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Ascendant Solutions, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2017 Earnings; Shareholders Approve Name Change to Dougherty’s Pharmacy

DALLAS, May 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ascendant Solutions, Inc. (Pink Sheets:ASDS) (“Ascendant” or the “Company”) today announced its results for the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

Highlights

  • First quarter 2017 EBITDA improved $49,000 or 30.2%
  • Gross profit margin increased from 27.0% to 27.7% compared to 2016 first quarter
  • The generic dispensing rate increased from 82.3% to 84.2% compared to 2016
  • Shareholders approve company’s name change to Dougherty’s Pharmacy
  • Dougherty’s Humble location sold in May 2017

The Company reported first quarter Consolidated Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (“EBITDA”) of $211,000 compared to consolidated EBITDA of $162,000 in 2016. This EBITDA of $211,000 represents $0.01 per share for the first quarter of 2017.

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2017, the Company reported a consolidated net loss of $168,000, or $0.01 per share, compared to net loss of $216,000, or $0.01 per share, for the same period of 2016. The decrease in the Company’s net loss for the first quarter 2017 compared to the same quarter in 2016 was attributable to improved gross margin percentages and reductions in selling, general and administrative expenses “SG&A.”

Pharmacy Operations

The Company’s subsidiary, Dougherty’s Holding, Inc. (“DHI”), which owns and operates multiple Dougherty’s Pharmacies, reported EBITDA of $364,000 for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017, compared to $321,000 in 2016, an increase of 13.4%. Dougherty’s same stores reported a sales decline of $761,000 or 6 percent for the 2017 quarter when compared to prior year. Total script count declined by 3.7 percent for Q1 2017 when compared to prior year which accounts for a portion of the sales decline. The Company’s increased generic dispensing rates in 2017 and the deflationary generic pharmaceutical market also contributed to lower sales in 2017. Gross margin percent improved to 27.7% from 27.0% over 2016 due to the revised purchase agreement securing improved pricing and rebates with the Company’s primary wholesaler. SG&A declined $179,000 or 6.9 percent due to the Company’s implementation of cost reductions in 2016.

On May 6, 2017, the Company sold its pharmacy in Humble, Texas, acquired in September 2014, and received total cash proceeds of $274,000 related to this transaction. Divesting the pharmacy will have a less than two percent impact on total sales and will positively impact the bottom line.

The following chart summarizes Dougherty’s pharmacy operations, along with Dougherty’s corporate overhead. Same store sales compare results for pharmacies held for over one year. Acquisition store sales will be reported separately from same store sales. There were no acquisition store sales to report in 2016 or Q1 2017.

Pharmacy Operations Financial Summary
(000’s omitted, except script count, unaudited)
Q1 2017 Q1 2016
Same Store Sales:
Revenue $ 10,055 $ 10,816
Gross margin percentage 27.7% 27.0%
SG&A 2,165 2,330
EBITDA 622 593
Generic dispensing rate 84.2% 82.3%
Script count 108,596 111,071
Pharmacy Operations Overhead:
SG&A 258 272
Total Pharmacy Operations:
Revenue $ 10,055 $ 10,816
Gross margin percentage 27.7% 27.0%
SG&A 2,423 2,602
EBITDA 364 321
Generic dispensing rate 84.2% 82.3%
Script count 108,596 111,071

Non-Pharmacy Operations

During Q1 2017, the Company sold its last remaining non-pharmacy equity investment receiving over $500,000 in cash and recorded long-term notes receivables of over $600,000. The sale did not affect Q1 2017 results as this investment was sold at its recorded investment amount, which was revalued at year-end 2016.

Corporate Overhead

The Company’s corporate overhead division reported negative EBITDA of ($153,000) for the first quarter of 2017 compared to ($159,000) in 2016.

Management Comments

Jim Leslie, Chairman of Ascendant, commented, “We are happy to announce our first quarter 2017 EBITDA of $221,000, which is a 30 percent improvement over Q1 2016 EBITDA of $162,000. We continue to focus our efforts on improving operations throughout our existing pharmacies and look for opportunistic acquisitions of well-run community pharmacies which will augment our sales, EBITDA and net income over time. We are pleased that efforts to sell our last remaining non-pharmacy investment during the first quarter of 2017 were successful. These proceeds will provide us with additional cash for investing in future pharmacy acquisitions.” Leslie added, “At our recent annual meeting, our shareholders approved changing our Company’s name from Ascendant Solutions to Dougherty’s Pharmacy to enhance brand name recognition of our Company and to reflect our pharmacy centric message. Later this year, our Company will begin filing periodic reports with the SEC, and we will look to uplist from the Pink Sheets to the OTCQB Venture Market very soon. These changes are designed to provide enhanced value to our shareholders through our Company’s stock.”

Mark Heil, President and CEO, added, “First quarter 2017 revenues were down slightly from prior year due to fewer scripts being sold and from the deflationary market in generic drugs that the pharmacy industry is experiencing. Management continues to focus on improving operations and driving higher margins to offset lower sales. We expect to see growth in EBITDA throughout 2017 as margins and efficiencies continue to improve at our pharmacies. We are pursuing additional strategic pharmacy acquisitions and could potentially acquire one to two additional pharmacies in 2017. We remain convinced our growth strategy will produce solid shareholder returns over time. The sale of the Humble pharmacy will allow us to focus time and resources on our profitable locations.”

Select Balance Sheet Items and Book Value per Share
(000's omitted, except per share amounts, unaudited)
March 31, December 31,
2017 2016
Total Current Assets $ 6,406 $ 6,013
Long Term Receivable $ 608
Property and Equipment, net 1,335 1,386
Intangible Assets, net 3,507 3,681
Equity Method Investments - 1,295
Deferred Tax Asset 3,000 3,000
Total Assets $ 14,856 $ 15,375
Total Current Liabilities $ 3,651 $ 4,065
Notes Payable, Long-Term 7,658 7,607
Total Liabilities 11,309 11,672
Stockholders' Equity 3,547 3,703
Total Liabilities and Equity $ 14,856 $ 15,375
Common Shares Outstanding 22,417,921 22,417,679
Book Value per Share $ 0.16 $ 0.17


Select Income Statement Items
(000's omitted, unaudited)
Three Months Ended
March 31,
2017 2016
Revenue $ 10,055 $ 10,816
Cost of Sales 7,268 7,894
Gross Profit 2,787 2,922
SG&A 2,576 2,760
EBITDA 211 162
Depr & Amort (266) (261)
Interest (102) (107)
Taxes (11) (10)
Net Income $ (168) $ (216)

EBITDA is calculated as net income (loss) before deducting interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Although EBITDA is not a measure of actual cash flow because it does not consider changes in assets and liabilities that may impact cash balances, the Company’s management reviews these non-GAAP financial measures internally to evaluate the Company’s performance and manage the operations. Additionally, the Company believes it is a useful metric to evaluate operating performance and has therefore included such measures in the reporting of operating results.

About Ascendant Solutions, Inc.

Ascendant Solutions, Inc. is a value-oriented investment firm focused on successfully acquiring, managing and growing community-based pharmacies in the Southwest Region. Ascendant currently has approximately $48 million in net operating loss carryforwards which can be used to shelter future income, thus enhancing free cash flow or debt service capabilities. Interested investors can access financials and stock trading information for Ascendant at OTCMarkets.com or at www.ascendantsolutions.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based upon management's current expectations, projections, estimates and assumptions. These forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as "expects," "believes," "anticipates" and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause future results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect any future events or circumstances.

Contacts: Mark S. Heil President and CFO 972-250-0945 Geralyn DeBusk Halliburton Investor Relations 972-458-8000

Source:Ascendant Solutions, Inc.