UPDATE 2.20pm: Shares in Navitas were sharply lower after the tertiary education provider reported softer international student enrolment numbers would result in it missing its growth target in its Australian University Programs Division.
The company said student enrolment numbers were 2 per cent above the previous corresponding period but short of its previously advised forecast of growth in a range of 5-15 per cent.
The company blamed the drop on the ongoing fallout from visa regulatory changes for international students in 2010 including delays that had forced some students to defer their studies until next year.
Navitas said the fall in enrolment numbers would not have a significant impact on internal earnings forecasts.
The company also said growth in new enrolments of international students in Australian colleges had trended positively from the first semester to the second semester and was showing good growth for the coming semesters.
"Navitas therefore remains confident that a return to positive growth in Australian enrolments in key offshore source markets is eventuating as a result of greater sector stability established from Knight Review changes," the company said in a statement.
Navitas expects to release its full-year results on July 30.
Shares in the company closed down 42 cents, or 9.68 per cent, at $3.92 after hitting an earlier low of $3.74.