Capella Education Co. missed first-quarter earnings expectations Tuesday, but its shares rose more than 4 percent as executives raised their outlook for the next three months.

The online university company said its profit was flat at $8.8 million, or 70 cents a share, which was below the 73 cents that analysts had forecast.

Revenue was up 0.3 percent to $105.6 million, compared with the $104.6 million Wall Street had expected.

Total enrollment fell 1.4 percent from a year ago to 35,889, but new enrollment rose 2.6 percent.

Capella said it expects that its second-quarter revenue will be flat to up 1 percent, or $103.7 million to $104.7 million, which was above the $103.5 million analysts had targeted before the announcement.

"This quarter, we achieved an important milestone by growing new enrollments against positive new enrollment growth in the prior year first quarter," CEO Kevin Gilligan said. "While the market environment remains challenging, we remain confident in our ability to execute and innovate to drive long-term sustainable growth and shareholder value creation."

Capella shares closed up 4.4 percent.

Steve Alexander