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Bridgepoint Education Surges on Ashford Accreditation

Bridgepoint Education Inc., the for-profit college company majority-owned by Warburg Pincus LLC, rose the most in more than four years after its Ashford University unit received accreditation approval yesterday.

Bridgepoint jumped 26 percent to $15.92 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day gain since April 2009. The San Diego-based company has climbed 55 percent this year.

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.

Alexander Paris, an analyst at Barrington Research in Chicago, upgraded Bridgepoint to outperform from market perform, citing initiatives including the addition of more support services and full-time faculty to increase retention and graduation rates.

Apollo Group Inc., owner of the University of Phoenix, the largest for-profit college, advanced 6 percent to $18.97 in New York. Late yesterday, the Higher Learning Commission reaffirmed the Phoenix-based school’s accreditation through the 2022-2023 academic year.

Oliver Staley in London at

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