Government Solutions – Results-Oriented, Hands-On Training for All Levels of Government

Risk Factors

Item 1A. RISK FACTORS.

You should carefully consider the following discussion of various risks and uncertainties, keeping in mind that they are not the only ones that affect us. Additional risks that we do not presently consider material, or of which we are not currently aware, may also have an adverse impact on us.

Common Stock Price Fluctuations

Historically, our common stock price has fluctuated, and we expect fluctuations to continue in the future.

General Factors. We believe some of the reasons for past fluctuations in the price of our stock related to factors such as:

  • variations in our revenues, gross margins, earnings or other financial results;
  • fluctuations in general conditions in the economy, our market, and the markets served by our customers;
  • announcements of developments related to our business;
  • announcements concerning new products or enhancements by us or our competitors;
  • developments in our relationships with our customers;
  • market perceptions of new means of delivering training;
  • introductions of new technologies both by our customers and technology vendors; and
  • limited public float and low daily trading volume.

In addition, prices in the stock market, particularly for technology-related stocks, have been volatile in recent years. In some cases, the fluctuations have been unrelated to the operating performance of the affected companies. As a result, the price of our common stock could fluctuate in the future without regard to our operating performance.

Future Sales of Our Common Stock. Sales of our common stock by our founders, officers, directors and employees could adversely and unpredictably affect the price of shares of our common stock. Additionally, the price could be affected even by the potential for sales by these persons. In addition to the 13,222,539 shares of common stock outstanding as of December 1, 2014, as of that date, we are authorized to issue up to 201,810 shares of common stock upon the exercise of outstanding options and vesting of restricted stock units, and an additional 631,850 shares of common stock remained available for issuance of equity awards under our 2007 Equity Incentive Plan. We cannot predict the effect that any future sales of our common stock, or the potential for those sales, will have on our share price.

If we fail to maintain compliance with the continued listing requirements of the NASDAQ Global Market, our common stock may be delisted and the price of our common stock and our ability to access the capital markets could be negatively impacted.

Our common stock is currently listed for trading on The NASDAQ Global Market and we received a notice from The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC ("NASDAQ") on August 13, 2014, that we were not in compliance with Rule 5450 of the Nasdaq Listing Rules. Rule 5450 requires a listed company to maintain a minimum of $10,000,000 in stockholders' equity for its continued listing on The NASDAQ Global Market. We reported stockholders' equity of $9,649,000 in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 27, 2014.

On September 3, 2014, our wholly-owned subsidiary, Learning Tree International USA, Inc., closed the previously announced sale of land, improvements, certain other related personal property and appurtenant real property comprising our 1831 Michael Faraday Drive, Reston, Virginia property for an aggregate purchase price of $10.2 million. Primarily as a result of this transaction, our stockholders' equity as of October 3, 2014 was approximately $15.8 million. As a result, we believe that we are compliant with NASDAQ's minimum stockholders' equity requirement in Rule 5450.

On September 26, 2014, we submitted to NASDAQ our plan to regain compliance with the minimum stockholders' equity requirement. On October 8, 2014, NASDAQ granted us an extension to regain compliance with the stockholders' equity requirement until January 16, 2015. We are required to evidence compliance with the stockholders' equity requirement in Rule 5450. To regain compliance, we have included in this filing on Form 10-K the information and statements required of us by NASDAQ. Although we believe that we have complied with all requirements to regain compliance under Rule 5450, there is no assurance this will occur.

If we fail to maintain compliance with the continued listing requirements of The NASDAQ Global Market, our common stock may be delisted in the future. A delisting of our common stock from The NASDAQ Global Market could substantially further reduce the liquidity of our common stock and result in a corresponding material reduction in the price of our common stock. In addition, delisting could harm our ability to raise capital through alternative financing sources on terms acceptable to us, or at all, and may result in the potential loss of confidence by investors, suppliers, customers and employees and fewer business development opportunities.

Limited Liquidity

We have no outstanding debt or line-of-credit agreements. We anticipate we will continue to rely primarily on our balance of cash and cash equivalents on hand, cash flows from operations, and other financing available to us to finance our operating cash needs.

Due to the absence of any outstanding debt or line-of-credit agreement to provide liquidity, any adverse impact on our operating results could impact our cash flows from operations and our ability to meet our operating cash needs. This would likely have a material adverse impact on our stock price.

Fluctuations in Operating Results

Historically, our operating results have fluctuated, and we expect fluctuations to continue in the future.

Fluctuations in our historical operating results have resulted from many factors, some of which are beyond our control. In the future, these or other factors could have a material adverse impact on our operating results and cause our stock price to decrease. For example:

Timing of Course Development, and Sales and Marketing Expenditures. We try to adjust our expenditures for course development and sales and marketing to maintain our long-term profitability, including our assessment of the potential to influence future customer demand, market conditions, and other factors. This may mean accepting reduced margins in poor economic periods, as we must commit too much of our spending before our attendees enroll in our courses. If revenues fall short of our expectations, we may not be able to adjust our expenditures quickly enough to compensate for lower than anticipated revenues. This could compound the impact of any revenue shortfall and further affect our operating results and the price of our common stock.

Course Scheduling and Marketing Activities. The timing and content of our courses and our marketing activities can affect the number of participants who attend our courses. Some of the activities that can contribute to fluctuations in our operating results include:

  • the frequency of our course events;
  • the number of weeks during which our courses can be conducted in a quarter;
  • the timing, timely delivery, frequency and size of, and the response to, our direct mail marketing and advertising campaigns;
  • the timing of introduction of new course titles;
  • the average length of courses, based on the current mix of course titles, which affects the average revenue per attendee; and
  • the mix between course events held at customer locations and course events held in our education centers and hotels due to differing gross profit margins.

Seasonal Factors. Our quarterly revenues and income fluctuate due to the seasonal spending patterns of our customers, which are affected by factors such as:

  • cyclic or one-time budgetary considerations;
  • government spending and budget cycles;
  • factors specific to their business or industry; and
  • weather, holiday and vacation considerations.

Use of Accounting Estimates. The preparation of our financial statements in conformity with Accounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States requires us to make estimates and assumptions in calculating our financial results. As one example, we currently offer our customers a multiple-course sales discount referred to as a Training Passport, which allows an individual Passport holder to attend up to a specified number of Learning Tree courses over a one- to two-year period for a fixed price. For a Training Passport, the amount of revenue we recognize for each attendance in one of our courses is based upon the selling price of the Training Passport, the list price of the course taken, the average list price of all courses taken, and our estimate of the average number of courses a Passport holder will actually attend. After expiration of a Training Passport, we record the difference, if any, between the revenue previously recognized and the Training Passport selling price. We base our estimate of the average number of course events that a Training Passport holder will attend on historical trends. However, these historical trends may not accurately predict the actual number of course events that a Training Passport holder will attend in the future. If average Training Passport attendance rates were to increase, for example, we would have to make negative adjustments to our revenue, which could be significant. For a summary of some of our key accounting estimates, please see our "Critical Accounting Estimates and Policies" in Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

We may not be able to fully utilize our deferred tax assets and changes in our tax rates or exposure to additional tax liabilities could adversely affect our financial position. In fiscal year 2012, we established a valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets in the United States and France due to current year and projected future pre-tax book losses. We continued to maintain this valuation allowance throughout fiscal years 2013 and 2014. Management judgment is required in determining our provision for income taxes and in determining whether any deferred tax assets will be realized in full or in part, primarily with respect to projected taxable income. The estimate of future taxable income can never be predicted with certainty. It is derived from budgets and strategic business plans but is dependent on numerous factors, some of which are beyond our control. Substantial variance of actual results from estimated future taxable profits, or changes in our estimate of future taxable profits, could lead to changes in deferred tax assets being realizable, and would require a corresponding adjustment to the valuation allowance. Our income tax provision could be significantly impacted by estimates surrounding our uncertain tax positions, decisions on repatriation of foreign earnings, and changes to our valuation allowance in future periods. As a result, we may not be able to use the full amount of our deferred tax assets and may be exposed to elevated tax rates or additional tax liabilities, which could adversely affect our financial position.

Changing Regulation of Corporate Governance and Public Disclosure. Changing laws, regulations and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure can result in uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs incurred with ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices. As a result, our efforts to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards have resulted in, and are likely to continue to result in, increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities. If our efforts to comply with new or changed laws, regulations and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to practice, our reputation may be harmed.

Introductions and Adoption of New Technology. Our customers tend to increase their training at times when new technology is being introduced. During periods when fewer new technologies are being introduced, demand for our training courses may decrease, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Other Factors. Other factors that may affect our operating results include:

  • competitive forces within our current and anticipated future markets;
  • our ability to attract customers and meet their expectations;
  • currency fluctuations and other risks inherent in international operations;
  • general economic conditions;
  • differences in the timing of our spending on the marketing of our courses, as well as the timing of our spending on the development of our courses and other areas; and
  • excess capacity and/or unused space in our education centers and/or administrative office facilities, and our ability to sublease or find other uses for it.

All or any of these and similar factors could cause our operating results to differ substantially from the expectations of public market analysts and investors, which would likely have a material adverse impact on our stock price.

Risks Associated with Technology Changes

If we do not adequately anticipate or respond to changes in technology, it could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Changes in technology can affect our business in at least two principal ways. First, we must anticipate and keep pace with the introduction of new hardware, software and other information technologies and develop courses that effectively train customers in the technologies they use now and will use in the future. Second, we must adapt to changes in the technologies by which we can deliver training to our customers' employees. As a result of technology developments, we may have to make substantial and unanticipated expenditures to develop new course titles, buy new equipment, or invest in further course development software and processes to deliver our courses. Further, we may not adequately anticipate or respond successfully to technology changes for many reasons, including misjudging the impact of technology changes, as well as financial, technological or other constraints. A lack of adequate response on our part to changes in information technology platforms, customer preferences or software technology could have a material adverse impact on our operating results and stock price.

Competition

If our customers decide that they prefer training offered by new or existing competitors, it could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

The IT and management training markets are highly fragmented, with low barriers to entry. No single competitor holds a dominant market share. We face intense competition from both established entities and new entries in the market. Our primary competitors include:

  • internal training departments within our current and potential customers;
  • computer hardware and software vendors and their Authorized Training and Education Center partners;
  • independent education and training companies;
  • academic providers; and
  • software systems integrators.

Some of our competitors offer course titles and programs similar to ours at lower prices. In addition, some competitors have greater financial and other resources than us. Additionally, hardware and software vendors, as well as software systems integrators, may combine IT education and training with sales of their products or other services, which could allow them to offer training at lower prices than we do. Furthermore, future consolidation of IT vendors or training companies could have a material impact on our future operations.

The risk of outsourcing of corporate IT administration and software development overseas to countries or firms not currently served by us could have a material adverse impact on our future operations.

Although instructor-led classroom training continues to dominate the worldwide IT and management training markets, technology-based education and training formats, such as Internet-based distance learning, have gained some acceptance. Accordingly, our future results may also depend on the extent to which the market will continue to accept instructor-led IT and management training and on our ability to develop and market instructor-led courses that compete effectively against technology-based courses offered by our competitors.

Risks Associated with International Operations

Approximately half of our annual revenue is generated by courses conducted outside the United States. Therefore, if we do not adequately anticipate and respond to the risks inherent in international operations, it could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Foreign Currency Fluctuations. Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in U.S. dollars, while the operations of our foreign subsidiaries are conducted in their respective local currencies. Consequently, changes in exchange rates can unpredictably and adversely affect our consolidated operating results and could result in exchange losses. We do not hedge against the risks associated with fluctuations in exchange rates. Even if we were to use hedging techniques in the future, we might not be able to eliminate or reduce the effects of currency fluctuations. Thus, exchange rate fluctuations could have a material adverse impact on our operating results and stock price.

Other Risks Associated with International Operations. Additionally, our results of operations may be adversely affected by other international risks, such as:

  • difficulties in translating our courses into foreign languages;
  • international political and economic conditions;
  • changes in and/or compliance with government regulation in various countries;
  • trade barriers;
  • difficulty in staffing our foreign offices, and in training and retaining foreign instructors;
  • adverse income tax and transfer pricing consequences; and
  • potential costs associated with expansion into new territories or withdrawing from a territory.

We expect that international revenues will continue to be a significant portion of our total revenues. A lack of anticipation and response to the risks associated with international operations could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Dependence on Key Personnel

If we are unable to recruit and retain qualified personnel, it could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Our success depends in large part on the continued services of our executive officers, our senior managers and other key personnel. The loss of these people, especially without advance notice, could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations. It is also very important that we attract and retain highly skilled personnel, including course instructors, to accommodate growth, new course titles and to replace personnel who leave. Competition for qualified personnel can be intense, especially in information technology industries and/or in certain geographic areas, and there are a limited number of people with the requisite knowledge and experience. Under these conditions, we could be unable to recruit, train and retain instructors and employees. If we cannot attract and retain qualified personnel, it could have a material adverse impact on our operating results and stock price.

Risks Associated with Intellectual Property

Events outside of our control could pose a threat to our intellectual property rights, as well as to our products and services.

Our patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights are important assets for us. Various events outside of our control could pose a threat to our intellectual property rights, as well as to our products and services. For example, effective intellectual property protection may not be available in every country in which our courses are delivered. We cannot be certain that our means of protecting our proprietary rights will be adequate or that our competitors will not independently develop similar course titles or delivery methods unencumbered by our proprietary rights. If substantial unauthorized use of our products were to occur, our business and results of operations could be materially adversely impacted. We may also have to defend against claims that our current or future courses infringe on the proprietary rights of others, or have to pursue claims to protect our proprietary rights. Defending against and prosecuting these claims is costly and time consuming and could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.

If substantial unauthorized use of our courses occurs or if we must defend against infringement claims, it could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Our success depends in part on our ability to protect our intellectual property and confidential information. Our course development process and course titles are proprietary and we rely primarily on a combination of statutory and common law copyright, trademark and trade secret laws, customer licensing agreements, employee and third-party nondisclosure agreements and other methods to protect those proprietary rights. Our course materials generally do not include any mechanisms to prohibit or prevent unauthorized use. As a result, someone could copy or otherwise obtain and use our course materials without authorization, either for educational use or to develop competing courses. In addition, we operate in countries that do not provide protection of proprietary rights to the same extent as the United States. Finally, our intellectual property rights will not prevent competitors from independently developing similar course titles or delivery methods. If substantial unauthorized use of our products were to occur, our results of operations and price of our common stock could be materially adversely impacted.

We may also have to defend against claims that our current or future courses infringe on the proprietary rights of others. If such a claim succeeded, we might have to change or eliminate courses and could be required to pay damages or royalties. In addition, litigation over intellectual property rights, whether brought by us or by someone else, could be time-consuming and expensive, even if we were ultimately to succeed. Accordingly, defending and prosecuting these claims could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Although we seek to obtain patent protection for our innovations, it is possible we may not be able to protect some of these innovations. Changes in patent law, foreign or domestic, may have an impact on our ability to obtain patent protections. Furthermore, there is always the possibility, despite our efforts, that the scope of the protection gained will be insufficient or that an issued patent may be deemed invalid or unenforceable. We also seek to maintain certain intellectual property as trade secrets. The secrecy could be compromised by outside parties, or by our employees or former employees, which would cause us to lose the competitive advantage resulting from these trade secrets.

Risks Associated with Laws and Regulations

Changes to laws and regulations can affect our operations and may limit our ability to operate in certain states and foreign jurisdictions or adversely impact our operating results.

Providers of educational programs to the public must comply with many laws and regulations of Federal, state and international governments. Generally, we are exempt from this type of regulation because we contract with the employer of the participants in our courses, and we do not participate in any Federal, state or foreign student aid or loan programs. However, changes to state and foreign laws and regulations targeting educational providers could affect our operations in the future and could limit our ability to obtain authorization to operate in certain states. If we were found in violation of a state's or foreign jurisdiction's current or future licensing or regulatory requirements, then we could be subject to civil or criminal sanctions, including monetary penalties, and we could also be barred from providing educational services in that state or foreign jurisdiction. In addition, laws and regulatory decisions in many areas other than education could also adversely affect our operations. Complying with current or future legal requirements could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

We are subject to tax audits by state, Federal and foreign jurisdictions. Such audits are to be expected and may result in adjustments as a result of the accretion of tax jurisdiction interpretations and changes in operational practices. Any such audits may result in additional taxes being assessed or in the refund of taxes previously paid. Such changes could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Risks Associated with Cyber Security

Security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information and expose us to liability, which would cause our business and reputation to suffer.

In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including intellectual property, our proprietary business information and that of our customers, suppliers and business partners, and personally identifiable information of our customers and employees, in our data centers and on our networks. The secure processing, maintenance and transmission of this information is critical to our operations and business strategy. Despite our security measures, our information technology and infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions. Any such breach could compromise our networks and the information stored there could be accessed, publicly disclosed, lost or stolen. Any such access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, regulatory penalties, disrupt our operations and the services we provide to customers, damage our reputation, and cause a loss of confidence in our products and services, which could adversely affect our business/operating margins, revenues and competitive position.

Dependence on Key Vendors

Interruptions of services or support from our key vendors could result in an adverse impact to our operations and financial results.

We are reliant on key vendors for technical services and support. Any interruption of these services and/or support for a prolonged period of time could have a material adverse impact on our operations and financial results.

Control by Management

Senior personnel, especially our founders, own a majority of our outstanding shares and may therefore have significant influence over our policies and affairs and may be in a position to determine the outcome of corporate actions.

As of December 1, 2014, our executive officers and directors collectively beneficially own approximately 57.2% of our outstanding shares of common stock. As of that date, Dr. Collins, our Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, beneficially owned (including shares owned with his wife, Mary Collins, a director of the Company) approximately 31.7% of our outstanding shares of common stock. Eric Garen, our Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, beneficially owned approximately 25.0% of our outstanding shares of common stock as of December 1, 2014. Other officers and directors owned approximately 0.6% of our outstanding shares of common stock as of December 1, 2014. Consequently, senior personnel, and Mr. Garen, Dr. Collins and Mary Collins in particular, have significant influence over, and may control our policies and affairs and may be in a position to determine the outcome of corporate actions requiring stockholder approval. These may include, for example, the election of directors, the adoption of amendments to our corporate documents and the approval of mergers and sales of our assets.

Risks Associated with Possible Acquisitions and Other Strategic Transactions

If we cannot successfully implement any future acquisitions or other strategic transactions, it could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

On occasion, we evaluate business opportunities and other strategic transactions that appear to fit within our overall business strategy. We could decide to pursue one or more of these opportunities by acquisition or internal development. Acquisitions and other strategic transactions involve many risks, including:

  • the difficulty of integrating acquired technologies, operations and personnel with our existing operations;
  • the difficulty of developing and marketing new products and services;
  • the diversion of our management's attention as a result of evaluating, negotiating and integrating acquisitions or new business ventures;
  • our exposure to unforeseen liabilities of acquired companies; and
  • the loss of key employees of an acquired operation.

In addition, an acquisition or other strategic transactions could adversely impact cash flows and/or operating results, and dilute shareholder interests, for many reasons, including:

  • charges to our income to reflect the amortization of acquired intangible assets;
  • write-offs for the impairment of the carrying value of goodwill or other intangible assets;
  • interest costs and debt service requirements for any debt incurred in connection with an acquisition or new business venture; and
  • any issuance of securities in connection with an acquisition or other strategic transactions that dilutes or lessens the rights of our current common stockholders.

We have had no significant experience in executing and implementing acquisitions. Although we have implemented other strategic transactions, those ventures have not always been successful, and we may not succeed in the future. The risks associated with acquisitions and other strategic transactions could have a material adverse impact on our operating results and stock price.

Risks Associated with Changing Economic Conditions

General domestic and international economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and common stock price. As a result of the current economic uncertainty and macro-economic challenges currently affecting the economy of the United States and other parts of the world, some of our customers may choose to delay or postpone purchases of courses from us until the economy and their businesses strengthen.

United States government enactment of sequestration and inability to agree on a federal budget has adversely impacted our operations and financial results. We believe the implementation by the U.S. federal government of the automatic spending cuts commonly referred to as "Sequestration" had a significant negative impact on our North American operations as our government customers faced uncertainty over whether the amount of funds allotted for training was actually available. This uncertainty led to lower enrollments and cancellation of existing enrollments from the government sector and to some degree from those of our commercial customers that rely heavily on government contracts.

United States government action or inaction with respect to the continuing budget deficit could adversely impact our operations and financial results. The inability of the United States Congress to enact a budget for the current fiscal year, another sequestration, and or another shutdown of the United States Government could adversely impact demand for our services by limiting the funding available to many of our customers, particularly those in the government sector. Various entities of the United States government and United States government contractors, on a combined basis, account for more than fifteen percent of our business. Implementation of major legislative reductions to the federal budget could reduce, delay or cancel funding used by our government and government contractor customers to purchase our services, which would have a material adverse impact on our operations and financial results.

Domestic and/or International Economic Downturns. A significant part of our revenues comes from Fortune 1000-level companies, their international equivalents, and government organizations. During weak economic conditions, our sales grow more slowly or can even diminish. If the domestic and/or international economy were to continue to weaken, the demand for our services could decline, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Industry-Specific Slowdowns. Our customers generally operate in the finance, computer, communications, electronics, systems integration, aerospace, government and military, manufacturing, and energy sectors. When one or more of these industries experiences a slowdown, it can have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Globalization Issues. Our operations are concentrated in Europe and North America, which have traditionally been the centers of IT development and implementation. In recent years, there has been increasing IT activity in other parts of the world, such as China and India. If this trend adversely affects IT jobs in regions in which we have our principal operations, it could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Anti-Takeover Provisions

Certain provisions of our Restated Certificate of Incorporation, our Bylaws and Delaware law could adversely impact the interests of our stockholders.

Certain provisions of our Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as amended, our Bylaws, as amended, and Delaware law could, together or separately, discourage, delay or prevent a third party from acquiring us, even if doing so might benefit our stockholders. These provisions may also affect the price investors would receive for their shares of our common stock. Some examples of these provisions in our Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as amended, and Bylaws, as amended, are:

  • the division of our board of directors into three classes;
  • the right of our board of directors to issue preferred stock with rights and privileges that are senior to the common stock, without prior stockholder approval;
  • certain limitations of the rights of stockholders to call a special meeting of stockholders; and
  • the prohibition of stockholder actions by written consent.

Natural Disasters, External Strikes, Acts of War or Terrorism and Other External Events

Since our founding in 1974, various natural disasters, external labor disruptions, acts of war or terrorism and other adverse external factors have from time to time impaired our ability to conduct our business, resulted in the loss of revenue or otherwise affected our operating results. When these or other external events occur in the future, they could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and stock price.

Natural Disasters. Natural disasters can affect our business. For example, severe weather has at times prevented our course participants from traveling to our courses. In these situations, we try to transfer the course participants to later courses, but we may still lose some revenue. Similarly, both weather and floods have also disrupted the printing and transportation of the catalogs we use in our direct mail campaigns. The resulting delays in our mailings may reduce or delay the revenue we realize from courses listed in those catalogs.

External Strikes. We have had to react to postal, transportation, and other strikes in the countries where we operate. Postal strikes delay or reduce the delivery of our direct mail marketing materials, which may result in reduced enrollments in upcoming course events. Transportation strikes can make it difficult for our course participants or our instructors to reach course facilities. Although we try to employ strategies to mitigate the impact of external strikes, these alternative means are rarely completely effective and generally increase our costs, which could adversely affect our operating results.

Acts of War or Terrorism. Threats or acts of war or terrorism can adversely affect our business. The terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, the declaration of war by the United States against terrorism, and continuing hostilities in the Middle East and elsewhere have created significant instability and uncertainty in the world. These and future events may have a material adverse effect on world financial markets, including financial markets in the United States. In addition, threats or acts of war or terrorism can cause course participants to be reluctant regarding or prevented from traveling to our course facilities, thereby resulting in lower attendance rates. Additionally, our direct mail marketing materials may be delayed or disrupted from reaching our customers; and suppliers and service providers may be unable to provide required services or materials. These impacts could happen after we have committed to all the costs of our course, so that we would be unable to quickly adjust our cost structure to reflect the changes in revenues caused by these events, which could materially and adversely affect our operating results and stock price.

Other External Factors. Other factors outside our control can affect our operations, including those related to our suppliers and service providers. For example, disruptions of telephone networks can prevent customers from enrolling in our courses; disruptions in transportation services can prevent customers from reaching our facilities, and power outages can prevent us from delivering courses. Similarly, if commodities (for example, the paper used in the printing of our catalogs) that we or our customers need become scarce or more expensive, our operating results may be adversely affected.

Q4 2014

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Contact Information

For more information, please contact David Asai at our Herndon, Virginia Corporate Office (703) 925-6337, or Click here »

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