Post Co. Profits Rise, But Kaplan’s Expected to Drop

The Washington Post Co. saw an increase in earnings for the third quarter over last year. But it may soon see a decline in profits from its education division, which has long been a reliable booster of the company’s bottom line.

Net income rose to $60.9 million this year, from $17.1 million for the third quarter of 2009. That was due to “increased revenues at the education, television broadcasting and newspaper publishing divisions,” according to the earnings report.

In the education division, revenue rose 9 percent from 2009, reaching $743.3 million. Education revenues could decline, however, due to changes at the Post Co.’s for-profit Kaplan schools. The government has been investigating practices of for-profit educators such as Kaplan, which are accused of making empty promises to potential students about their employment prospects after graduating, according to this Associated Press report.

In response, Kaplan will introduce the “Kaplan Commitment” program, which will allow students to enroll for a free trial-run period before paying. “The recent and potential rulemaking activities and the ‘Kaplan Commitment’ could have a material adverse effect on Kaplan’s operating results,” the earnings report says.