Aspen Group Reports Record Revenue of $12.1 Million in the Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2020, Accelerating to 49% Growth Year-over-Year

12/10/2019, 10:01 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

Net Loss Improves to ($0.6) Million as All Three Business Units Deliver Profitability on a Net Income Basis

Company EBITDA Positive (a non-GAAP financial measure), Delivering $0.5 Million or 4% margin

NEW YORK, Dec. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aspen Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASPU)( “the Company or AGI”), an education technology holding company, today announced financial results for its 2020 fiscal second quarter ended October 31, 2019.

Second Quarter and Year-to-Date Fiscal Year 2020 Summary

 Three months endedSix months ended
($ in millions)October 31,
October 31,
% Change
October 31,
October 31,
% Change
Revenue$12.1 $8.1 49% $22.4 $15.3 47% 
GAAP Gross profit$7.6 $4.1 87% $13.4 $7.4 81% 
GAAP Gross margin (%)63% 50% 1,300 bps  60% 48% 1,200 bps 
Operating Income (Loss)($0.3) ($2.5) 87% ($2.0) ($5.3) 63% 
Net Income (Loss)($0.6) ($2.5) 74% ($2.7) ($5.3) 49% 
Cash Used in Operations($0.3) ($2.1) 84% ($2.0) ($5.5) 63% 
EBITDA (Loss)*$0.5 ($1.9) >100% $(0.5) ($4.2) 88% 
Adjusted EBITDA (Loss)*$1.4 ($1.3) >100% $1.3 ($3.1) >100% 

Second Quarter Performance Highlights

  • Revenue accelerated to 49% growth, while marketing expenses declined by 11% year-over-year, driving a gross margin improvement of 1,300 basis points or 63%
  • Focused marketing expenditure resulted in record enrollment growth in highest lifetime value (LTV) degree programs
  • Bookings rose 92% to $31.3 million lifting average revenue per enrollment (ARPU) by 35% to $14,125
  • Aspen University Online and Pre-Licensure BSN units, as well as United States University, all delivered net income due to improved operating efficiencies and lower enrollment costs
  • Cash used in operations declined $1.8 million or 84% year-over-year to $0.3 million

Michael Mathews, Chairman and CEO of AGI, commented, “Our strong momentum in Fiscal 2020 accelerated during the second quarter with revenue increasing 49% year-over-year, while operating expense increased only 22% year-over-year due to diligent expense management and improved operating leverage. This resulted in a significant reduction in our net loss and generated positive EBITDA in the quarter. By targeting our marketing spend on degree programs with the highest lifetime value (LTV), we had record bookings in the quarter increasing by 92%, as well as record average revenue per enrollment or ARPU increasing by 35%. This is the first quarter since acquiring United States University in December 2017 and launching our Pre-Licensure BSN nursing program in July 2018 that all three business units, Aspen University Online and Pre-Licensure BSN, as well as United States University, produced net income in the quarter. We remain committed to our goals of sustainable long-term growth, improving profitability of our universities and improvement in cash flow from operations. Given the strong performance in the first half of fiscal year 2020, we now expect annual revenue growth to meet or exceed 41% for the full fiscal year. Our improving financial performance will continue to support our Pre-Licensure BSN expansion strategy, an important long-term growth and profitability catalyst for the Company.”

*See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” at page 3.

Fiscal 2020 Second Quarter Financial and Operational Results (versus Fiscal 2019 Second Quarter):

  • New student enrollments increased 42% to quarterly record of 2,217
    • Aspen University (AU) new student enrollments increased 41% to 1,823
    • United States University (USU) new student enrollments increased 45% to 394
  • Weighted average cost of enrollment declined 25% driven by reduced lead costs and higher conversion rates
  • Bookings increased 92% to $31.3 million due to strong growth in highest LTV degree programs
  • Average revenue per enrollment (ARPU) increased 35% over the prior year to $14,125
  • Total student enrollment grew 35% over the prior year to 10,718
  • Total nursing student body increased to 8,904 from 6,206 students, or 83% versus 78% of total student enrollment

AGI delivered 2,217 new student enrollments for the second fiscal quarter ended October 31, 2019 (Q2 2020), a 42% increase year-over-year. Aspen University accounted for 1,823 new student enrollments (including 190 Doctoral enrollments and 437 Pre-licensure BSN AZ campus enrollments). United States University (“USU”) accounted for 394 new student enrollments (primarily MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner (“FNP”) enrollments). Enrollment growth at Aspen University was highlighted by the Doctoral unit, which increased by 43% year-over-year, and the Pre-Licensure BSN unit, which increased 58% on a sequential basis. The sequential acceleration of growth in the Pre-Licensure BSN unit is a result of a full quarter of enrollments across both campuses that are now open in Phoenix, AZ.

Below is a comparison of enrollments and bookings** from Q2 2020 to the quarter ended October 31, 2018 (Q2 2019).  The Company’s total enrollments rose 42% year-over-year, while bookings increased 92% year-over-year to $31.3 million from $16.3 million. This translates to a 35% increase in average revenue per user (ARPU)** year-over-year, from $10,434 to $14,125, driven by the Company’s focused marketing spending on the highest LTV degree programs during the quarter.

 Lifetime Value (LTV) Q2'2019
 Q2'2019 Q2'2020 Q2'2020% Change
 Per Enrollment Bookings**
 Enrollments Bookings** EnrollmentsBookings
AU Online (Nursing + Other) Unit$7,350 $8,114,400 1,104 $8,790,600 1,1968%
AU (Doctoral) Unit$12,600 $1,675,800 133 $2,394,000 19043%
AU (Pre-Licensure BSN) Unit$30,000 $1,710,000 57 $13,110,000 437666%
USU (FNP + Other) Unit$17,820 $4,829,220 271 $7,021,080 39445%
Total  $  16,329,420    1,565  $  31,315,680    2,217  
ARPU  $  10,434    $   14,125    

**“Bookings” are defined by multiplying LTV by new student enrollments for each operating unit. “Average Revenue Per
User or (ARPU)” is defined by dividing total bookings by total enrollments.

AGI’s overall active student body (including both Aspen University and USU) grew 35% year-over-year from 7,950 to 10,718 students as of October 31, 2019, and students seeking nursing degrees were 8,904 or 83% of total students at both universities.

Aspen University’s total active degree-seeking student body grew 27% year-over-year from 7,107 to 9,016. Aspen’s School of Nursing grew 34% year-over-year, from 5,466 to 7,299 active students, which includes 1,051 active students in the BSN Pre-Licensure program in Phoenix, AZ. Specifically, Aspen’s BSN Pre-Licensure program active student body grew sequentially by 57%, from 670 to 1,051 students, as a result of now having two campuses open in Phoenix, AZ. Aspen University students paying tuition and fees through a monthly payment method grew by 17% year-over-year, from 5,074 to 5,927. Those 5,927 students paying through a monthly payment method represent 66% of Aspen University’s total active student body.

USU’s total active student body grew year-over-year from 843 to 1,702, or 102%, and up sequentially by 14%. USU’s MSN-FNP active student body grew sequentially from 1,294 to 1,463 for an increase of 13%. USU’s MSN-FNP program now represents 86% of USU’s active student body. USU students paying tuition and fees through a monthly payment method grew to 1,101 students representing 65% of USU’s total active student body in Q2 2020.

Revenues increased 49% to $12,085,965 for the fiscal quarter ended October 31, 2019 as compared to $8,095,344 in Q2 2019. USU accounted for approximately 27% and Aspen University’s Pre-Licensure BSN program accounted for approximately 12% of overall Company revenues.

Gross profit increased to $7,638,195 or 63% gross margin for Q2 2020 versus $4,083,951 or 50% gross margin in Q2 2019. Aspen University gross profit represented 65% of Aspen University revenues for Q2 2020, while USU gross profit equaled 67% of USU revenues for Q2 2020. Aspen University instructional costs and services represented 16% of Aspen University revenues for Q2 2020, while USU instructional costs and services equaled 23% of USU revenues for Q2 2020. Aspen University marketing and promotional costs represented 16% of Aspen University revenues for Q2 2020, while USU marketing and promotional costs equaled 11% of USU revenues for Q2 2020.

Net loss applicable to shareholders was ($638,168) or diluted net loss per share of ($0.03). Aspen University generated $1.8 million of net income for Q2 2020, and USU generated $151,359 of net income in Q2 2020. AGI corporate incurred $2.6 million of expenses for Q2 2020.

EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $460,919 or 4% as compared to an EBITDA loss of ($1,899,814) or (23%) in Q2 2019. Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $1,360,808 or 11% as compared to an Adjusted EBITDA loss of ($1,304,543) or (16%) in Q2 2019.

Aspen University generated EBITDA of $2.1 million or 24% margin and Adjusted EBITDA of $2.6 million or 26% margin for Q2 2020. Note that Aspen’s pre-licensure BSN program accounted for $537,983 of the $2.1 million EBITDA generated at Aspen University, operating at an EBITDA margin of 35% -- becoming the highest margin unit of the Company. USU generated EBITDA of $455,391 or 14% margin and $519,818 of Adjusted EBITDA or 16% margin Q2 2020. AGI corporate contributed $1.7 million of expenses toward the $1,360,808 Adjusted EBITDA result for Q2 2020.

The Company used cash of $0.3 million in operations in Q2 2020, as compared to using $2.1 million in Q2 2019, an improvement of 84% year-over-year.

Conference Call:

Aspen Group, Inc. will host a conference call to discuss its fiscal year 2020 second quarter financial results and business outlook on Tuesday, December 10th, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. (ET).   Aspen will issue a press release reporting results after the market closes on that day. The conference call can be accessed by dialing toll-free (844) 452-6823 (U.S.) or (731) 256-5216 (international), passcode 3788764. Subsequent to the call, a transcript of the audiocast will be available from the Company’s website at There will also be a seven day dial-in replay which can be accessed by dialing toll-free (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 (international), passcode 3788764.

Non-GAAP – Financial Measures:

This press release includes both financial measures in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, as well as non-GAAP financial measures. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company’s performance, financial position or cash flows that either excludes or includes amounts that are not normally included or excluded in the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. Non-GAAP financial measures should be viewed as supplemental to, and should not be considered as alternatives to net income (loss), operating income (loss), and cash flow from operating activities, liquidity or any other financial measures. They may not be indicative of the historical operating results of AGI nor are they intended to be predictive of potential future results. Investors should not consider non-GAAP financial measures in isolation or as substitutes for performance measures calculated in accordance with GAAP.

Our management uses and relies on Adjusted EBITDA and EBITDA, each of which are non-GAAP financial measures. We believe that both management and shareholders benefit from referring to these non-GAAP financial measures in planning, forecasting and analyzing future periods. Our management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in evaluating its financial and operational decision making and as a means to evaluate period-to-period comparisons.  Our management recognizes that the non-GAAP financial measures have inherent limitations because of the excluded items described below.

AGI defines Adjusted EBITDA as earnings (or loss) from continuing operations before the items in the table below. It is important to note that there were zero non-recurring charges for the fiscal quarter ended October 31, 2019 compared to $118,872 in the fiscal quarter ended October 31, 2018. Adjusted EBITDA is an important measure of our operating performance because it allows management, investors and analysts to evaluate and assess our core operating results from period-to-period after removing the impact of items of a non-operational nature that affect comparability.

We have included a reconciliation of our non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP. We believe that providing the non-GAAP financial measures, together with the reconciliation to GAAP, helps investors make comparisons between AGI and other companies. In making any comparisons to other companies, investors need to be aware that companies use different non-GAAP measures to evaluate their financial performance. Investors should pay close attention to the specific definition being used and to the reconciliation between such measure and the corresponding GAAP measure provided by each company under applicable SEC rules.

The following table presents a reconciliation of net loss allocable to common shareholders to Adjusted EBITDA:

 Quarter Ended
October 31,
 2019  2018 
Net loss$  (638,168)  $(2,475,078) 
Interest expense, net of interest income   426,694     41,922 
Taxes   44,168     9,276 
Depreciation & amortization   628,225   524,067 
EBITDA (loss)   460,919   (1,899,813) 
Bad debt expense   407,759   171,084 
Non-recurring charges    118,872 
Stock-based compensation   492,130   305,315 
Adjusted EBITDA (Loss)$ 1,360,808  $(1,304,542) 

About Aspen Group, Inc.:

Aspen Group, Inc. is an education technology holding company that leverages its infrastructure and expertise to allow its two universities, Aspen University and United States University, to deliver on the vision of making college affordable again.

Forward-Looking Statements:

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 our annual revenue growth, Pre-Licensure BSN expansion, and forecasted LTV and bookings. The words “believe,” “may,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “should,” “plan,” “could,” “target,” “potential,” “is likely,” “will,” “expect” and similar expressions, as they relate to us, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements include the continued high demand for nurses, the continued effectiveness of our marketing efforts, unanticipated delays in opening new campuses, failure to continue to obtain enrollments at low acquisition costs and keeping instructional costs down, potential student attrition and national and local economic factors. Other risks are included in our filings with the SEC including our Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2019 and Form 10-Q for the three months ended July 31, 2019. Any forward-looking statement made by us herein speaks only as of the date on which it is made. Factors or events that could cause our actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of them. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by law.

Investor Relations Contact:

Kim Rogers
Managing Director
Hayden IR


 October 31, 2019 April 30, 2019
Current assets:   
Cash$6,472,417  $9,519,352 
Restricted cash454,288  448,400 
Accounts receivable, net of allowance of $1,892,318 and $1,247,031, respectively12,813,517  10,656,470 
Prepaid expenses788,929  410,745 
Other receivables312  2,145 
Other current assets172,507   
Total current assets20,701,970  21,037,112 
Property and equipment:   
Call center equipment270,010  193,774 
Computer and office equipment345,241  327,621 
Furniture and fixtures1,484,930  1,381,271 
Software5,178,944  4,314,198 
 7,279,125  6,216,864 
Less accumulated depreciation and amortization(2,296,365) (1,825,524)
Total property and equipment, net4,982,760  4,391,340 
Goodwill5,011,432  5,011,432 
Intangible assets, net7,991,667  8,541,667 
Courseware, net135,446  161,930 
Accounts receivable, secured - net of allowance of $625,963 and $625,963, respectively45,329  45,329 
Long term contractual accounts receivable5,490,733  3,085,243 
Debt issue cost, net250,569  300,824 
Right of use lease asset7,953,283   
Deposits and other assets324,950  629,626 
Total assets$52,888,139  $43,204,503 



 October 31, 2019 April 30, 2019
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity   
Current liabilities:   
Accounts payable$1,187,748  $1,699,221 
Accrued expenses739,661  651,418 
Deferred revenue5,509,861  2,456,865 
Refunds due students1,902,211  1,174,501 
Deferred rent, current portion  47,436 
Convertible note payable50,000  50,000 
Senior secured loan payable, net of discount of $218,030 at October 31, 20199,781,970   
Operating lease obligations, current portion1,509,429   
Other current liabilities28,605  270,786 
Total current liabilities20,709,485  6,350,227 
Senior secured loan payable, net of discount of $353,328 at April 30, 2019  9,646,672 
Operating lease obligations6,443,854   
Deferred rent767,710  746,176 
Total liabilities27,921,049  16,743,075 
Commitments and contingencies   
Stockholders’ equity:   
Preferred stock, $0.001 par value; 1,000,000 shares authorized,   
0 issued and outstanding at October 31, 2019 and April 30, 2019   
Common stock, $0.001 par value; 40,000,000 shares authorized   
19,142,316 issued and 19,125,649 outstanding at October 31, 2019   
18,665,551 issued and 18,648,884 outstanding at April 30, 201919,142  18,666 
Additional paid-in capital69,781,363  68,562,727 
Treasury stock (16,667 shares)(70,000) (70,000)
Accumulated deficit(44,763,415) (42,049,965)
Total stockholders’ equity24,967,090  26,461,428 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$52,888,139  $43,204,503 


 Three Months Ended
October 31,
 Six Months Ended
October 31,
 2019  2018  2019  2018 
Revenues$12,085,965  $8,095,344  $22,443,947  $15,316,649 
Operating expenses       
Cost of revenues (exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below)4,188,056  3,835,515  8,541,114  7,587,907 
General and administrative7,601,459  6,210,411  14,638,609  12,034,543 
Depreciation and amortization628,225  524,067  1,234,799  1,022,172 
Total operating expenses12,417,740  10,569,993  24,414,522  20,644,622 
Operating loss(331,775) (2,474,649) (1,970,575) (5,327,973)
Other income (expense)       
Other income132,567  41,493  155,369  97,894 
Interest expense(428,960) (41,922) (852,649) (82,275)
Total other income/(expense), net(296,393) (429) (697,280) 15,619 
Loss before income taxes(628,168) (2,475,078) (2,667,855) (5,312,354)
Income tax expense10,000    45,595   
Net loss$(638,168) $(2,475,078) $(2,713,450) $(5,312,354)
Net loss per share allocable to common stockholders - basic and diluted$(0.03) $(0.13) $(0.14) $(0.29)
Weighted average number of common stock outstanding - basic and diluted18,985,371  18,335,413  18,859,344  18,326,621 

Three Months Ended October 31, 2019 and 2018

   Additional        Total 
 Common Stock Paid-In
 Shares Amount Capital  Stock  Deficit  Equity 
Balance at July 31, 201918,913,527 $18,914 $69,146,123  $(70,000) $(44,125,247) $24,969,790 
Stock-based compensation  391,067      391,067 
Common stock issued for cashless stock options exercised80,313 80 (80)      
Common stock issued for stock options exercised for cash90,950 90 192,432      192,522 
Common stock issued for cashless warrant exercise57,526 58 (58)      
Amortization of warrant based cost  9,125      9,125 
Amortization of restricted stock issued for services  42,754      42,754 
Net loss      (638,168) (638,168)
Balance at October 31, 201919,142,316 $19,142 $69,781,363  $(70,000) $(44,763,415) $24,967,090 
   Additional        Total 
 Common Stock Paid-In
 Shares Amount Capital  Stock  Deficit  Equity 
Balance at July 31, 201818,341,440 $18,341 $66,744,959  $(70,000) $(35,609,024) $31,084,276 
Stock-based compensation  305,315      305,315 
Common stock issued for cashless stock options exercised25,534 26 (26)      
Common stock issued for stock options exercised for cash24,118 24 52,261      52,285 
Net loss      (2,475,078) (2,475,078)
Balance at October 31, 201818,391,092 $18,391 $67,102,509  $(70,000) $(38,084,102) $28,966,798 

Six Months Ended October 31, 2019 and 2018

   Additional        Total 
 Common Stock Paid-In
 Shares Amount Capital  Stock  Deficit  Equity 
Balance at April 30, 201918,665,551 $18,666 $68,562,727  $(70,000) $(42,049,965) $26,461,428 
Stock-based compensation  889,484      889,484 
Common stock issued for cashless stock options exercised182,207 182 (182)      
Common stock issued for stock options exercised for cash112,826 113 237,600      237,713 
Common stock issued for cashless warrant exercise76,929 77 (77)      
Amortization of warrant based cost  18,565      18,565 
Amortization of restricted stock issued for services  73,350      73,350 
Restricted Stock Issued for Services, subject to vesting104,803 104 (104)      
Net loss      (2,713,450) (2,713,450)
Balance at October 31, 201919,142,316 $19,142 $69,781,363  $(70,000) $(44,763,415) $24,967,090 
   Additional        Total 
 Common Stock Paid-In
 Shares Amount Capital  Stock  Deficit  Equity 
Balance at April 30, 201818,333,521 $18,334 $66,557,005  $(70,000) $(32,771,748) $33,733,591 
Stock-based compensation  515,291      515,291 
Common stock issued for cashless stock options exercised30,764 31 (31)      
Common stock issued for stock options exercised for cash26,807 26 60,076      60,102 
Purchase of treasury stock, net of broker fees    (7,370,000)   (7,370,000)
Re-sale of treasury stock, net of broker fees    7,370,000    7,370,000 
Fees associated with equity raise  (29,832)     (29,832)
Net loss      (5,312,354) (5,312,354)
Balance at October 31, 201818,391,092 $18,391 $67,102,509  $(70,000) $(38,084,102) $28,966,798 



 Six Months Ended
October 31,
 2019  2018 
Cash flows from operating activities:   
Net loss$(2,713,450) $(5,312,354)
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities:   
Bad debt expense648,658  292,889 
Depreciation and amortization1,234,799  1,022,172 
Stock-based compensation889,484  515,291 
Warrants issued for services18,565   
Loss on asset disposition3,918   
Amortization of debt discounts135,298   
Amortization of debt issue costs50,255   
Amortization of prepaid shares for services  8,285 
Non-cash payments to investor relations firm73,350   
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:   
Accounts receivable(5,211,195) (4,028,143)
Prepaid expenses(378,184) (238,951)
Other receivables1,833  179,196 
Other current assets(172,507)  
Other assets304,676  (20,846)
Accounts payable(511,473) (601,225)
Accrued expenses88,243  72,737 
Deferred rent(25,902) 453,880 
Refunds due students727,710  366,098 
Deferred revenue3,052,996  1,631,170 
Other liabilities(242,181) 172,378 
Net cash used in operating activities(2,025,107) (5,487,423)
Cash flows from investing activities:   
Purchases of courseware and accreditation(9,575) (85,821)
Purchases of property and equipment(1,244,078) (1,345,777)
Net cash used in investing activities(1,253,653) (1,431,598)
Cash flows from financing activities:   
Disbursements for equity offering costs  (29,832)
Proceeds of stock options exercised and warrants exercised237,713  60,102 
Purchase of treasury stock, net of broker fees  (7,370,000)
Re-sale of treasury stock, net of broker fees  7,370,000 
Net cash provided by financing activities237,713  30,270 
Net (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents(3,041,047) (6,888,751)
Cash, restricted cash, and cash equivalents at beginning of period9,967,752  14,803,065 
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period$6,926,705  $7,914,314 
Supplemental disclosure cash flow information   
Cash paid for interest$652,121  $ 
Cash paid for income taxes$49,595  $ 
Supplemental disclosure of non-cash investing and financing activities   
Common stock issued for services$178,447  $ 
Right-of-use lease asset offset against operating lease obligations$7,469,167  $ 


The following table provides a reconciliation of cash and restricted cash reported within the unaudited consolidated balance sheets that sum to the same such amounts shown in the unaudited consolidated statements of cash flows:

 Six Months Ended
October 31,
 2019  2018
Cash$6,472,417  $7,723,808 
Restricted cash454,288  190,506 
Total cash and restricted cash$6,926,705  $7,914,314 

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