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Fifth Street Finance CEO Discusses F4Q2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Today’s conference call includes forward-looking statements and projections and we ask that you refer to our most recent filings with the SEC for important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements and projections. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements unless required by law. To obtain copies of our latest SEC filings, please visit our website or call investor relations at 914-286-6811.

The format for today’s call is as follows. Len will provide an overview, Bernie will provide an update on our capital structure, and Alex will summarize the financials, and then we will open the line for Q&A.

I will now turn the call over to our CEO, Leonard Tannenbaum.

Leonard Tannenbaum

Thank you, Stacey. This has been a year of rapidly changing debt markets. Pricing has fluctuated quickly from frappe to normal and back again during the entire year as elevated levels of market volatility have become the new normal operating environment. So far, we have been premature on our view of interest rates as the Federal Reserve seems determined to keep interest rates near zero.

However, we do remain well position to realize an earnings benefit when interest rates eventually begin to rise. I will point out that having about 67% floating rate securities in our portfolio has had a temporary negative effect on our earnings per share as interest rates have not risen. Our investment grade rating and expanded lending capacity are beginning to pay dividends both in terms of our relationships with lenders, as well as the private equity community. Our rating of BBB minus allows us to lower our cost of capital still further and latter-out our liability structure.

The increased size and flexibility in our financing vehicles also enables us to offer more complete solutions for our clients and senior only, one stop, second lien mezzanine and equity co-investments. We are proud to announce this quarter our partnership with Sumitomo Bank, Japan’s second largest bank by assets and one of the world’s largest and healthiest financial institutions. Sumitomo was originally investor in our second fund at January of 2005 and has served on the advisory board of that fund since then.

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