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Encore Capital Group Announces Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2015 Financial Results; International Growth and Domestic Execution Drive Solid Performance

  • Fourth quarter revenues increase 8% to a record $298 million
  • Fourth quarter Non-GAAP Economic EPS increases 12% to $1.31
  • Estimated Remaining Collections increase to record $5.7 billion
  • Encore deploys $345 million worldwide in fourth quarter
  • Encore reaches agreement to sell its tax lien subsidiary, Propel Financial Services

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 24, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Encore Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECPG), an international specialty finance company providing debt recovery solutions for consumers across a broad range of assets, today reported consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2015.

“Our expanded international platform has positioned us to deploy capital in a number of different asset classes and geographies around the world at higher returns. In addition, our core business in the U.S. is seeing the benefits resulting from our investment in consumer-centric collections programs. To focus on our higher return investments and in order to maximize our returns on invested capital, we’ve reached an agreement to divest our tax lien subsidiary, Propel,” said Kenneth A. Vecchione, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The sale of Propel provides significant benefits to Encore. In addition to allowing us to take advantage of new opportunities for higher returns both in the U.S. and around the world, this transaction will allow us to improve our liquidity and lower our leverage. We expect the sale transaction to close before the end of March.”

Encore issued a separate press release today regarding the agreement to divest Propel.

“Additionally, we’ve already secured $270 million in committed capital deployments for our domestic business in 2016. These commitments are taking place with improved returns compared to last year. Presently, we see 15% higher returns from these portfolios based on moderated pricing and continued improvement in liquidations,” said Vecchione.

Financial Highlights for the Fourth Quarter of 2015:

  • Estimated Remaining Collections (ERC) grew 10% to a record $5.7 billion, compared to $5.2 billion at the end of last year.

  • Gross collections from the portfolio purchasing and recovery business grew 6% to $417 million, compared to $394 million in the same period of the prior year.

  • Investment in receivable portfolios in the portfolio purchasing and recovery business was $293 million, to purchase $4.1 billion in face value of debt, compared to $259 million, to purchase $2.4 billion in face value of debt in the same period of the prior year. Encore deployed $148 million in the U.S., $69 million in Europe and $76 million in other geographies during the fourth quarter of 2015. Encore’s subsidiary Propel Financial Services also purchased $52 million of tax liens during the fourth quarter of 2015, raising Encore’s total deployment in the quarter to $345 million.

  • Total revenues increased 8% to a record $298 million, compared to $277 million in the same period of the prior year.

  • Total operating expenses increased 38% to $260 million, including a $49 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge associated with the sale of the company’s Propel Financial Services subsidiary. Total operating expenses were $188 million in the same period of the prior year. Adjusted operating expenses (defined as operating expenses excluding stock-based compensation expense, expenses related to non-portfolio purchasing and recovery business, one-time charges, and acquisition, integration and restructuring related expenses) per dollar collected for the portfolio purchasing and recovery business increased to 41.5% compared to 39.8% in the same period of the prior year.

  • Adjusted EBITDA (defined as net income before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation expenses, portfolio amortization, one-time items, acquisition, integration and restructuring related expenses and non-cash goodwill impairment charges), increased 3% to $248 million, compared to $241 million in the same period of the prior year.

  • Total interest expense increased to $50 million, as compared to $42 million in the same period of the prior year, reflecting the financing of Encore’s recent acquisitions.

  • Net loss from continuing operations attributable to Encore was $1.0 million, or $0.04 per fully diluted share, including the effects of the non-cash goodwill impairment charge. Net income from continuing operations attributable to Encore in the same period of the prior year was $28.3 million, or $1.04 per fully diluted share.

  • Adjusted income from continuing operations attributable to Encore (defined as net income from continuing operations attributable to Encore excluding the noncontrolling interest, non-cash interest and issuance cost amortization, one-time items, acquisition, integration and restructuring related expenses and non-cash goodwill impairment charges, all net of tax) was $34 million, compared to adjusted income from continuing operations attributable to Encore of $31 million in the same period of the prior year.

  • Adjusted income from continuing operations attributable to Encore per share (also referred to as Economic EPS) grew 12% to $1.31, compared to $1.17 in the same period of the prior year. In the fourth quarter, Economic EPS adjusts for approximately 0.3 million shares associated with convertible notes that will not be issued but are reflected in the fully diluted share count for accounting purposes.

  • Available capacity under Encore’s revolving credit facility, subject to borrowing base and applicable debt covenants, was $107 million as of December 31, 2015, not including the $195 million additional capacity provided by the facility’s remaining accordion feature. Total debt was $3.2 billion as of December 31, 2015, compared to $2.8 billion as of December 31, 2014. Total debt fully consolidates the debt of Encore’s Cabot Credit Management subsidiary, which is non-recourse to Encore, even though Encore holds a 43.1% economic interest in Cabot.

Financial Highlights for the Full Year of 2015:

  • Gross collections from the portfolio purchasing and recovery business grew 6% to $1.70 billion, compared to $1.61 billion in 2014.

  • Investment in receivable portfolios in the portfolio purchasing and recovery business was $1.02 billion, to purchase $12.7 billion in face value of debt, compared to $1.25 billion, to purchase $13.8 billion in face value of debt in the prior year. Encore deployed $506 million in the U.S., $424 million in Europe and $94 million in other geographies during 2015. Encore’s subsidiary Propel Financial Services also purchased $220 million of tax liens during 2015, raising Encore’s total deployment for the year to $1.24 billion.

  • Total revenues increased 8% to $1.16 billion, compared to $1.07 billion in 2014.

  • Total operating expenses were $916 million, including the non-cash goodwill impairment charge, a 22% increase over the $753 million in 2014. Adjusted operating expenses (defined as operating expenses excluding stock-based compensation expense, expenses related to non-portfolio purchasing and recovery business, one-time charges, and acquisition, integration and restructuring related expenses) per dollar collected for the portfolio purchasing and recovery business increased to 39.2% compared to 38.6% in 2014.

  • Adjusted EBITDA (defined as net income before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation expenses, portfolio amortization, one-time items, acquisition, integration and restructuring related expenses and non-cash goodwill impairment charges) increased 6% to $1.06 billion, compared to $1.00 billion in 2014.

  • Total interest expense increased to $187 million, as compared to $167 million in 2014, reflecting the financing of Encore’s recent acquisitions.

  • Net income from continuing operations attributable to Encore was $45 million or $1.69 per fully diluted share, including the effects of the non-cash goodwill impairment charge and including a $43 million one-time charge taken by the company in the third quarter of 2015 associated with regulatory matters. This compares to net income of $105 million or $3.83 per fully diluted share in 2014.

  • Adjusted income from continuing operations attributable to Encore (defined as net income from continuing operations attributable to Encore excluding the noncontrolling interest, non-cash interest and issuance cost amortization, one-time items, acquisition, integration and restructuring related expenses and non-cash goodwill impairment charges, all net of tax) increased to $134 million, compared to adjusted income from continuing operations attributable to Encore of $119 million in 2014.

  • Adjusted income from continuing operations attributable to Encore per share (also referred to as Economic EPS) grew 14% to $5.15, compared to $4.52 in 2014. Economic EPS adjusts for approximately 0.7 million shares associated with convertible notes that will not be issued but are reflected in the fully diluted share count for accounting purposes.

Conference Call and Webcast

The Company will host a conference call and slide presentation today at 2:00 p.m. Pacific time / 5:00 p.m. Eastern time to discuss fourth quarter and full year results.

Members of the public are invited to access the live webcast via the Internet by logging on at the Investor Relations page of Encore's website at www.encorecapital.com. To access the live, listen-only telephone conference portion, please dial (855) 541-0982 or (704) 288-0606.

For those who cannot listen to the live broadcast, a telephonic replay will be available for seven days by dialing (800) 585-8367 or (404) 537-3406 and entering the conference number 48276692. A replay of the webcast will also be available shortly after the call on the Company's website.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This news release includes certain financial measures that exclude the impact of certain items and therefore have not been calculated in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). The Company has included adjusted income attributable to Encore and adjusted income from continuing operations attributable to Encore per share (also referred to as economic EPS when adjusted for certain shares associated with our convertible notes that will not be issued but are reflected in the fully diluted share count for accounting purposes) because management uses this measure to assess operating performance, in order to highlight trends in the Company’s business that may not otherwise be apparent when relying on financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP. The Company has included information concerning adjusted EBITDA because management utilizes this information, which is materially similar to a financial measure contained in covenants used in the Company’s revolving credit facility, in the evaluation of its operations and believes that this measure is a useful indicator of the Company’s ability to generate cash collections in excess of operating expenses through the liquidation of its receivable portfolios. The Company has included information concerning adjusted operating expenses in order to facilitate a comparison of approximate cash costs to cash collections for the portfolio purchasing and recovery business in the periods presented. Adjusted income attributable to Encore, adjusted income from continuing operations attributable to Encore per share/economic EPS, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted operating expenses have not been prepared in accordance with GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered as alternatives to, or more meaningful than, net income, net income per share, and total operating expenses as indicators of the Company’s operating performance. Further, these non-GAAP financial measures, as presented by the Company, may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. The Company has attached to this news release a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.

About Encore Capital Group, Inc.

Encore Capital Group is an international specialty finance company that provides debt recovery solutions for consumers across a broad range of assets. Through its subsidiaries around the globe, Encore purchases portfolios of consumer receivables from major banks, credit unions, and utility providers.

Encore partners with individuals as they repay their debt obligations, helping them on the road to financial recovery and ultimately improving their economic well-being. Encore is the first and only company of its kind to operate with a Consumer Bill of Rights that provides industry-leading commitments to consumers. Headquartered in San Diego, Encore is a publicly traded NASDAQ Global Select company (ticker symbol: ECPG) and a component stock of the Russell 2000, the S&P Small Cap 600 and the Wilshire 4500. More information about the company can be found at http://www.encorecapital.com. More information about the Company's Cabot Credit Management subsidiary can be found at http://www.cabotcm.com. Information found on the company’s or Cabot’s website is not incorporated by reference.

Forward Looking Statements

The statements in this press release that are not historical facts, including, most importantly, those statements preceded by, or that include, the words “will,” “may,” “believe,” “projects,” “expects,” “anticipates” or the negation thereof, or similar expressions, constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Reform Act”). These statements may include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our future operating results, performance, business plans or prospects. For all “forward-looking statements,” the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Reform Act. Such forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company and its subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors are discussed in the reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, each as it may be amended from time to time. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

FINANCIAL TABLES FOLLOW

ENCORE CAPITAL GROUP, INC.
Consolidated Statements of Financial Condition
(In Thousands, Except Par Value Amounts)
December 31,
2015
December 31,
2014
Assets
Cash and cash equivalents$153,593 $124,163
Investment in receivable portfolios, net2,440,669 2,143,560
Receivables secured by property tax liens, net306,380 259,432
Property and equipment, net73,504 66,969
Deferred court costs, net75,239 60,412
Other assets245,620 197,666
Goodwill924,847 897,933
Total assets$4,219,852 $3,750,135
Liabilities and equity
Liabilities:
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities$294,243 $231,967
Debt3,216,572 2,773,554
Other liabilities60,549 79,675
Total liabilities3,571,364 3,085,196
Commitments and contingencies
Redeemable noncontrolling interest38,624 28,885
Redeemable equity component of convertible senior notes6,126 9,073
Equity:
Convertible preferred stock, $.01 par value, 5,000 shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding
Common stock, $.01 par value, 50,000 shares authorized, 25,288 shares and 25,794 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, respectively 253 258
Additional paid-in capital110,533 125,310
Accumulated earnings543,489 498,354
Accumulated other comprehensive loss(57,822) (922)
Total Encore Capital Group, Inc. stockholders’ equity596,453 623,000
Noncontrolling interest7,285 3,981
Total equity603,738 626,981
Total liabilities, redeemable equity and equity$4,219,852 $3,750,135

The following table includes assets that can only be used to settle the liabilities of the Company’s consolidated variable interest entities (“VIEs”) and the creditors of the VIEs have no recourse to the Company. These assets and liabilities are included in the consolidated statements of financial condition above.

December 31,
2015
December 31,
2014
Assets
Cash and cash equivalents$57,420 $44,996
Investment in receivable portfolios, net1,197,513 993,462
Receivables secured by property tax liens, net 81,149 108,535
Property and equipment, net19,767 15,957
Deferred court costs, net33,296 17,317
Other assets60,640 80,264
Goodwill706,812 671,434
Liabilities
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities$142,486 $137,201
Debt1,747,883 1,556,956
Other liabilities839 8,724

ENCORE CAPITAL GROUP, INC.
Consolidated Statements of Income
(In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended
December 31,
Year Ended
December 31,
2015 2014 2015 2014
Revenues
Revenue from receivable portfolios, net$272,502 $255,248 $1,072,436 $992,832
Other revenues18,616 13,045 60,696 51,988
Net interest income6,639 8,278 28,440 27,969
Total revenues297,757 276,571 1,161,572 1,072,789
Operating expenses
Salaries and employee benefits70,065 62,580 270,334 246,247
Cost of legal collections59,013 52,065 229,847 205,661
Other operating expenses25,980 21,663 98,182 93,859
Collection agency commissions9,326 8,068 37,858 33,343
General and administrative expenses37,047 35,778 196,827 146,286
Depreciation and amortization9,276 8,070 33,945 27,949
Goodwill impairment49,277 49,277
Total operating expenses259,984 188,224 916,270 753,345
Income from operations37,773 88,347 245,302 319,444
Other (expense) income
Interest expense(50,187) (42,264) (186,556) (166,942)
Other income647 305 2,235 113
Total other expense(49,540) (41,959) (184,321) (166,829)
(Loss) income from continuing operations before income taxes(11,767) 46,388 60,981 152,615
Benefit (provision) for income taxes13,363 (16,819) (13,597) (52,725)
Income from continuing operations1,596 29,569 47,384 99,890
Loss from discontinued operations, net of tax (1,612) (1,612)
Net income1,596 27,957 47,384 98,278
Net (income) loss attributable to noncontrolling interest(2,584) (1,307) (2,249) 5,448
Net (loss) income attributable to Encore Capital Group, Inc. stockholders $(988) $26,650 $45,135 $103,726
Amounts attributable to Encore Capital Group, Inc.:
(Loss) income from continuing operations$(988) $28,262 $45,135 $105,338
Loss from discontinued operations, net of tax (1,612) (1,612)
Net (loss) income$(988) $26,650 $45,135 $103,726
(Loss) earnings per share attributable to Encore Capital Group, Inc.:
Basic (loss) earnings per share from:
Continuing operations$(0.04) $1.09 $1.75 $4.07
Discontinued operations$ $(0.06) $ $(0.06)
Net basic (loss) earnings per share$(0.04) $1.03 $1.75 $4.01
Diluted (loss) earnings per share from:
Continuing operations$(0.04) $1.04 $1.69 $3.83
Discontinued operations$ $(0.06) $ $(0.06)
Net diluted (loss) earnings per share$(0.04) $0.98 $1.69 $3.77
Weighted average shares outstanding:
Basic25,489 25,979 25,722 25,853
Diluted25,489 27,254 26,647 27,495


ENCORE CAPITAL GROUP, INC.
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(In Thousands)
Year Ended December 31,
2015 2014 2013
Operating activities:
Net income$47,384 $98,278 $73,740
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization33,945 27,949 13,547
Goodwill impairment49,277
Non-cash interest expense37,745 29,380 18,136
Stock-based compensation expense22,008 17,181 12,649
Recognized loss on termination of derivative contract 3,630
Deferred income taxes(32,369) (48,078) (28,188)
Excess tax benefit from stock-based payment arrangements(1,724) (11,928) (5,609)
Reversal of allowances on receivable portfolios, net(6,763) (17,407) (12,193)
Changes in operating assets and liabilities
Deferred court costs and other assets(41,835) (15,532) (11,697)
Prepaid income tax and income taxes payable(34,887) 22,180 (468)
Accounts payable, accrued liabilities and other liabilities41,644 9,521 11,228
Net cash provided by operating activities114,425 111,544 74,775
Investing activities:
Cash paid for acquisitions, net of cash acquired(276,575) (495,838) (449,024)
Purchases of receivable portfolios, net of put-backs(749,760) (862,997) (249,562)
Collections applied to investment in receivable portfolios, net635,899 633,960 546,366
Originations and purchases of receivables secured by tax liens(219,722) (124,533) (116,960)
Collections applied to receivables secured by tax liens164,052 122,638 70,573
Purchases of property and equipment(28,647) (23,238) (13,423)
Other, net2,044 (5,189) (5,210)
Net cash used in investing activities(472,709) (755,197) (217,240)
Financing activities:
Payment of loan costs(17,995) (20,101) (17,207)
Proceeds from credit facilities1,073,941 1,343,417 659,940
Repayment of credit facilities(891,804) (1,184,244) (630,163)
Proceeds from senior secured notes332,693 288,645 151,670
Repayment of senior secured notes(15,000) (15,000) (13,750)
Proceeds from issuance of convertible senior notes 161,000 172,500
Proceeds from issuance of securitized notes 134,000
Repayment of securitized notes(44,251) (29,753)
Repayment of preferred equity certificates, net (693) (39,743)
Purchases of convertible hedge instruments (33,576) (32,008)
Repurchase of common stock(33,185) (16,815) (729)
Taxes paid related to net share settlement of equity awards(6,289) (20,324) (9,591)
Excess tax benefit from stock-based payment arrangements1,724 11,928 5,609
Other, net2,011 7,839 (548)
Net cash provided by financing activities401,845 626,323 245,980
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents43,561 (17,330) 103,515
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents(14,131) 15,280 5,188
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period124,163 126,213 17,510
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period$153,593 $124,163 $126,213
Supplemental disclosures of cash flow information:
Cash paid for interest$151,946 $95,034 $50,181
Cash paid for income taxes, net84,101 69,948 66,759
Supplemental schedule of non-cash investing and financing activities:
Fixed assets acquired through capital lease$2,220 $8,341 $5,011


ENCORE CAPITAL GROUP, INC.
Supplemental Financial Information
Reconciliation of Adjusted Income Attributable to Encore to GAAP Net (Loss) Income Attributable to Encore,
Adjusted EBITDA to GAAP Net (Loss) Income, and Adjusted Operating Expenses Related to Portfolio Purchasing
and Recovery Business to GAAP Total Operating Expenses
(In Thousands, Except Per Share amounts) (Unaudited)
Three Months Ended December 31,
2015 2014
$ Per Diluted
Share—
Accounting
Per Diluted
Share—
Economic
$ Per Diluted
Share—
Accounting
Per Diluted
Share—
Economic
GAAP net (loss) income from continuing operations attributable to Encore, as reported $(988) $(0.04) $(0.04) $28,262 $1.04 $1.08
Adjustments:
Convertible notes non-cash interest and issuance cost amortization, net of tax1,790 0.07 0.07 1,655 0.06 0.06
Acquisition, integration and restructuring related expenses, net of tax1,753 0.07 0.07 703 0.02 0.03
Goodwill impairment, net of tax31,187 1.20 1.21
Adjusted income from continuing operations attributable to Encore$33,742 $1.30 $1.31 $30,620 $1.12 $1.17


Year Ended December 31,
2015 2014
$ Per Diluted
Share—
Accounting
Per Diluted
Share—
Economic
$ Per Diluted
Share—
Accounting
Per Diluted
Share—
Economic
GAAP net income from continuing operations attributable to Encore, as reported $45,135 $1.69 $1.74 $105,338 $3.83 $3.99
Adjustments:
Convertible notes non-cash interest and issuance cost amortization, net of tax6,896 0.26 0.26 6,413 0.23 0.24
Acquisition, integration and restructuring related expenses, net of tax8,063 0.30 0.31 9,898 0.36 0.37
CFPB / regulatory one-time charges, net of tax42,554 1.60 1.64
Goodwill impairment, net of tax31,187 1.17 1.20
Net effect of non-recurring tax adjustments (2,291) (0.08) (0.08)
Adjusted income from continuing operations attributable to Encore$133,835 $5.02 $5.15 $119,358 $4.34 $4.52


Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
2015 2014 2015 2014
GAAP net income, as reported$1,596 $27,957 $47,384 $98,278
Adjustments:
Loss from discontinued operations, net of tax 1,612 1,612
Interest expense50,187 42,264 186,556 166,942
(Benefit) provision for income taxes(13,363) 16,819 13,597 52,725
Depreciation and amortization9,276 8,070 33,945 27,949
Amount applied to principal on receivable portfolios144,075 139,075 628,289 614,665
Stock-based compensation expense4,749 3,621 22,008 17,181
Acquisition, integration and restructuring related expenses 2,635 1,951 15,553 19,299
CFPB / regulatory one-time charges 63,019
Goodwill impairment49,277 49,277
Adjusted EBITDA$248,432 $241,369 $1,059,628 $998,651


Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,
2015 2014 2015 2014
GAAP total operating expenses, as reported$259,984 $188,224 $916,270 $753,345
Adjustments:
Stock-based compensation expense(4,749) (3,621) (22,008) (17,181)
Operating expenses related to non-portfolio purchasing and recovery business(79,857) (25,866) (157,080) (97,165)
Acquisition, integration and restructuring related expenses(2,635) (1,951) (15,553) (19,299)
Operating expenses related to CFPB / regulatory one-time charges (54,697)
Adjusted operating expenses related to portfolio purchasing and recovery business $172,743 $156,786 $666,932 $619,700

Contact: Bruce Thomas Encore Capital Group, Inc. Vice President, Investor Relations (858) 309-6442 bruce.thomas@encorecapital.com

Source:Encore Capital Group, Inc