DeVry’s Stock Tumbles After CFO Leaves

The abrupt departure of DeVry Education's CEO and the subsequent resignation of the CFO makes Wall Street anxious.
Katie Kuehner-HebertJune 2, 2016

DeVry Education’s stock took a tumble after the for-profit higher education firm late Wednesday said that its chief financial officer Timothy Wiggins had resigned — a week after the abrupt departure of chief executive Daniel Hamburger.

The Downers Grove, Ill.-based company did not give a reason why Wiggins had left the company. He was replaced by Patrick Unzicker, who was most recently DeVry’s vice president, chief accounting officer, and treasurer.

Earlier, on May 24 the company said that Hamburger was stepping down, effective immediately, and that Lisa Wardell had been named CEO. DeVry said Hamburger left to pursue other opportunities. Wardell previously was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the RLJ Cos., an asset management firm, and was already a director on DeVry’s board.

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DeVry’s shares fell 13% on Thursday. A similar-size fall hit the stock the day after Hamburger’s departure was announced. Through Wednesday, the stock had plummeted 28% year to date, while the S&P 500 had gained 2.7%.

DeVry University last year closed close 14 campus locations as part of an overall restructuring to deal with sagging enrollments and revenue, according to Inside Higher Ed. However, the company has fared well overseas in recent years, particularly in Brazil, and the company’s overall enrollment numbers are up.

DeVry has also been dealing with a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission, which last year sued the university and its parent company over allegations of deceptive claims about job-placement rates and graduates’ wages, though DeVry has contested those allegations.

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