Collectors Universe, Inc. ( CLCT)

F1Q2012 Earnings Conference Call

November 7, 2011 4:30 PM ET


Michael McConnell – CEO

Joe Wallace – CFO



Good afternoon, everyone and thank you for joining us to discuss Collectors Universe financial results for the first quarter ended September 30, 2011. With us today from management are, Michael McConnell Chief Executive Officer and JosephWallace, Chief Financial Officer. The management will provide a brief overview of the quarter and open the call to your questions.

Comments made during today’s call may contain statements regarding the company’s expectations about its future financial performance, including forecasts and statements concerning business trends and profitability that are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The company actual results in the future may differ possibly materially from those forecasts in the call due to a number of risks and uncertainties.

Certain of these risks and uncertainties in addition to other risks are more fully described in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of today’s conference call and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information future events or otherwise. With that, I would now like to turn the conference over to Michael McConnell. Please go ahead.

Michael McConnell

Thank you and welcome, everyone to today’s conference call. I will touch briefly on the quarter’s results and then I’ll turn the call over to our Chief Financial Officer, Joe Wallace, who will provide a more detailed explanation of the quarter’s financials. At the conclusion of Joe’s remarks, we will open the call to questions. Your company produced solid financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012.

Quarter on quarter revenue grew a healthy 23% and operating profit increased by approximately 36%. Our bulk/modern business and world coin submissions continue to lead the company and led the company’s growth in this quarter. A few items or areas of note. Number one, our Paris operation has started the year strongly. Our most recent show several weeks ago beat our budgeted revenues by approximately 50%.

The momentum among the European dealer community appears to be building and we will continue to report to you on our progress in this initiative. Number two, our integration of the Coinflation acquisition that was concluded in mid-September has gone well. You will note our commentary in the 10-Q and can extrapolate a run rate revenue of approximately $35,000 per month. Please understand it is early days and this revenue figure can be volatile often on a day-to-day basis, but the acquisition is currently meeting our expectations.

Moreover, we are beginning to pollinate our other web activities and presence with learnings from Alex [ph] to better fit our overall Collectors Universe digital activities. Number three, you will note our capital expenditure dollars are up in percentage terms considerably from the last several years.

There are two reasons for this. First, we are upgrading for the first time in a long time our basic hardware at the company; computers, computer screens, printers etcetera. Second, we are upgrading for the first time in nearly 10 years our core – significantly upgrading our core financial software package. This, of course, requires both hardware and external software resources.

This financial software package upgrade is scheduled to go live shortly and it was both necessary and at the same time, we expect it to improve our productivity, analytical tools and overall efficiency. This, of course, will not recur again for some time.

Fourth, you will note that G&A expense year on year is also up considerable. Approximately 50% of this increase relates to variable/incentive compensation that is directly related to the underlying growth in our business. The other 50% relate to items we largely consider one-time in nature and they’ve occurred in the areas of legal expense, Coinflation acquisition expense, primarily legal expenses there, expenses related to the search for Chief Digital Officer that I mentioned on our last call and expenses related to IT activities regarding the financial software package mentioned above.

Number five, I just wanted to give you statistics related our web properties, given that is an area of emphasis for us. Three quick numbers for you, in terms of web traffic, we have visits, run rate visits per month of approximately three million.

Our absolute unique visitors are approximately 1.15 million and our page views are approximate 13.5 million. This occurs over eight properties and PCGS, PSA, PCE, Collectors Corner, Coinflation, our various forums, PCGS, CoinFacts, and then CoinFacts subscription services itself [ph].

Looking forward, our backlog remains very strong. At present, it is up approximately 40%, compared to the same time in the prior year. Our balance sheet remains strong and we increased cash flow from operations by approximately 50% as compared to the first quarter of last year. Strategically, we remain excited about our international opportunities on both the European continent and increasingly in Asia.

We will continue to drive growth from our digital activities and the addition of a Chief Digital Officer will, we anticipate, accelerate this area in the latter half of the current fiscal year and then obviously into the future. The search is going well and we anticipate making a decision by the end of the calendar year. Moreover, PSA/DNA opened an East Coast store during the quarter and we are seeing a solid ramp to that location and we have very prudent and thoughtful in our cost of entry.

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