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Online schools operator files IPO plan

NEW YORK -- American Public Education Inc., a provider of online post-secondary education, filed yesterday for an initial public offering of its common stock.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Charles Town, W. Va.-based company did not disclose the number or expected price range of the shares to be offered, but indicated the offer price could total up to $92 million.

American Public Education said the offering price was estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee and may change.

The company plans to use the proceeds to pay a special distribution to stockholders after the completion of the offering. The amount of the special distribution will be equal to gross proceeds from the sale, before any underwriting discount and expenses, and excluding any proceeds received if the underwriters exercise an overallotment option.

American Public Education operates through two universities, American Military University and American Public University. The universities share a common faculty and curriculum, which includes 50 degree programs and 48 certificate programs in such disciplines as national security, military studies, intelligence, homeland security, criminal justice, and liberal arts.

The universities serve roughly 25,000 part-time adult students throughout the United States and in more than 135 foreign countries. More than 80 percent of the students serve in the US military.

For the quarter ended March 31, American Public Education reported net income of $1.5 million, compared with $531,000 the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter increased to $14.1 million from $8.2 million in the year-ago period.

The company said it plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "APEI."