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Asta Funding, Inc. Announces Financial Results For First Quarter Fiscal 2010

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Asta Funding, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASFI) (the "Company"), a consumer receivable asset management and liquidation company, today announced results for the first quarter of its 2010 fiscal year, the three-month period ended December 31, 2009.

For the three months ended December 31, 2009, the Company reported net income of $2,475,000, or $0.17 per diluted share, as compared to a net loss of $7,837,000, or $0.55 per share for the comparable period of fiscal year 2009.  Total revenue was $11,007,000 for the quarter ended December 31, 2009, as compared to $18,448,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2008. Purchases of new portfolios totaled $2,300,000 during the first quarter of fiscal year 2010, as compared to $1,078,000 in the first quarter of fiscal year 2009.  Income from fully amortized portfolios (zero basis revenue) was $8,108,000 for the three-month period ended December 31, 2009, as compared to $10,158,000 for the same period a year earlier. The Company reported no impairments in the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 as compared to $21,415,000 in the same prior year period.

Net cash collections of consumer receivables acquired for liquidation for the quarter ended December 31, 2009 totaled $29,430,000, including $2,597,000 of net cash collections represented by account sales.  This compares to $42,028,000 of total net cash collections, including $5,773,000 from collections represented by account sales, for the same period a year ago.

"The progress we made last year in strengthening our balance sheet and increasing our cash position has prepared us well for 2010 – both to weather the current economic environment and to be selective buyers of attractive portfolios," commented Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of the Company.  "Exclusive of the non-recourse debt, we are funding our business through our cash flow from operations without the need for borrowing. Our current invested cash balance is approximately $5.8 million. We anticipate funding portfolio purchases through cash flow generated from operations; however, for the right opportunities that fit our strict investment criteria for purchasing debt portfolios, or pursuing other investment opportunities, we may consider seeking additional financing."

The Company expects to generate cash flow of approximately $35 million from operations during our fiscal year 2010 not including an anticipated federal tax refund of approximately $46 million to be received later in the calendar year.  

The Company's senior debt level as of December 31, 2009, excluding subordinated debt, was $1,527,000, down $16,774,000 from $18,301,000 at September 30, 2009 and $62,525,000 lower than a year ago. This senior credit facility, which is currently a $6 million secured line of credit, was subsequently paid off in January 2010. In addition, the balance of the non-recourse debt to the Bank of Montreal was $99,706,000 at December 31, 2009 down from $119,804,000 at December 31, 2008.

Conference Call Details

Interested parties may participate in a conference call to discuss results by dialing USA/ Canada (877) 381-6301, International (480) 366-2675 five minutes prior to 11:00AM EST on February 9, 2010. Please refer to the Asta Funding earnings teleconference ID # 6465023570. A recording of the conference call will be available from 02/09/2010 12:00AM EST through 02/10/2010 11:59PM EST by dialing USA/ Canada (800) 642-1687, International (706) 645-9291 conference ID # 6465023570.

About Asta Funding

Based in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Asta Funding, Inc. is a consumer receivable asset management company that specializes in the purchase, management and liquidation of performing and non-performing consumer receivables. For additional information, please visit our website at

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this news release, may be "forward-looking" statements (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.) Although Asta Funding, Inc. believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that its expectations will be realized. Forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from Asta's expectations, including statements about our ability to fund future portfolio purchases, our expectations with respect to future cash flow from operations and the receipt of the federal tax refund.   Factors that could contribute to such differences include risks with respect to the economy, the ability to repay debt and the availability of new portfolios to purchase, as well as those identified in Asta's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2009 and those described from time to time in Asta's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, news releases and other communications. Asta's reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission are available free of charge through its website at
                        ASTA FUNDING, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                   Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
                                                 Three Months     Three Months
                                                    Ended            Ended
                                                 December 31,     December 31,
                                                     2009             2008
                                                     ----             ----
       Finance income, net                       $10,974,000      $18,416,000
       Other income                                   33,000           32,000
                                                 -----------      -----------
                                                  11,007,000       18,448,000
       General and administrative                  5,629,000        7,027,000
       Interest expense (fiscal year 2010 -
        Related Party -- $130,000; fiscal year -
        2009 - Related Party -$128,000)            1,259,000        3,170,000
       Impairments of consumer receivables   
        acquired for liquidation                         ---       21,415,000
                                                   ---------       ----------
                                                   6,888,000       31,612,000
                                                   ---------       ----------
    Income (loss) before equity in earnings in
     venture and income taxes                      4,119,000      (13,164,000)
    Equity in earnings in venture                     46,000           17,000
                                                   ---------       ----------
    Income (loss) before income taxes              4,165,000      (13,147,000)
    Income tax expense (benefit)                   1,690,000       (5,310,000)
                                                   ---------       ----------
    Net income (loss)                             $2,475,000      $(7,837,000)
                                                  ==========      ===========
    Net  income (loss) per share - Basic               $0.17           $(0.55)
                                                       =====           ======
    Net income (loss) per share - Diluted              $0.17           $(0.55)
                                                       =====           ======
    Weighted average number of shares outstanding:
    Basic                                         14,272,420       14,271,824
    Diluted                                       14,615,054       14,271,824
                        ASTA FUNDING, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                       Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
                                                 December 31,    September 30,
                                                     2009             2009
                                                     ----             ----
    Cash and cash equivalents                     $2,337,000       $2,385,000
    Restricted cash                                1,688,000        2,130,000
    Consumer receivables acquired for
     liquidation (at net realizable value)       192,126,000      208,261,000
    Due from third party collection agencies
     and attorneys                                 2,058,000        2,573,000
    Prepaid and income taxes receivable           47,727,000       47,727,000
    Investment in venture                            134,000          168,000
    Furniture and equipment, net                     475,000          538,000
    Deferred income taxes                         24,317,000       24,072,000
    Other assets                                   2,733,000        2,902,000
                                                 -----------      -----------
         Total assets                           $273,595,000     $290,756,000
                                                 -----------      -----------
       Debt                                     $101,233,000     $122,622,000
       Subordinated debt - related party           8,246,000        8,246,000
       Other liabilities                           1,779,000        2,166,000
       Dividends payable                             286,000          286,000
       Income taxes payable                        1,856,000              ---
                                                 -----------      -----------
         Total liabilities                       113,400,000      133,320,000
                                                 -----------      -----------
    Commitments and contingencies
       Preferred stock, $.01 par value;
        authorized 5,000,000 shares; issued
        and outstanding - none
       Common stock, $.01 par value;
        authorized 30,000,000 shares;
        issued and outstanding - 14,272,457
        shares at December 31, 2009 and
        14,272,357 at September 30, 2009             143,000          143,000
       Additional paid-in capital                 70,799,000       70,189,000
       Retained earnings                          89,248,000       87,058,000
       Accumulated other comprehensive income          5,000           46,000
                                                 -----------      -----------
         Total stockholders' equity              160,195,000      157,436,000
                                                 -----------      -----------
    Total liabilities and stockholders' equity  $273,595,000     $290,756,000
                                                 ===========      ===========

SOURCE Asta Funding, Inc.

Copyright 2009 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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