Market Overview

Aspen Group, Inc. Pre-Announces 42% Increase in Q4 2020 Revenue to $14.5 Million and FY 2020 Revenue Increase of 45% to $49.5 Million; Higher LTV Programs now Represent 44% of Revenues

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(All compares year-over-year)

  • Total enrollments grew by 32% to 7,668
  • Annual bookings grew over 68% to $111.3 million, exceeding Company's forecast of $102 million
  • APRU increased 27% to $14,514 for FY2020

NEW YORK, June 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aspen Group, Inc. ("AGI") (NASDAQ:ASPU), an education technology holding company, today announced fourth quarter and full year fiscal 2020 operating metric results and pre-announced revenue for the two periods that ended April 30, 2020.

Aspen Group expects to report revenue of $14.5 million for the fourth quarter, a sequential increase of $2.0 million or 16% and a year-over-year increase of 42%. Therefore, fiscal year 2020 revenues are expected to be $49.5 million, or an increase of 45%. The company's focus on its two newest business units that generate the Company's highest LTV's, United States University's MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) and Aspen's BSN Pre-Licensure (PL-BSN) programs, now represent 44% of total revenue.  Sequentially, these two units grew by 23%.

Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Full Year Fiscal 2020 Revenue Summary (in millions)

  Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
  April 30, 2020 April 30, 2019 % Change April 30, 2020 April 30, 2019 % Change
Revenue $14.5 $10.2 42% $49.5 $34.0 45%

New student enrollments in the fiscal 2020 fourth quarter increased 14% year-over-year to 1,776. Quarterly bookings increased 36% year-over-year to $26.6 million. Enrollments for fiscal year 2020 increased 32% to 7,668 students, and total bookings rose 68% to $111.3 million, exceeding the company's forecast for fiscal 2020 bookings growth of 54% to $102 million.

Fiscal 2020 Total Enrollment, Bookings and Average Revenue Per Enrollment (ARPU)

  April 30, 2020 April 30, 2019 Percent Change
Year-over-Year
Enrollments  7,668 5,802 32.2%
Bookings1 $ 111,295,650 $ 66,091,350 68.4%
ARPU $ 14,514 $ 11,391 27.4%
1 "Bookings" are defined by multiplying Lifetime Value (LTV) per enrollment by new student enrollments for each operating unit.

"Our 32% enrollment growth in FY 2020 drove a 45% increase in our annual revenue. These strong results demonstrate the effectiveness of our strategy to grow revenue with a targeted marketing spend on high LTV degree programs. As a result, the enrollment increases in our Aspen University Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PL-BSN, and United States University's (USU) MSN-FNP programs drove total bookings growth of 68% and increased Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) 27%. Finally, the improvement in our Marketing Efficiency Ratio (MER) which remained over 10X at both universities was the result of the consistent year-over-year decline in the cost of enrollment," said Chairman & CEO, Michael Mathews.

COVID-19 Update from the CEO

Mr. Mathews stated: "The fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 was an unparalleled challenge and experience for Aspen Group given the majority of our students are RNs. We had to respond quickly to an unprecedented pandemic to keep our employees, instructors, and students safe – our priority, while adapting and maintaining our ongoing business operations. I am incredibly proud of the entire Aspen Group team's performance and happy to report that we are safe and healthy. I want to thank our employees and instructors who rallied so rapidly to move the curriculum for our two hybrid/clinical programs fully online. The feedback has been excellent, and students have remained satisfied with their academic experience. Our teams are doing an outstanding job of managing our business as the overall environment continues to evolve.

I'm pleased to report that the COVID-19 crisis did not have a material impact on the Company's financial results for Q4 fiscal 2020, as evidenced by our record revenues of $14.5 million. Course starts and persistence amongst our active student body remained at pre-COVID-19 levels throughout the quarter and during the month of May.

Enrollments in our highest LTV programs remained at pre-COVID-19 levels throughout the quarter, however the Company did experience a moderate slowdown in Aspen University post-licensure online nursing degree enrollments for approximately a six week period between mid-March and end-April. We are pleased to report that enrollments across all units in the Company came back to pre-COVID-19 levels throughout the month of May.

COVID-19 has focused a spotlight on the shortage of nurses in the U.S. and, in particular, the need for nurses with four-year and advanced degrees such as USU's MSN-FNP and Aspen's DNP programs. Our country will continue to face a severe nursing shortage, compounded by a lack of sufficient pre-licensure nursing school capacity. We believe we will be operating in a tailwind environment for many years relative to the planned expansion of our Pre-Licensure BSN hybrid campus business. Aspen Group's mission to make education affordable is helping in the battle to put more nurses on the frontlines. We support the nurses who want to advance their careers with advanced degrees, and the individuals who wish to join this honorable career, by providing affordable access to high-quality education. Our unique approach to the higher education sector, based on our proprietary EdTech platform, allows us to offer competitive tuition rates, and for 100% online programs, a monthly payment plan that gives students tremendous financial flexibility. Aspen Group will continue to work with all our stakeholders as we adapt to meet new challenges and we'll remain focused on our strategy of driving growth of the nursing profession," stated Mathews.

Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2020 Enrollment Overview

For the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020, Aspen University year-over-year enrollment grew 8% to 1,344 new student enrollments. Enrollment growth at Aspen University was driven by the Pre-Licensure BSN program as a result of a full quarter of enrollments at both Phoenix, AZ campuses, as compared to the prior year with only one campus open. USU accounted for 432 new student enrollments in the quarter driven primarily by MSN-FNP enrollments, a 36% enrollment increase year-over-year.

For fiscal year 2020, Aspen University year-over-year enrollment grew 26% to 5,953 new student enrollments, and USU year-over-year enrollment grew 62% to 1,715 new student enrollments.

Below is a table reflecting new student enrollments for the past five quarters:

New Student Enrollments by Quarter
  Q4 2019 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q3 2020 Q4 2020
Aspen University 1,243 1,415 1,823 1,371 1,344
USU   317 514 394   375   432
Total 1,560 1,929 2,217 1,746 1,776

In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020 the Marketing Efficiency Ratio (MER) for our universities, representing revenue-per-enrollment (LTV) over cost-per-enrollment (CAC), improved 38% for Aspen University and 14% for USU, as shown in the below table:

Fourth Quarter Marketing Efficiency Ratio
  Enrollments CAC1 LTV2  Q4 ‘20 MER  Q4 ‘19 MER MER % Change
Aspen University 1,344 $ 1,284 $ 14,0583 10.9X 7.9X 38%
USU 432 $ 1,423 $ 17,8204 12.5X 11.0X 14%
Based on 6-month rolling weighted average CAC for each university's enrollments
Lifetime Value (LTV) of a new student enrollment
Weighted average LTV for all Aspen University enrollments in the quarter
LTV for USU's MSN-FNP Program

The improved year-over-year MER results were driven by the in the decline in cost of enrollment.  Compared to the previous year, AGI's weighted average cost of enrollment declined 10%, from $1,462 to $1,315.

Fourth Quarter Weighted Average Cost of Enrollment
  Q4 ‘19
Enrollments
Q4 '19 CAC1 Q4 ‘20
Enrollments
Q4 '20 CAC1 CAC % Change
Aspen University 1,243 $ 1,420 1,344 $ 1,284 -10%
USU 317 $ 1,619 432 $ 1,423 -12%
Weighted Average   $ 1,462   $ 1,315 -10%
Based on 6-month rolling average

On a year-over-year basis, fiscal fourth quarter 2020 bookings increased 36% to $26.6 million, delivering a company-wide average revenue per enrollment (APRU) increase of 19% to $14,973. For the full year fiscal 2020, bookings increased 68% to $111.3 million, delivering a company-wide average revenue per enrollment (APRU) increase of 27% to $14,514.

Fourth Quarter Bookings and Average Revenue Per Enrollment (ARPU)
  Q4'2019 Enrollments Q4'2019 Bookings Q4'2020 Enrollments Q4'2020 Bookings Percent Change
Total Bookings & ARPU
Aspen University   1,243 $ 13,942,200 1,344 $ 18,893,550  
USU 317 $ 5,648,940   432 $ 7,698,240  
Total   1,560 $ 19,591,140 1,776 $ 26,591,790 36%
ARPU   $ 12,558   $ 14,973 19%

AGI's overall active student body (includes both Aspen University and USU) grew 28% year-over-year from 8,932 to 11,444. Aspen University's total active degree-seeking student body grew 22% year-over-year from 7,784 to 9,487. On a year-over-year basis, USU's total active student body grew from 1,148 to 1,957 or 70%. The chart below shows the student body growth over the past five quarters. 

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/cbe262f1-eae5-4a79-8a7f-37f1837da6b1

Fiscal 2020 Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call Details:

Aspen Group, Inc. will host a conference call to discuss its fiscal year 2020 full year and fourth quarter financial results and business outlook on Tuesday, July 7th, 2020, 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 8998064. Subsequent to the call, a transcript of the audiocast will be available from the Company's website at ir.aspen.edu. 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 8998064.

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. For more information, visit www.aspu.com.

Forward-Looking Statements:

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including expected revenue, the percentage growth of revenue based items, future enrollment growth, the continuing impact of COVID-19 and the future impact of 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 demand of nursing students for the new programs, student attrition, national and local economic factors including the substantial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, the competitive impact from the trend of major non-profit universities using online education, and any unanticipated audit adjustments. Other risks are included in our filings with the SEC including our Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2019, Form 10-Q for the three months ended January 31, 2020 and prospectus supplement dated January 17, 2020. 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:

Kimberly Rogers
Hayden IR
(385) 831-7337
Kim@HaydenIR.com
ircontact@aspen.edu 

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