Market Overview

FirstCash Reports Record Third Quarter Earnings Results; Store Count Now at 2,665 Locations with 258 Units Added Year-to-Date; Increases Quarterly Dividend by 8% to $0.27 per Share

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FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FirstCash, Inc. (the "Company") (NASDAQ:FCFS), the leading international operator of over 2,600 retail pawn stores in the U.S. and Latin America, today announced operating results, including record revenues and earnings per share, for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2019.

Mr. Rick Wessel, chief executive officer, stated, "We had outstanding third quarter results driven by the strength of revenue growth and earnings from core pawn operations. Latin American revenues grew 19% for the quarter and 21% on a constant currency basis, while U.S. results continued to realize growth in retail sales and margins, pawn fees and segment income from pawn operations. The Company continued to add store locations during the third quarter, with year-to-date acquisitions now totaling 183 stores, primarily in Mexico, and 75 additions through de novo store openings in Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia."

In addition, the Board of Directors declared a $0.27 per share quarterly cash dividend, an increase of 8% compared to the previous quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share. "Utilizing our strong balance sheet and cash flows, year-to-date, FirstCash has opened or acquired 258 locations, repurchased $67 million of common stock and has increased the annualized dividend to $1.08 per share," Mr. Wessel concluded.

This release contains adjusted earnings measures, which exclude merger and other acquisition expenses, certain non-cash foreign currency exchange gains and losses and non-recurring consumer lending wind-down costs, which are non-GAAP financial measures. Please refer to the descriptions and reconciliations to GAAP of these and other non-GAAP financial measures at the end of this release.

    Three Months Ended September 30,
    As Reported (GAAP)   Adjusted (Non-GAAP)
In thousands, except per share amounts   2019   2018   2019   2018
Revenue   $ 452,459     $ 429,878     $ 452,459     $ 429,878  
Net income   $ 34,761     $ 33,325     $ 36,246     $ 35,587  
Diluted earnings per share   $ 0.81     $ 0.76     $ 0.84     $ 0.81  
EBITDA (non-GAAP measure)   $ 68,131     $ 62,304     $ 70,173     $ 65,526  
Weighted-average diluted shares   43,167     44,116     43,167     44,116  


    Nine Months Ended September 30,
    As Reported (GAAP)   Adjusted (Non-GAAP)
In thousands, except per share amounts   2019   2018   2019   2018
Revenue   $ 1,366,077     $ 1,299,650     $ 1,366,077     $ 1,299,650  
Net income   $ 110,464     $ 105,131     $ 114,064     $ 109,089  
Diluted earnings per share   $ 2.55     $ 2.33     $ 2.63     $ 2.41  
EBITDA (non-GAAP measure)   $ 209,203     $ 193,595     $ 213,959     $ 199,169  
Weighted-average diluted shares   43,358     45,204     43,358     45,204  

Earnings Highlights

  • Diluted earnings per share increased 7% on a GAAP basis and 4% on a non-GAAP adjusted basis in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the prior-year quarter. For the nine month year-to-date period, diluted earnings per share increased 9% on both a GAAP and adjusted non-GAAP basis.

  • Year-over-year comparative earnings per share growth was negatively impacted by several notable, non-core or non-operational items including:


    • Expected contraction in non-core consumer lending operations and costs associated with the wind-down of the Company's consumer lending operations in Ohio reduced third quarter 2019 earnings per share by approximately $0.07 on a GAAP basis and $0.06 on an adjusted non-GAAP basis, compared to the same prior-year period, and on a year-to-date basis reduced GAAP and adjusted non-GAAP earnings per share by approximately $0.19 and $0.13, respectively. See the "Consumer Lending Contraction and Ohio Wind-Down Costs" section below.

    • The impact of weaker foreign currency translation and a net foreign exchange loss represented an earnings headwind of $0.03 per share in both the third quarter and year-to-date period compared to the respective prior-year periods.

    • An increase in the consolidated effective income tax rate negatively impacted comparative earnings by approximately $0.05 per share for the third quarter and $0.06 per share for the full year compared to the respective prior-year periods.

    • The sum of these impacts on earnings per share were approximately $0.15 for the quarter and $0.28 year-to-date on a GAAP basis, and $0.14 for the quarter and $0.22 year-to-date on a non-GAAP adjusted basis.

  • Segment earnings in Latin America increased 12% on a U.S. dollar basis and 14% on a constant currency basis for the third quarter compared to the prior-year quarter.

  • U.S. segment earnings increased 2% for the third quarter on a GAAP basis. Excluding the reduction in earnings from non-core consumer lending operations and wind-down costs in Ohio (a non-GAAP measure), U.S. segment earnings increased 8% for the quarter compared to the prior-year quarter.

  • Consolidated retail sales margins increased to 37% for both the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019 compared to 36% in the respective prior-year periods.

  • For the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2019, consolidated revenues totaled $1.8 billion, net income was $159 million and adjusted EBITDA totaled $299 million.
  • Growth in EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA during 2019 outpaced growth in net income and adjusted net income, increasing 9% and 7%, respectively, in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the prior-year quarter. These increases would have been even greater except for the impact from the contraction in non-core consumer lending operations as described above.

  • Cash flow from operating activities for the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2019 totaled $233 million, while adjusted free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $213 million for the twelve months ended September 30, 2019.

Acquisitions and Store Opening Highlights

  • A total of 16 de novo locations were opened during the third quarter, all in Latin America. Year-to-date, a total of 75 new stores have been opened in Latin America, which compares to 43 new stores opened at the same point a year ago. The 75 store openings this year include 58 in Mexico, 13 in Guatemala and four in Colombia.

  • The Company acquired a total of five franchised Prendamex locations in Mexico during the third quarter of 2019. Year-to-date, a total of 183 stores have been acquired, including 163 stores in Latin America and 20 stores in the U.S.

  • Over the trailing twelve-month period ended September 30, 2019, the Company has added a total of 300 locations, representing a 10% increase in the number of pawn stores. Over 90% of the stores added in the last twelve months are located in Latin America where the number of pawn stores has increased by 20% over the same twelve-month period.

  • As of September 30, 2019, the Company operated 2,665 stores, with 1,612 stores in Latin America, representing 60% of the total store base, and 1,053 stores in the U.S. The Latin American locations include 1,539 stores in Mexico, 52 stores in Guatemala, 13 stores in El Salvador and eight stores in Colombia, while the U.S. stores are located in 24 states and the District of Columbia.

Note: Certain growth rates in "Latin America Operations" below are calculated on a constant currency basis, a non-GAAP financial measure defined at the end of this release and reconciled to the most comparable GAAP measures in the financial statements in this release. The average Mexican peso to U.S. dollar exchange rate for the three-month period ended September 30, 2019 was 19.4 pesos / dollar, an unfavorable change of 2% versus the comparable prior-year period, and for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019 was 19.3 pesos / dollar, an unfavorable change of 2% versus the prior-year period.

Latin America Operations

  • LatAm segment pre-tax operating income for the quarter increased 12%, or 14% on a constant currency basis, compared to the third quarter of 2018. The year-to-date segment pre-tax operating income increased 18%, or 19% on a constant currency basis.

  • Driven by store additions and same-store revenue growth, total Latin America revenues for the third quarter of 2019 were a record $168 million, an increase of 19% on a U.S. dollar basis and 21% on a constant currency basis, as compared to the third quarter of 2018. Year-to-date, total Latin America revenues increased 23% on a U.S. dollar basis and 24% on a constant currency basis, as compared to the prior-year period.

  • The strong revenue growth included a 20% increase in retail sales and a 16% increase in pawn fees compared to the prior-year quarter. On a constant currency basis, retail sales and pawn fees increased 23% and 18%, respectively, as compared to the prior-year quarter. 

  • Same-store core pawn revenues increased 4% on a U.S. dollar translated basis and 6% on a constant currency basis, which represented the third sequential quarterly increase in this number. By component, same-store retail sales increased 5% on a U.S. dollar basis and 8% on a constant currency basis compared to the prior-year quarter. While same-store pawn fees were flat on a U.S. dollar basis, they were up 2% on a constant currency basis.

  • Pawn loans outstanding totaled a record $115 million at September 30, 2019, increasing 6% on a U.S. dollar translated basis and 10% on a constant currency basis versus the prior year. Same-store pawn loans at quarter end decreased 2% on a U.S. dollar translated basis, while they increased 2% on a constant currency basis, compared to the prior year.

  • Segment retail margins were 34% in the third quarter and 35% year-to-date compared to 35% in both prior-year periods. The slight third quarter margin compression was experienced primarily in the first half of the quarter with margins improving in September and thus far in October.

  • Inventory turns in Latin America for the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2019 remained strong at 3.7 times, while inventories aged greater than one year as of September 30, 2019 remained low at 1%.

  • Store operating expenses increased 20% for the quarter, or 23% on a constant currency basis, driven primarily by the 20% increase in the number of stores in Latin America over the past twelve months. Same-store operating expenses increased 1% in the third quarter of 2019, or 3% on a constant currency basis.

U.S. Operations

  • U.S. segment pre-tax operating income for the quarter increased 2% compared to the third quarter of 2018, which included the significant impact of the accelerated contraction in non-core consumer lending operations in 2019 (see the "Consumer Lending Contraction and Ohio Wind-Down Costs" section below). Excluding the contribution from non-core consumer lending and Ohio wind-down costs, the adjusted U.S. segment pre-tax operating income (a non-GAAP measure) for the quarter increased 8% compared to the prior-year quarter, primarily due to improved retail margins and pawn loan yields. Year-to-date, the segment pre-tax operating income increased 1% while increasing 7% on an adjusted non-GAAP basis.

  • Total revenues for the third quarter were $284 million, a decrease of 1% compared to the third quarter of 2018, which reflected an anticipated 82% decline, or $12 million, in non-core consumer loan and credit services fees. Core revenues from pawn fees and retail sales increased 3% for the quarter and 2% year-to-date.

  • Net revenue (or gross profit), which was also impacted by the declines in non-core consumer lending operations in 2019 increased 1% for the third quarter of 2019. More importantly, net revenue from core pawn operations increased 4% compared to the prior-year quarter as a result of the continued improvements in both retail sales margins and pawn yields as highlighted below.

  • Despite continued growth of online retailing in general, the Company's retail sales, which are almost exclusively generated from brick and mortar locations, increased 4% in total and 3% on a same-store basis compared to the prior-year quarter. In addition to the top-line retail sales growth, the Company was able to increase retail sales margins to 38% for both the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2019 compared to 37% and 36% in the respective prior-year periods. 

  • Total pawn fees increased 2% and same-store pawn fees increased 1% in the third quarter compared to the prior-year quarter as pawn yields improved by 5% quarter-over-quarter.

  • Pawn loans outstanding at September 30, 2019 totaled $271 million, a decrease of 3% in total and on a same-store basis. While same-store pawn balances improved slightly sequentially, the overall decrease was due primarily to the continued focus on increasing the volume of direct purchases of goods from customers in the legacy Cash America stores not interested in a pawn loan, which resulted in a 22% increase in the percentage of such direct purchase transactions for the quarter as compared to the prior-year quarter. Additionally, purchased inventory typically turns faster and has higher margins than forfeited items.

  • Inventories at September 30, 2019 declined $15 million, or 8%, primarily from further strategic reductions in overall inventory levels. As of September 30, 2019, U.S. inventories aged greater than one year were 3% compared to 4% aged inventories a year ago.

  • Inventory turns in the U.S. increased to 2.8 times for the trailing twelve month period ended September 30, 2019 compared to 2.7 times for the twelve month period ended September 30, 2018. Inventory turns in the U.S. are slower than in Latin America due to the larger jewelry component in the U.S. compared to a greater general merchandise inventory component in Latin America.

Consumer Lending Contraction and Ohio Wind-Down Costs

  • As previously disclosed, the Company ceased offering unsecured consumer lending products in all of its Ohio locations, effective April 26, 2019, in response to state-level regulatory changes impacting such products. As a result, 52 of the Company's Ohio Cashland locations, whose revenue was derived primarily from such unsecured consumer lending products, were closed during the second quarter. Despite the loss of consumer lending revenues, the remaining 67 locations in Ohio are expected to have sufficient pawn revenues to continue operating profitably as full-service pawnshops.

  • As a result of the wind-down of the Ohio consumer lending business, the Company incurred non-recurring exit costs of approximately $0.6 million and $2.5 million, net of tax, for the quarter and year-to-date periods ended September 30, 2019, respectively, which have been excluded from adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per share. These charges include increased loan loss provisions, employee severance costs, lease termination costs and other exit costs.

  • In addition, the Company closed two other stand-alone consumer loan stores and ceased offering unsecured consumer loans and/or credit services as ancillary products in 78 of its pawnshops located in Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky during the first nine months of 2019. The Company currently offers unsecured consumer loans and/or credit services in only 81 U.S. locations, of which 75 are full-service pawnshops offering such services as ancillary products. The Company expects to further reduce locations offering such products in the future.

  • Driven by the Ohio store closings and the Company's continued de-emphasis on consumer lending operations, U.S. consumer lending revenues declined $12 million in the third quarter, or 82%, and $24 million for the year-to-date period, or 57%, compared to the respective prior-year periods.

Cash Dividend and Stock Repurchases

  • The Board of Directors declared a $0.27 per share fourth quarter cash dividend on common shares outstanding, which will be paid on November 29, 2019 to stockholders of record as of November 15, 2019. On an annualized basis, the dividend is now $1.08 per share, representing an 8% increase in the annualized payout. Any future dividends are subject to approval by the Company's Board of Directors.

  • During the third quarter, the Company repurchased 80,000 shares at an aggregate cost of $8 million and an average per share cost of $93.30. Year-to-date, the Company has repurchased 751,000 shares for an aggregate price of $67 million at an average price of $89.13 per share.

  • Since the merger with Cash America in September 2016 and through the third quarter of 2019, the Company has repurchased a total of 5,710,000 shares, or 28% of the shares issued as a result of the merger, at an average repurchase price of $76.09 per share, resulting in a 12% reduction in the total number of shares outstanding immediately following the merger.

  • Subsequent to quarter end and through October 22, 2019, the Company repurchased an additional 203,000 shares at an aggregate cost of $18 million and an average cost of $90.66 per share, leaving $57 million available for future repurchases under the current share repurchase program. Future share repurchases are subject to expected liquidity, debt covenant restrictions and other relevant factors.

Liquidity and Return Metrics

  • The Company generated
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