedly enrolled in fully online programs, and the majority of these students enrolled with for-profit institutions, such as NAU.

In its fiscal third quarter of 2015, which ended February 28, NAUH leveraged the expanding educational market to post strong financial results. The company’s net income grew by more than 36 percent over the same period in 2014, allowing its board of directors to declare a cash dividend on all shares.

“We continued to focus on improving our profitability during a period of transition that is focused on improving both our enrollment and student counseling,” Dr. Ronald L. Shape, chief executive officer of NAUH, stated in a news release. “We have a strong balance sheet with no long-term debt and have the necessary financial and operational flexibility to carry out our goal of growing without taking unnecessary risk. We believe this is a critical differentiator from our competitors.”

Despite mild decreases in enrollment figures over recent months, NAUH is in a strong financial position to continue increasing its market share in the expanding postsecondary education industry in the months to come. Look for the company to lean on the considerable experience of its management team in order to improve enrollment numbers, providing a basis for sustainable investor returns in the future.

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