Despite forecasts of doom and gloom, Corrections Corporation of America is bullish about the future of the for-profit prison industry.

In a conference call with analysts Thursday, CEO Damon Hininger downplayed concerns over the precipitous drop in CCA’s stock price, dismissing it as “an overreaction in the market to the long-term viability of our business.”

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Hininger’s confidence was based on the recent earnings report: On Wednesday, the Nashville, Tennessee-based company, which houses about 1,400 Hawaii prisoners in Arizona, reported $474.9 million in revenue for the third quarter — a 3.3 percent increase from the same period last year.

The better-than-expected performance came amid an increasing public debate about the use of for-profit facilities, which has surged since the 1980s to cope with soaring populations of prisoners, jail inmates and immigrant detainees across the country.

In August, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it would phase out the use of for-profit prisons by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a decision that will affect some 20,000 federal inmates.

The move was in response to a scathing report by the department’s inspector general that found more safety and security issues at for-profit prisons.

CCA’s stock has since plummeted, losing about 50 percent of its value.

Still, Hininger said during Thursday’s call that, “despite poorly sourced claims from industry critics and activists to the contrary,” CCA’s future looks strong.

In particular, Hininger said CCA sees a major growth opportunity in holding immigrant detainees.

Last week, for instance, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security signed a five-year contract with CCA to reopen the Cibola County Correctional Center to hold about 1,100 immigrants, most of them from Central America, who fled violence and poverty in their home countries.

In July, the Hawaii Department of Public Safety also signed a new three-year contract to house up to 1,926 Hawaii prisoners at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona, about 70 miles southeast of Phoenix.

In fiscal year 2016, which ended June 30, CCA housed a daily average of 1,388 Hawaii prisoners — about a quarter of the state’s inmate population — at Saguaro.

Under the contract, the state pays CCA a per-diem rate of $71.90 per prisoner — an arrangement that’s estimated to cost more than $133 million for the next three years.

Last week, CCA also announced that it will be changing its name to “CoreCivic” — a rebranding exercise meant to signal that the company has diversified its work into real estate and re-entry programs, instead of just locking up prisoners for profit.

Hininger said the move will prove a winning formula.

“I personally purchased more shares in August, as did multiple members of our board, prior to the closure of our trading window,” said Hininger, who noted that he owns twice as many stocks as he’s required to hold under the company’s guidelines. “All I have to say is that my personal optimism of the company is unwavered by these recent events.”

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