Aspen Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASPU) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Dec 10, 2019 • 04:30 pm ET

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Aspen Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASPU) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Executive
Michael D. Mathews

SG&A and capital allocation, all areas of which will be critical as we continue to execute on our long-term growth plans. Welcome, Frank.

I'd also like to thank Joe Sevely for his service as CFO since September 2018. At that time, the company was midstream and rebuilding USU and had just launched the pre-licensure campus business. As a result, Joe's main mission at the company was to help us significantly improve financial performance while continuing to aggressively grow. It was originally thought it may take two or more years to achieve that. However, a little over a year later due to high growth of the business, effective expense control and a strong focus on cash flow, those goals have been largely achieved. Having accomplished what he set out to do, Joe has now decided to pursue other interests, including continuing to teach at Columbia and NYU and focusing on financial services, where he spent most of his career.

Finally, I'd like to welcome Robert Alessi to the senior management team as we just promoted Rob to the role of Chief Accounting Officer. Rob joined us several months ago, having recently served as the Vice President, Financial Controller for Prometheus Global Media, a New York City-based media company, where he managed the accounting and reporting functions. Rob has over 20 years of experience in financial accounting, SEC reporting, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and cash management. Congratulations on your new role, Rob.

Okay. Let's begin with an overview of the strong results this quarter and the factors which drove our operating improvement. Our revenue accelerated during the second quarter, increasing 49% year-over-year, while total operating expenses increased only 17% year-over-year due to an 11% year-over-year decrease in marketing spend, diligent expense management and improved operating leverage. This resulted in a significant reduction in our net loss and generated positive EBITDA 4% and adjusted EBITDA of 11% in the quarter.

Let's spend a minute on how we achieve those results. It starts with our proprietary EdTech platform that produces highly qualified leads. These leads are prioritized by an algorithm in our CRM, directing our enrollment advisers [Phonetic] outreach to prospective students with the highest probability of enrolling. In fact, this past quarter, we experienced our highest conversion rate in history, 14% in our traditional Aspen Online Nursing + Other unit. We also have been prioritizing our marketing spend to drive enrollment in our degree programs with the highest lifetime value or LTV. Specifically, Aspen University's Doctoral program, USU's MSN Family Nurse Practitioner, or FNP program and Aspen University's pre-licensure BSN program.

The second quarter is our strongest seasonal enrollment quarter, and it did not disappoint. We set a quarterly record of 2,217 enrollments, a 42% increase year-over-year. Aspen University accounted for 1,823 new student enrollments, which included 190 doctoral enrollments and 437 pre-licensure BSN Arizona campus enrollments, delivering overall enrollment growth at Aspen University of 41% year-over-year.

Enrollment growth at Aspen University was highlighted by the Doctoral unit, which increased by 43% and the pre-licensure