Tier Technologies, Inc. (TIER)

F4Q10 (Qtr End 09/30/2010) Earnings Call Transcript

November 23, 2010 8:00 am ET

Executives

Liz Bowman - Assistant Controller and Director of SEC Reporting

Ron Johnston - CFO

Keith Kendrick - SVP of Strategic Marketing

Alex Hart - President and CEO

Analysts

Brett Huff - Stephens

Brad Evans - Heartland

Presentation

Operator

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Good morning and welcome to the Tier Technologies fourth quarter and FY 2010 earnings conference call. (Operator Instructions) Thank you. Ms. Bowman, you may begin your conference.

Liz Bowman

Good morning. My name is Liz Bowman, Tier Technologies Assistant Controller and Director of SEC Reporting. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Tier Technologies earnings conference call for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended September 30, 2010. Today's call is scheduled for one hour.

After the market closed yesterday, we issued a press release announcing Tier's financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended September 30, 2010. And we filed a copy of the text of today's call, not including the Q&A, and accompanying presentation which includes Charts that will be referenced during the call. A copy of these materials can be found in the Investor Relations section of our web site, www.tier.com.

We invite shareholders and analysts who wish to speak to management about the company and its performance to schedule a meeting by contacting our CFO, Ron Johnston, by calling him at 571-382-1333 or by e-mailing him at rjohnston@tier.com.

A taped replay of this call will be available on the company's web site from Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 10:00 AM Eastern Time until Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. Alternatively, you can hear a replay by dialing 866-445-8304 and entering the conference ID 9206454.

I want to remind you that the various remarks that we make about the company's future expectations, plans, and prospects constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

The forward-looking statements discussed on this call represent management's current expectations about the company's future financial performance based on the information available to us today. This information may change and our actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.

There are numerous risks and uncertainties that affect our business and may affect these statements, including but not limited to general economic conditions, which affect the company's financial results in all of our markets, which we refer to as "verticals", particularly the federal, state and local income tax and property tax verticals; the effectiveness and performance of the company's systems, payment processing platforms and operational infrastructure; failure to achieve anticipated gross margin levels due to unanticipated costs incurred in transaction-based projects; increasing competition; the company's ability to realize revenues from its business development opportunities; changes in laws and government regulatory compliance requirements; ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; and other risk factors that are set forth in our SEC filings. In this call, references to "the quarter" or "the fourth quarter" refer to quarter ended September 30, 2010 and referencing to the year or the full year refer to the fiscal year ended September 30, 2010.

In addition today on the call, Alex Hart will discuss our intention to conduct a Dutch Auction tender offer to purchase up to $10 million in our common stock, which was announced in our press release yesterday. The tender offer will be made only pursuant to the offer to purchase, letter of transmittal, and related materials that the company will distribute to the stockholders and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Stockholders and investors should read carefully the offer to purchase letter of transmittal and related materials before making any decisions with respect to the tender offer, because these materials will contain important information including the various terms of and conditions to the tender offer.

Stockholders and investors may obtain a free copy of the tender offer statement on Schedule TO, the offer to purchase letter of transmittal and other documents that the company will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, at the Commission's web site at www.sec.gov, when these documents become available. Stockholders may also request a copy of these documents, when they become available from the company at no cost by writing or telephoning the company.

With me on the call today are Ron Johnston, our Chief Financial Officer; Keith Kendrick, our Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing; and Alex Hart, our President and Chief Executive Officer. We'll begin the call with Alex. Alex?

Alex Hart

Thank you, Liz and good morning. I've been on the job for exactly 99 days. So I'd like to start by giving you an overview of the things I've learned and the actions I've taken thus far to get this company back on track. Our financial results have obviously been very disappointing. I know that I won't be in this job for long, if we don't show meaningful improvement relatively soon. Ron will go through the financial results in detail in a moment.

So I'd like to start with the fundamental challenges that we faced that led to this poor performance and tell you what we're doing to meet these challenges. After Ron goes through the financials, I'll also spend some time talking about the reasons that I'm excited about our longer-term potential. And give you a sense of how and in return how you can assess whether or not we're making progress. We'll conclude of course with Q&A.

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