"During 2012, we increased the size of our unsecured bank credit facility to $175 million. Coupled with our significant operating cash flow and strong balance sheet, we continue to have the ability to fund organic growth, take advantage of strategic acquisition opportunities as they arise and repurchase our stock. Even with the additional credit availability, we remain under-levered and have ample capacity to fund these initiatives."
"The decision to authorize a new share repurchase program reflects the confidence that management and the Board of Directors have in the long-term future of First Cash. Given First Cash's proven ability to fund expansion and still generate strong levels of free cash flow, the Board continues to believe that share repurchases through this new authorization are potentially an effective use of capital that should enhance shareholder value over the long-term."
"In summary, our growth strategy is clearly working, as evidenced by our return on equity for fiscal 2012 that increased to 26% versus 22% in the comparable prior-year period. Given our competitive strengths, growth platform and expanding customer base, we are excited about our ability to further grow our store count, revenues, margins and earnings. First Cash will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. When we went public, we had six stores; today, we have 824 stores, including the 143 locations that we added in 2012 alone. Our business model, coupled with our strong balance sheet, positions us to drive sustainable long-term growth in shareholder value. We continue to believe that we have the right formula for solid growth in the years to come."
Forward-Looking InformationThis release may contain forward-looking statements about the business, financial condition and prospects of the Company. Forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believes," "projects," "expects," "may," "estimates," "should," "plans," "targets," "intends," "could," or "anticipates," or the negative thereof, or other variations thereon, or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy or objectives. Forward-looking statements can also be identified by the fact that these statements do not relate strictly to historical or current matters. Rather, forward-looking statements relate to anticipated or expected events, activities, trends or results. Because forward-looking statements relate to matters that have not yet occurred, these statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements in this release include, without limitation, the Company's expectations of earnings per share, earnings growth, expansion strategies, regulatory exposures, store openings, liquidity (including the availability of capital under existing credit facilities), cash flow, consumer demand for the Company's products and services, currency exchange rates and the impact thereof, completion of disposition transactions and expected gains or losses from the disposition of such operations, earnings from acquisitions, the ability to successfully integrate acquisitions and other performance results. These statements are made to provide the public with management's current assessment of the Company's business. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurances that such expectations will prove to be accurate. Security holders are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained in this release speak only as of the date of this statement, and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to report any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Certain factors may cause results to differ materially from those anticipated by some of the statements made in this release. Such factors are difficult to predict and many are beyond the control of the Company and may include changes in regional, national or international economic conditions, changes in the inflation rate, changes in the unemployment rate, changes in consumer purchasing, borrowing and repayment behaviors, changes in credit markets, the ability to renew and/or extend the Company's existing bank line of credit, credit losses, changes in the market value of pawn collateral and merchandise inventories, changes or increases in competition, the ability to locate, open and staff new stores, the availability or access to sources of inventory, inclement weather, the ability to successfully integrate acquisitions, the ability to hire and retain key management personnel, the ability to operate with limited regulation as a credit services organization, new federal, state or local legislative initiatives or governmental regulations (or changes to existing laws and regulations, including recently enacted ordinances in the Texas cities of San Antonio and El Paso) affecting consumer loan businesses, credit services organizations and pawn businesses (in both the United States and Mexico), changes in import/export regulations and tariffs or duties, changes in anti-money laundering regulations, unforeseen litigation, changes in interest rates, monetary inflation, changes in tax rates or policies, changes in gold prices, changes in energy prices, cost of funds, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, future business decisions, public health issues, changes in demand for the Company's services and products, changes in the Company's ability to satisfy its debt obligations or to obtain new capital to finance growth, a prolonged interruption in the Company's operations of its facilities, systems, and business functions, including its information technology and other business systems, the implementation of new, or changes in the interpretation of existing accounting principles or financial reporting requirements, and other uncertainties. These and other risks, uncertainties and regulatory developments are further and more completely described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and updated in subsequent releases on Form 10-Q. These risks and uncertainties are beyond the ability of the Company to control, nor can the Company predict, in many cases, all of the risks and uncertainties that could cause its actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements.