Bridgepoint Education Climbs After Ashford Gets Accreditation

Bridgepoint Education Inc. (BPI), the for-profit college majority-owned by Warburg Pincus LLC, rose as much as 27 percent in early trading after its Ashford University unit received accreditation approval yesterday.

The college was granted initial accreditation for five years by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges after responding to concerns about how it operated, according to a statement yesterday. Ashford had been denied approval last year after failing to comply with standards in areas including student retention and maintaining a core of full-time faculty.

“We believe this removes a substantial overhang” for Bridgepoint, Jeff Silber, a BMO Capital Markets analyst in New York, wrote in a note today. He rates the stock market perform, the equivalent of hold.

Bridgepoint rose 25 percent to $15.75 at 8:34 a.m. in New York and earlier climbed to $16.06. The San Diego-based company’s stock had added 22 percent this year through yesterday’s close, while the Russell 2000 Index advanced 20 percent.

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