LPL Investment Holding Inc. (LPLA)

Q3 2011 Earnings Conference Call

October 26, 2011 08:00 ET


Trap Kloman – Investor Relations

Mark Casady – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Robert Moore – Chief Financial Officer


Ken Worthington – JPMorgan

Devin Ryan – Sandler O'Neill

Thomas Allen – Morgan Stanley

Joel Jeffrey – Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

Chris Shutler – William Blair

Daniel Harris – Goldman Sachs

Douglas Sipkin – Ticonderoga Securities



Good morning. My name is (Benita) and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the LPL Investment Holdings Third Quarter Earnings Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Please note that today’s call is being recorded. Thank you.

And now, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Trap Kloman. Sir, please begin.

Trap Kloman – Investor Relations

Thank you, (Benita). Good morning and welcome to the LPL Financial third quarter earnings conference call. On the call today is Mark Casady, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, who will provide his perspective on our performance during the quarter. Following his remarks, Robert Moore, our Chief Financial Officer, will highlight drivers of our financial results as well. We will then open the call for questions.

Please note that we have posted a financial supplement on the Events section of the Investor Relations page on Before turning the call over to Mark, I’d like to note that comments made during this conference call may incorporate certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These may include statements concerning such topics as earnings growth targets, operational plans, and other opportunities we foresee.

Underpinning these forward-looking statements are certain risks and uncertainties. We refer our listeners to the Safe Harbor disclosures contained in the earnings release and our latest SEC filings to appreciate those factors that may cause results to differ from those contemplated in such forward-looking statements. In addition, comments during this call will include certain non-GAAP financial measures governed by SEC Regulation G. For a reconciliation of these measures, please refer to our earnings press release.

With that, I will turn the call over to Mark Casady.

Trap Kloman – Investor Relations

Thank you Trap and thanks everyone for joining today’s call. We delivered quarterly results that are consistent with the framework of the growth drivers we have shared in the past. Our consistent performance especially under challenging market conditions highlights the resiliency and stability of our business model. The business continues to perform well yielding adjusted earnings per share of $0.46, which represents 12% growth over the third quarter of last year.

After normalizing for our share count increase due to the IPO, our adjusted earnings per share grew 28%. While we were certainly faced with the headwinds of the declining market and a challenging interest rate environment, we have benefited from the impact of multiple organic growth drivers that led the top line revenue growth of 16% year-over-year. Same store sales of our matured advisors which represent approximately 80% of the independent advisor and institutional relationships we support continued to expand the double-digit rates.

Our advisors achieved this growth with the support of our unique platform as a result of the strong relationships they have fostered with our clients. These established relationships are particularly meaningful during times of market volatility and uncertainty. As these results demonstrate the value advice is not confined to investing client’s assets when the market is performing well. The true value advice lies in understanding client’s long-term needs and positioning them for success regardless of market environment. And then remaining actively engaged especially during times of market volatility.

Our open architecture conflict-free platform allows LPL advisors to manage their client’s portfolios to reflect changing economic conditions resulting in retention of the underlying assets and ongoing revenue opportunity. Of course, there have been times of sustained market volatility over several quarters that have led to reduced revenue as was experienced in the first half of 2009. However, the retention of client relationships and underlying assets enables LPL Financial and our advisors to benefit when the market stabilize creating greater predictability in our performance as exhibited in 2010.

With the near-term economic outlook remaining challenging and the markets are unsettled, there is elevated investor concern that these conditions have not materially changed investor behavior at this time as they remain focused on the long-term view. Our revenue growth is also supported by the additional activity of advisors who have joined LPL Financial over the last three years.

As previously discussed, these advisors transition to the LPL platform takes them about three years to rebuild their prior levels of production. Their behavior as they work to expand their client relationships typically transcends market influences again provided a predictable revenue stream. We remain on track with our guidance of 400 net new advisors per year having added 598 net new advisors in the past 12 months, excluding the 206 advisors who joined us for the NRP acquisition and the attrition of 22 advisors related to the previously announced U.S. conversion.

While the cost to attract new advisors continues to rise, it remains within a range of historical cycle reversely of our platform to support in a way of advisor practices enhances our ability to attract business from all channels including warehouses. In particular, we’re experiencing strong growth in our hybrid RIA solution, which we launched as a new business initiative at the end of 2008.

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