Nelnet Inc., the student-loan company based in Lincoln, said fourth-quarter profit jumped 25 percent on higher income from interest and fees.
The company, which both owns student loans and administers them for others, said net income was $70.5 million, or $1.52 a share, up from $56.6 million, or $1.20 a share, a year earlier. For the full year, net income rose 70 percent to $303 million.
“2013 was a record financial year for us,” said Jeff Noordhoek, Nelnet chief executive. “We achieved the highest earnings in our history.”
Nelnet earns interest on the $26 billion of student loans it owns; the company added $1.9 billion of loans in the quarter via purchase from previous owners. Nelnet also earns money from collecting loan payments for others and for processing tuition payments.
Company shares have risen about 22 percent in the past year. Nelnet employs about 1,450 people in Lincoln and plans to fill 250 jobs at a new Omaha call center at Westwood Plaza, 2840 S. 123rd Court.