SPOKANE, Wash., Feb. 9, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ambassadors Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:EPAX), a leading provider of educational travel experiences and online education research materials, today announced its results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2010. Overview
- Ended year with $8.1 million in net income, or $0.42 diluted earnings per share in a challenging economic environment.
- 2010 gross margin of 40.8 percent on gross revenue of $162.0 million compared to 41.1 percent on gross revenue of $203.7 million in 2009.
- Operating expenses for 2010 up $2.4 million to $56.0 million from $53.6 million in 2009 as the Company drives revenue generating activities and positions for economic recovery.
- Fourth quarter results were weaker than originally anticipated, caused by additional air travel and marketing costs, lower than expected advertising revenues, and non-cash impairments of print equipment.
- Fall marketing campaign for 2011 travel season completed; continues to be positive with a 1.4 increase in overall enrolled revenue for 2011 travel programs as of February 6, 2011 compared to one year ago.
- Cash returns to shareholders continued, through both dividends and an active share buy-back program.
- Continued strong balance sheet with quality assets, no debt outstanding and adequate liquidity.
|Year ended December 31,||Quarter ended December 31,|
|Gross revenue, all travel programs||$158.9||$200.4||$9.1||$10.3|
|Internet content and advertising revenue||$3.1||$3.3||$1.0||$1.0|
|Gross margin, all travel programs||$63.4||$80.9||$3.6||$4.1|
|Gross margin, internet content and advertising||$2.7||$2.9||$0.8||$0.9|
|Net income (loss)||$8.1||$20.3||$ (6.7)||$ (6.1)|
|Diluted earnings per share||$0.42||$1.05||$ (0.36)||$(0.32)|
In 2010 and 2009, the Company traveled 26,657 travelers and 34,248 travelers, respectively. Over 60 percent of those traveled were youth participants in our Student Ambassador Programs, our leading program. As of February 6, 2011, we have enrolled travelers of 28,158 compared to 29,307 at the same date in 2010, or a decrease of 3.9 percent. Included in these totals, as of these same dates, Student Ambassador Programs had enrolled travelers of 23,995 and 22,450, respectively, or up 6.9 percent. Also as of February 6, 2011, these counts represent enrolled revenue for 2011 travel programs of $176.5 million, up 1.4 percent from the same point in 2010. Enrolled revenue from the Student Ambassador Programs is up 6.6 percent.Enrolled revenue consists of estimated gross receipts to be recognized, in the future, upon travel of an enrolled participant. Net enrollments consist of all participants who have enrolled in the Company's programs less those that have already withdrawn. Enrolled revenue may not result in actual gross receipts eventually recognized by the Company due to both withdrawals from the Company's programs and expected future enrollments. Thomas continued, "We are cautiously optimistic about the enrolled revenue trends we are experiencing for the 2011 travel period; however, we have also seen modest increases in withdrawals from the programs. We believe this is impacted primarily by the shifting and slow economic recovery we are experiencing in the United States, especially as it relates to consumer confidence and job growth." "While down in gross revenues by just over 20 percent for 2010, our gross margin percentage was down just 30 basis points. This is a reflection of the discipline we have for the business. We are focused now on growing our top line revenue and the changes in our operating expenses are all targeted towards revenue generating activities. We believe our core business remains fundamentally sound, and we will focus all of our efforts on taking advantage of the economic recovery and delivering value to our shareholders."
"Although we traveled fewer individuals in 2010, we experienced success in the delivery of our travel programs. Our delegates included students from 90 different countries, and they safely traveled to 45 countries on all seven continents. We also ended the 2010 travel with a Net Promoter score of 65.1, which is up 5 percent from 2009 and an indication that our travelers rate our programs as world-class. We are pleased with the impact we are making in the lives of our students, parents, and teachers."Fourth Quarter 2010 Results During the fourth quarter of 2010, we traveled 1,433 delegates, 361 delegates less than traveled during the same quarter one year ago. Our resulting net loss for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $6.7 million, or $0.36 per share, compared to a loss of $6.1 million, or $0.32 per share, for the same time period one year ago. Our gross margin for the period was $4.4 million, down 13 percent from the same three months in 2009. This represents a 43.5 percent gross margin percentage compared to 44.8 percent in 2009. Operating expenses increased 4 percent primarily related to continued initiatives aimed at driving our 2011 marketing campaign, revenue generating activities, and losses incurred in connection with finalizing the outsourcing of the majority of our print and production facility. Lastly, the income tax benefit was up $0.7 million driven by the decrease in pre-tax net income and our use of tax exempt investment opportunities. 2010 Results During the year ended December 31, 2010, we traveled 26,657 delegates, a 22 percent decrease from 34,248 delegates traveled during the year end December 31, 2009. Our resulting net income for 2010 was $8.1 million, or $0.42 per share, compared to $20.3 million, or $1.05 per share, for 2009. Our gross margin for the period was $66.1 million, down 21 percent from 2009. This represents a 40.8 percent gross margin percentage compared to 41.1 percent in 2009. In 2010 we were able to take advantage of cost savings in both airline prices and land vendor pricing, both depressed due to the economy. Operating expenses increased 4 percent primarily related to continued initiatives aimed at driving our sales and marketing efforts, revenue generating activities, and losses incurred in connection with finalizing the outsourcing of the majority of our print and production facility.
Other income was slightly better in 2010, with interest and dividend income down due to lower investment return rates offset by a $1.0 million foreign exchange loss in 2009 that did not reoccur in 2010. Lastly, the income tax expense for the period was better by $7.4 million. This was driven both by the lower pre-tax net income and by our use of tax exempt investment opportunities in a period where our pre-tax net earnings are relatively low, bettering our effective rate.Included with this release is a table indentifying certain special items reflected in our results that without disclosure may prohibit a meaningful comparison of results between periods. Balance Sheet and Liquidity Total assets at December 31, 2010 were $128.6 million, of which $79.4 million was cash, cash equivalents or available-for-sale securities. At that date, we also had long-lived assets totaling $40.8 million, primarily related to goodwill and intangible assets of our BookRags business, technology hardware and systems used to deliver our services, and our office building. Our total liabilities at December 31, 2010 were $42.5 million, including $34.4 million in participant deposits for future travel. We had no debt outstanding in 2009 or 2010. Our deployable cash at December 31, 2010 was $42.1 million. The following table summarizes our cash flows as further disclosed on the accompanying financial statements. Free cash flow, which is defined as cash flow from operations less purchase of property, equipment and intangibles, is also noted: (in millions):
|Cash flow from operations||$21.6||$16.1|
|Purchases of property, equipment and intangibles||(5.4)||(5.9)|
|Free cash flow||16.2||10.2|
|Net proceeds from available-for-sale securities||0.4||(5.3)|
|Dividend payments to shareholders||(4.6)||(4.6)|
|Repurchase of common stock||(13.4)||(0.6)|
|Other cash flows, net||0.6||1.0|
|Net change in cash and cash equivalents||$ (0.8)||$0.7|
Share buybacksWe continued to repurchase our common stock throughout 2010. During the fourth quarter of 2010, we repurchased 781,375 shares for approximately $8.7 million, including brokerage fees through open market transactions and a block trade. That brings our total share repurchase in 2010 to 1,212,578 shares for approximately $13.5 million. Outlook for 2011 Providing additional 2011 information beyond delegates and enrolled revenue shared above is difficult given the complexity of predicting economic circumstances. However, based on the outlook and information available today, the Company is providing the following broad guidance for 2011, which it expects to update as the year unfolds:
- Consolidated gross revenues for all programs and operations to be flat to up 4 percent.
- Consolidated gross margin as a percentage of gross revenue for all programs and operations to be between 39.0 percent and 40.0 percent.
- Net income is expected to be between $8.0 million and $9.5 million.
|The Ambassadors Group, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3541|
|AMBASSADORS GROUP, INC. CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (in thousands, except per share data)|
|Year ended December 31,||Quarter ended December 31,|
|2010||2009||% Change||2010||2009||% Change|
|Net revenue, non-directly delivered programs (1)||$56,618||$69,279||(18%)||$3,391||$3,638||(7%)|
|Gross revenue, directly delivered programs (2)||16,423||26,036||(37%)||467||1,432||(67%)|
|Internet content and advertising revenue||3,105||3,300||(6%)||952||956||0%|
|Cost of sales, directly delivered programs (2)||9,591||14,422||(33%)||323||892||(64%)|
|Cost of sales, internet content and advertising||454||389||17%||123||104||18%|
|Selling and marketing||42,734||39,021||10%||11,686||9,610||22%|
|General and administration||13,271||14,604||(9%)||3,148||4,680||(33%)|
|Total operating expenses||56,005||53,625||4%||14,834||14,290||4%|
|Operating income (loss)||10,096||30,179||(67%)||(10,470)||(9,260)||13%|
|Other income (expense)|
|Interest and dividend income||1,501||2,012||(25%)||265||423||(37%)|
|Foreign currency expense and other||—||(961)||(100%)||(1)||—||—|
|Total other income||1,501||1,051||43%||264||423||(38%)|
|Income (loss) before income tax||11,597||31,230||(63%)||(10,206)||(8,837)||15%|
|Income tax (provision) benefit||(3,481)||(10,893)||(68%)||3,486||2,744||27%|
|Net income (loss)||$8,116||$20,337||(60%)||$(6,720)||$(6,093)||10%|
|Weighted average shares outstanding – basic||19,085||19,105||0%||18,920||19,144||(1%)|
|Weighted average shares outstanding – diluted||19,303||19,422||(1%)||18,920||19,144||(1%)|
|Net income (loss) per share — basic||$0.43||$1.06||(59%)||$(0.36)||$(0.32)||13%|
|Net income (loss) per share — diluted||$0.42||$1.05||(60%)||$(0.36)||$(0.32)||13%|
(1) Net revenue, non-directly delivered programs consists of gross revenue, less program pass-through expenses for non-directly delivered programs because we primarily engage third-party operators to perform these services.
Year ended December 31, Quarter ended December 31, 2010 2009 % Change 2010 2009 % Change Gross revenue $142,499 $174,364 (18%) $8,624 $8,851 (3%) Cost of sales 85,881 105,085 (18%) 5,233 5,213 0% Net revenue $56,618 $69,279 (18%) $3,391 $3,638 (7%)
(2) Gross revenue and cost of sales for directly delivered programs are reported as separate items because we plan, organize and operate all activities, including speakers, facilitators, events, accommodations and transportation.
|AMBASSADORS GROUP, INC. CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (in thousands, except per share data)|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$6,838||$7,656||(11%)|
|Foreign currency exchange contracts||1,864||1,076||73%|
|Prepaid program cost and expenses||3,230||3,175||2%|
|Deferred tax asset||—||25||(100%)|
|Total current assets||86,448||87,480||(1%)|
|Property and equipment, net||27,625||29,376||(6%)|
|Other long-term assets||85||109||(22%)|
|Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity|
|Accounts payable and accrued expenses||$5,954||$5,188||15%|
|Deferred tax liability||668||—||—|
|Total current liabilities||41,165||36,437||13%|
|Deferred tax liability||1,353||652||108%|
|Total liabilities and stockholders' equity||$128,556||$128,095||0%|
|AMBASSADORS GROUP, INC. CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (in thousands)|
|Cash flows from operating activities:|
|Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:|
|Depreciation and amortization||4,646||4,364|
|Deferred income tax benefit||1,399||568|
|(Gain) Loss on disposition or write down of property and equipment||1,480||428|
|Shortfall (excess) tax benefit from stock-based compensation||441||(92)|
|Loss on foreign currency contracts||—||962|
|Change in assets and liabilities:|
|Accounts receivable and other assets||68||(45)|
|Prepaid program costs and expenses||(55)||985|
|Accounts payable, accrued expenses, and other current liabilities||223||(329)|
|Net cash provided by operating activities||21,639||16,138|
|Cash flows from investing activities:|
|Proceeds from available-for-sale securities||59,764||52,716|
|Purchase of available-for-sale securities||(59,331)||(58,039)|
|Proceeds from sale of property and equipment||253||19|
|Purchase and construction of property and equipment||(4,461)||(5,157)|
|Purchase of intangibles||(941)||(726)|
|Adjustments to goodwill||—||(13)|
|Net cash used in investing activities||(4,716)||(11,200)|
|Cash flows from financing activities:|
|Dividend payment to shareholders||(4,594)||(4,581)|
|Repurchase of common stock||(13,406)||(609)|
|Proceeds from exercise of stock options||700||838|
|(Shortfall) excess tax benefit from stock-based compensation||(441)||92|
|Capital lease payments and other||—||(11)|
|Net cash used in financing activities||(17,741)||(4,271)|
|Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents||(818)||667|
|Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period||7,656||6,989|
|Cash and cash equivalents, end of period||$6,838||$7,656|
The following summarizes deployable cash as of December 31, 2010 and 2009 (in thousands):
|Cash, cash equivalents and short-term available-for-sale securities||$79,378||$81,184|
|Prepaid program cost and expenses||3,230||3,175|
|Less: Participants' deposits||(34,436)||(31,137)|
|Less: Accounts payable / accruals / other liabilities||(6,061)||(5,300)|
|December 31,||December 31,|
|Amount before special items||$10,119||$22,040||$0.52||$1.14|
|Asset impairments and loss on sale||(1,462)||(227)||(0.07)||(0.01)|
|Legal fees – class action and SEC, net||(202)||(1,075)||(0.01)||(0.06)|
|Amount per consolidated statement of operations||$8,116||$20,337||$0.42||$1.05|
CONTACT: Tony Dombrowik (509) 568 - 7800