American Capital's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

American Capital (ACAS)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 02, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Pete Deoudes - Director of Equity Capital Markets

Malon Wilkus - Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Executive Committee

John R. Erickson - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and President of Structured Finance

Analysts

Joel J. Houck - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Jasper Burch - Macquarie Research

Greg Mason - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Unknown Analyst

Presentation

Operator

Good day, and welcome to the American Capital shareholders call. [Operator Instructions] Please note this event is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Pete Deoudes, Director, Equity Capital Markets. Please go ahead.

Pete Deoudes

Thank you, Amy. Thank you, everyone, for joining American Capital's First Quarter 2012 Earnings Call. Before we begin the call, I'd like to review the Safe Harbor statement.

This conference call and corresponding slide presentation contain statements that, to the extent they are not recitations of historical fact, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All such forward-looking statements are intended to be subject to the Safe Harbor protection provided by the Reform Act. Actual outcomes and results could differ materially from those forecast due to the impact of many factors beyond the control of American Capital. All forward-looking statements included in this presentation are made only as of the date of this presentation and are subject to change without notice. Certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements are included in our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies are available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. We disclaim any obligation to update our forward-looking statements, unless required to by law. An archive of this presentation will be made available on our website, and the telephone recording can be accessed through May 15 by dialing (877) 344-7529. The replay passcode is 10013312.

To view the Q1 slide presentation that corresponds with this call, turn to our website, americancapital.com and click on the Q1 2012 Earnings Presentation link in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. Select the webcast option for both slides and audio or click on the link in the Conference Call section to view the streaming slide presentation during the call.

Participating on today's call are Malon Wilkus, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; John Erickson, President, Structured Finance, and Chief Financial Officer; Gordon O'Brien, President, Specialty Finance and Operations; Sam Flax, Executive Vice President and General Counsel; Rich Konzmann, Senior Vice President, Accounting and Reporting; and Tom McHale, Senior Vice President, Finance.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Malon.

Malon Wilkus

Thank you, Pete, and thanks, everyone, for joining us. We had an outstanding quarter for the first quarter of producing $0.24 in net operating income before taxes or $81 million. On an after-tax basis, that would result in $0.14 or $0.49 -- or $49 million dollars in total of after -- of tax net operating income. And just to remind everyone, the taxes were charged against our deferred tax benefit and not paid in cash. So we do think the metric that probably best fits in reviewing American Capital's performance, particularly in comparison to other companies, would be the $0.24 in net operating income before income taxes.

We had $1.71 in net earnings, our bottom line, totaling $580 million. So just an outstanding quarter. That brought our net asset value per share to $15.71. It's $1.84 per share increase from the fourth quarter and $551 million in total, and that's a 53% annualized growth rate.

Turning to Slide 4. Since the third quarter of 2009, when the U.S. Gross Domestic Product turned positive, we've had 10 out of 11 quarters of positive net earnings. We produced $6.95 in NAV per share over that time, and that's a 26% annualized growth rate. And over the last year, since the first quarter of 2011, we've produced $3.74 in NAV or 31% return.

Turning to Slide 5, we wanted to announce -- or we did announce in our earnings release that we expanded our share repurchase and dividend program by extending it through December 2013. We expanded it for a year, and we reset the cumulative start date to the beginning of 2012. And since we've initiated the repurchase program, we've bought back $182 million cumulatively in repurchases. That has produced $0.44 per share accretion in our book value, and that's equivalent -- think about this, that's equivalent to producing an additional $143 million of retained earnings.

Now I got to tell you, to increase your retained earnings by $143 million over a 3-quarter period is a not -- not an easy thing to do. So by buying back shares, we've been able to substantially enhance our book value per share, and we think it's incredibly and wonderfully accretive and incredibly a great opportunity.

In fact, we've exceeded the cumulative net cash provided by operating activities by $47 million, which is the number that our board reviews in determining the size of the buyback program. But I got to tell you, today, with the current discount being so compelling, we just sense this is a terrific place for utilizing some of our capital. And so we take the discount into account in determining the volume of our purchases, and the discount is a significant factor in determining the volume of repurchases.

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