Sylvan's profits hit records for 4th quarter and the year

February 28, 1997|By Greg Schneider | Greg Schneider,SUN STAFF

Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. of Baltimore capped a robust year yesterday by reporting record earnings for both the fourth quarter of 1996 and for the 12 months.

The nationwide testing and tutoring company said it cleared $5.6 million, or 22 cents a share, on total fourth-quarter revenues of $44.3 million, 41 percent more than $31.5 million in sales a year earlier.

For the corresponding period in 1995, Sylvan reported only $98,000 in net income, or less than 1 cent a share -- but that came after a $4.1 million charge related to the purchase of Drake Prometric LP, a Minnesota computerized testing company.

Another $2.4 million in Drake expenses retarded year-end earnings for 1996, but the company's $157.1 million in total revenues marked a 78 percent increase over 1995. Net income of $14.7 million translated to 58 cents a share.

Revenues for 1995 totaled $88 million, and net income was $3.5 million, or 21 cents a share, after the $4.1 million loss on Drake and another $3.3 million lost on impairment of assets.

There were 24.4 million shares outstanding at the end of 1996 -- compared with 16 million in 1995 -- after a 3-for-2 stock split in November.

Sylvan reported strong sales every quarter last year. Yesterday, the company said the growth was sustained by every line of business.

Fourth-quarter testing revenues increased 33 percent over the same period in 1995, to $22.8 million from $17.1 million. Revenue from contracts to offer educational services in school districts rose 21 percent for the fourth quarter, to $9.8 million, compared with $8.1 million for that period the year before.

The division that runs Sylvan Learning Centers, which offer tutorial services to students of all ages, logged an 86 percent increase in revenue for the fourth quarter, reaching $11.7 million. That compared with $6.3 million in revenue for that period the year before.

Sylvan stock closed unchanged yesterday at $35.50.

Pub Date: 2/28/97

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