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Starting Amount
Dividend yield
Dividends reinvested
Apollo Education Group, Inc.
Industry For-profit education
Founded 1973
Founder John Sperling
Headquarters Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Key people
Peter Sperling
Gregory Cappelli
Mitch Bowling
Revenue Decrease $3.6 billion (2013)
Operating income
Decrease $427 million (2013)
Net income
Decrease $249 million (2013)
Total assets Decrease $3.0 billion (2013)
Total equity Increase $1.1 billion (2013)
Number of employees
44,000 (part and full-time) (2013)
Subsidiaries Apollo Global
Axia College
BPP Holdings
Carnegie Learning
College for Financial Planning
Institute for Professional Development
Meritus University
University for the Arts, Sciences, and Communication
Universidad Latinoamericana
University of Phoenix
Western International University

Apollo Education Group, Inc. is an American corporation based in the South Phoenix area of Phoenix, Arizona. Apollo Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, owns several for-profit educational institutions.

The company owns and operates four higher-learning institutions: the University of Phoenix, Western International University, Axia College, and the College for Financial Planning. As of November 2013, the combined enrollment of all the universities was approximately 269,000 students. Of these, nearly 90% attend the University of Phoenix, which Apollo describes as "the nation's largest regionally accredited private university".

Additionally, Apollo Education Group, Inc. is the owner of BPP Holdings in the United Kingdom. It formed a joint venture with Carlyle Group, called Apollo Global, to make international acquisitions. Apollo also purchased UNIACC college in Santiago, Chile, and ULA college in Mexico.

On May 8, 2016, the company announced its sale to a group of private investors for $1.14 billion, effectively going private. On February 1, 2017, Apollo Education Group Inc announced the completion of its acquisition by a consortium of investors including The Vistria Group, LLC and funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC.

Apollo Education Group, Inc. was founded in 1973 by John Sperling.

Corporate revenues for the year ending August 31, 2005 were $2.251 billion.

As of 5 October 2011, Apollo Group had a market capitalization of $5.36 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.22.

The Apollo Group announced quarterly results on 30 June 2011. The company reported $1.45 in earnings per share for the previous quarter, exceeding the Thomson Reuters estimate of $1.33 by $0.12. Apollo Group's quarterly revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis.

In March 2011 the Apollo Group sold its corporate headquarters in Arizona and leased it back in order to raise $170 million in cash. The deal with Cole Real Estate Investments included a 20-year lease requiring Apollo to remain in the complex."In our view, it does not change the view of the company. Apollo isn't hungry for cash: It carries little debt but generates $4 billion in revenue and has $650 million in net income and $1.5 billion in cash on its balance sheet," commented Peter Wahlstrom of Morningstar, an investment-research company.

However, the revenue of the company continued to fall: in the fiscal year ending in August 31, 2011, the net revenue was $4.7 billion; in 2012, $4.2 billion; in 2013, $3.6 billion. The operating income during this period fell from $956 million in 2011, to $676 million in 2012, to $427 million in 2013. the company attributed this to a decline in enrollment, with degreed enrollment declining from 380,000 in 2011, to 328,000 in 2012, to 269,000 in 2013.

On May 6, 2016, the shareholders of the company approved the sale of the firm for $1.14 billion to a group of private investors: Najafi Companies, a Phoenix firm, the New York based Apollo Global Management and, the Vistria Group of Chicago. The offer amounted to $10 per share, compared to its high of $89/share in 2009. The delisting was completed on February 1, 2017.

The University of Phoenix is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Apollo Education Group. The University of Phoenix is one of the largest higher education providers in North America. The university has more than 200 campuses worldwide and confers degrees in over 100 degree programs at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. The University of Phoenix has an open enrollment admission policy only requiring a high-school diploma, GED, or an equivalent qualification. The school also provides associate or bachelor's degree applicants opportunity for advanced placement through its prior learning assessment, through which, aside from previous coursework, college credit can come from experiential learning essays, corporate training, and certificates or licenses.

According to USA Today, the University of Phoenix's Detroit campus has a graduation rate of 10%, but a student loan default rate of 26.4%.

Western International University (West) is a university offering online programs for adult learners. Founded in 1978, West offers associate, bachelor and master degree programs to approximately 1,374 students (Fall 2014). West's mission is to provide a broad educational foundation, with a focus on business and technology, designed to prepare students for leadership positions in a dynamic, global marketplace. West is located in Tempe, Arizona and offers online education through its virtual campus. The university is currently in the process of closing, and is "teaching out" all current students. The school will likely close during the early part of 2018.

Apollo Group has formed Apollo Global to manage and form subsidiaries, assets, and holdings overseas. As part of their first acquisitions, Apollo Global acquired University for the Arts, Sciences, and Communication (UNIACC) in Chile as well as the now defunct Meritus University in Canada.

Apollo Global is a joint venture between the Apollo Group and the Carlyle Group. The two partners invested $1 billion in Apollo Global. The Apollo Group invested roughly $801 million and owns 80.1% of the new company. Carlyle invested $199 million and controls the remaining shares. Apollo Global replaced Apollo International.

BPP Holdings is a holding company of the United Kingdom-based provider of professional and academic education. The Company is divided into BPP Learning Media, BPP Professional Education and BPP University. BPP University is a United Kingdom degree-awarding body with four schools: BPP Business School, BPP Law School, BPP School of Health and BPP School of Foundation and English Language Studies. Apollo Global acquired BPP Holdings (which includes BPP University) in the United Kingdom for $607 million in July 2009.

Western International University, formerly a direct subsidiary of the Apollo Group was transferred to Apollo Global in April 2010. The Apollo Group says that the transfer of Western International University to Apollo Global would allow it to offer its degrees internationally on a more successful basis. The transfer included a capital contribution from Apollo Global's minority shareholder, the Carlyle Group.

Apollo Group owned and operated Meritus University in Canada. On January 24, 2011, citing how "enrollment will continue to be insufficient to sustain the required quality academic and student service infrastructure we and our students demand," Meritus University announced its closure, with their last classes taking place on March 14, 2011.

University for the Arts, Sciences, and Communication, Chile.

The Universidad Latinoamericana in Mexico was acquired by the Apollo Group in 2007.

Open Colleges in Australia was acquired for a 70% share agreement by the Apollo Group in 2013.

Carnegie Learning is a publisher of math curricula for middle school, high school, and post-secondary students. The company uses a blended approach, with a textbook and software (called Cognitive Tutor) for each subject. The company also produces products for the homeschool and tutoring markets. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Learning was founded by cognitive science researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in conjunction with veteran mathematics teachers.

All of the Cognitive Tutor curricula are based on extensive scientific research from Carnegie Mellon University, along with field tests in schools throughout the United States. The Cognitive Tutors are based on the ACT-R theory of learning, memory and performance. The Tutors themselves were developed using an empirical testing process.

Apollo Group announced in August 2011 a $75 million deal to buy Carnegie Learning along with a separate agreement to acquire related technology from CMU for $21.5 million, to be paid over 10 years.

Insight Schools is an online high school offering classes from 9th to 12th grade. Insight both ran high schools for school districts and operated online schools in several U.S. states. Apollo Group acquired Insight Schools in 2007; in 2011 Apollo Group sold Insight Schools to Kaplan, Inc.

Aptimus is a full-service, in-house marketing agency for Apollo Group education institutions, including the University of Phoenix, Axia College, the Institute for Professional Development, Olympus High School, and Insight School.

Lutheran High School of Orange County (LHSOC) licenses its name to the Apollo Group to offer online courses.

On June 11, 2015, Apollo Education Group acquired a 62% interest in TIY Academy, LLC ("The Iron Yard"), a provider of nondegree information technology bootcamp programs in the United States, for $15.9 million. The Iron Yard subsidiary ceased operations and closed all campuses in 2017.

After a separate investigation in 2004, the Apollo Group paid about $10 million in fines to the U.S. Department of Education, which had criticised UoP's admissions practices: for example, recruiters were paid bonuses depending on the numbers they signed up. "In 2004, a scathing report issued by the US Department of Education concluded that Phoenix, as The Chronicle of Higher Education put it, had a 'high-pressure sales culture' that intimidated recruiters who failed to meet targets and encouraged the enrollment of unqualified students—in short that it rewarded 'the recruiters who put the most "asses in classes"'. Apollo illegally withheld the report, but it was leaked and the group's value on the stock market crashed. A suit was brought alleging that its management had 'disseminated materially false and misleading financial statements in an effort to inflate its stock price and attract investors'."

"In 2006, the company's controller and chief accounting officer resigned amid allegations that the books had been cooked; in 2007, the Nasdaq Listing and Hearing Review Council threatened to withdraw Apollo's listing from the stock exchange."

In January 2008, the above stock-price suit was decided. Apollo was found liable for misleading investors by failing to disclose the Department of Education report that criticized the University of Phoenix's recruiting practices. The jury awarded the shareholders $280 million in damages. The trial judge vacated the verdict and found for the defendants, but the Ninth Circuit reinstated the verdict. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Apollo's appeal of the verdict. The case ultimately resolved with Apollo being liable for $145 million; the reported $280 million figure may have been an error because the jury's award was for $5.55 per share.

In November 2008, Apollo paid $1.89 million to settle a religious discrimination class action without admitting wrongdoing. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had brought the claim on behalf of non-Mormon employees of University of Phoenix Online. Under the settlement, University of Phoenix Online agreed to prohibit favoritism toward the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In July 2015, Apollo announced the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was investigating UoP for unfair business practices; "The company must hand over documents regarding matters that include its marketing, tuition, billing, accreditation, and military recruitment practices going back as far as 2011." In January 2016, the FTC filed suit against Apollo and University of Phoenix. The court ordered Apollo and UoP to comply with the FTC's civil investigative demands.

Investment goal date:
Dividends reinvested
Apollo Education Group, Inc. APOL report Q1 2017
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BlackRock Fund Advisors
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BlackRock Investment Management, LLC
First Pacific Advisors, LLC
Placemark Investments, Inc.
Verition Fund Management LLC
VTL Associates, LLC
Winton Capital Group Ltd
Major Shareholders
Name Relationship
Total Shares
Holding stocks
6.5800% (7190088)
Pepicello William John
0.0300% (28475)
D'Amico Joseph Lawrence
0.1700% (182162)
Swartz Brian L
0.0200% (21479)
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