GAMCO Investors, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2017 Results

  • AUM of $41.4 billion, up 6.8% year over year
  • Pretax profits of $40.1 million
  • First Quarter Earnings of $0.82 per diluted share

RYE, N.Y.--()--GAMCO Investors, Inc. (“GAMCO”) (NYSE:GBL) today reported financial results for the first quarter including revenues of $85.9 million, net income of $24.8 million and earnings of $0.82 per diluted share.

 
Financial Highlights
  First Quarter  
($'s in 000's except AUM and per share data) 2017     2016
 
AUM - end of period (in millions) $ 41,369 $ 38,721
AUM - average (in millions) 40,632 37,542
 
Revenues 85,917 81,385
 
Income before income taxes 40,120 42,127
Effective tax rate 38.1 % 38.2 %
 
Net income 24,820 26,025
 
Net income per fully diluted share $ 0.82 $ 0.88
 
Weighted average diluted shares outstanding 31,160 29,684
 
Shares outstanding at March 31 29,334 29,790
 
 

Assets Under Management

 
      % Change From
March 31, December 31, March 31, December 31,   March 31,
2017 2016 2016 2016 2016
Equities:
Open-end Funds $ 13,708 $ 13,462 $ 13,807 1.8 % -0.7 %
Closed-end Funds 7,315 7,150 6,663 2.3 9.8
Institutional & PWM - direct 13,492 13,441 13,280 0.4 1.6
Institutional & PWM - sub-advisory 5,019 (a) 3,783 3,427 32.7 46.5
SICAV   49   50   38 (2.0 ) 28.9
Total Equities   39,583   37,886   37,215 4.5 6.4
Fixed Income:
Money-Market Fund 1,752 1,767 1,474 (0.8 ) 18.9
Institutional & PWM   34   31   32 9.7 6.3
Total Fixed Income   1,786   1,798   1,506 (0.7 ) 18.6
Total Assets Under Management $ 41,369 $ 39,684 $ 38,721 4.2 6.8

Institutional & PWM - direct includes $292 million, $290 million and $271 million of Money Market Fund AUM at March 31, 2017, December 31, 2016 and March 31, 2016, respectively.

 

(a) Added two sub-advisory entities as of February 27, 2017.
 

Average AUM were $40.6 billion for the first quarter of 2017 versus $39.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016 and $37.5 billion for the first quarter of 2016.

Our first quarter 2017 AUM increased 4.2% to $41.4 from the $39.7 billion at December 31, 2016. Market appreciation of $1.7 billion and net inflows of $0.1 billion were offset by distributions of $0.1 billion. The sharp increase in Institutional & PWM – sub-advisory is largely attributable to the inclusion of the $1.2 billion from the Teton Westwood Mighty MitesSM and Teton Westwood Convertible Securities Funds following our selection (and election) as sub-advisor on February 27, 2017.

Revenues

  • Total revenues for the first quarter of 2017 were $85.9 million, compared with $81.4 million in the prior year, reflecting an increase of $4.2 million in investment advisory fees based on a higher level of assets and an increase of $0.3 million in distribution fees and other income.
  • Investment advisory fees were $75.0 million in the first quarter of 2017 versus $70.8 million in the first quarter of 2016. Revenues from our open-end and closed-end funds tracked our average AUM in the funds and were $47.9 million in the first quarter of 2017, an increase from the $44.4 million in the year ago quarter. Institutional and Private Wealth Management accounted for $26.2 million of the revenues in 2017 versus $25.9 million in 2016. SICAV revenues increased to $0.9 million in 2017 from $0.5 million in 2016.
  • Distribution fees from our open-end equity funds and other income were $10.9 million for the first quarter 2017, up from the $10.5 million in the prior year quarter.

Operating Income – First Quarter – Operating margin 49.4% vs. 55.2%

Operating income, which is net of management fee expense was $42.4 million in the first quarter of 2017 versus $44.9 million in the prior year period.

As previously reported, the Company has entered into two Restricted Stock Unit (“RSU”) agreements with our Chief Executive Officer, such that all of his compensation for 2016 (“2016 RSU”) and his compensation for the first half of 2017 (“2017 RSU”) is deferred rather than paid in cash. The 2016 RSU vests over four years, and the 2017 RSU vests over eighteen months.

The RSU agreements impact earnings as they vest. As a result, the compensation expense that would have been expensed fully in 2016 had it been paid in cash when earned is instead being amortized over four years in accordance with the vesting. Similarly, the compensation that would have been expensed fully in the first half of 2017 had it been paid in cash when earned will instead be amortized over the eighteen month vesting period.

These two RSU agreements impacted our reported operating income as follows: the RSU agreements increased operating income by $8.1 million and $12.6 million in the first quarter of 2017 and 2016, respectively.

After adjusting for removal of these items in the 2017 and 2016 periods, operating income was $34.3 million and $32.3 million in the first quarter of 2017 and 2016, respectively. Operating margin after these adjustments increased to 39.9% versus 39.7% in the prior year period.

Operating income before management fee was $44.6 million in the first quarter 2017 versus $46.0 million in the first quarter 2016. Operating margin before management fee was 51.9% versus 56.5% in the first quarter of 2016.

See Notes to Non-GAAP measures on page 8 for further information. Further information regarding Non-GAAP measures is provided in Notes on Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Table III included elsewhere herein.

Other expense

We recognized $2.3 million in net other expenses in the 2017 quarter versus net other expenses of $2.8 million in the first quarter of 2016. Interest expense decreased by $0.6 million year over year as debt declined from $294.2 million at March 31, 2016 to $224.2 million at March 31, 2017. Investment income for 2017 was $0.5 million vs. $0.6 million in 2016.

Income Taxes

The Company’s effective tax rate (“ETR”) for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 was 38.1% versus 38.2% for the quarter ended March 31, 2016.

Deferred compensation

To enhance our liquidity and provide greater financial flexibility GAMCO entered into two deferred compensation agreements with its Chief Executive Officer which had a material impact on our GAAP financial statements. Under GAAP, the total compensation expense is amortized over the vesting periods, which for the 2016 RSU is four years and for the 2017 RSU is eighteen months. As a result, for the 2016 RSU for GAAP, we recognized only 25% of the 2016 RSU expense in 2016 with the remaining 75% to be amortized as expense over 2017, 2018 and 2019.

For the 2017 RSU, the GAAP expense for the first quarter of 2017 is only 33% of the total 2017 RSU expense with the remainder to be amortized as expense over the next fifteen months.

The following table further illustrates the effect that the GAAP accounting for the compensation deferral has had to date and will continue to have on our results for 2017 through 2019. Please see the note regarding forward-looking information on page 13 of this release.

Effect on compensation and management fee expense of recording RSU on a GAAP basis:

     
Full Year
Q1 2016 Q1 2017 2016   2017   2018   2019
 
2016 RSU agreement (12,611 ) 3,279 (53,516 ) 12,842 17,123 17,123
2017 RSU agreement - (11,405 ) - (11,405 ) 11,405 -
 

On an economic basis, there was $18.6 million of compensation subject to the 2017 RSU deferred compensation agreement for the first quarter of 2017. Of this amount, only $6.2 million was recorded under GAAP, with the remaining $12.4 million to be expensed over the vesting period.

Conversely, on an economic basis, the 2016 RSU agreement had the impact of decreasing expense in the first quarter of 2016 by $12.6 million while increasing expense in the first quarter of 2017 by $3.5 million.

In addition, in accordance with the deferred compensation agreement, we note that our liability will fluctuate with the price of the GBL stock, with a floor set at the actual compensation expense amount otherwise payable. We recorded a $1.2 million reduction to the deferred compensation liability at March 31, 2017.

Impact on Balance Sheet from the RSUs

The balance sheet is also impacted; the compensation payable at March 31, 2017 is not reflective of the full amount of the 2016 or 2017 deferred compensation that will be due once the RSUs are fully vested. At March 31, 2017, the amount of unrecognized compensation, which is not reflected on our balance sheet, was $59.4 million.

The following tables show a reconciliation of our results for the first quarters of 2017 and 2016 and our balance sheet at March 31, 2017 between the GAAP basis and the non-GAAP adjusted basis of the deferred compensation (the RSU grants) described above. We believe this adjusted measure, which removes the impact of the deferred compensation agreements, may be helpful in evaluating the ongoing operating results and increases the comparability of the results with prior periods.

 

Deferred Compensation Table I:

 
  For the three months ended March 31, 2017
  Impact of   Impact of  
2017 RSU 2016 RSU
Reported Deferred Deferred
GAAP Compensation Compensation Non-GAAP
 
Total revenues $ 85,917 $ - $ - $ 85,917
 
Compensation costs 25,278 9,540 (2,499 ) 32,319
Distribution costs 10,913 - - 10,913
Other operating expenses   5,119     -     -     5,119  
Total expenses 41,310 9,540 (2,499 ) 48,351
 
Operating income before management fee 44,607 (9,540 ) 2,499 37,566
 
Other expense, net (2,323 ) - - (2,323 )
 
Income before management fee and income taxes 42,284 (9,540 ) 2,499 35,243
Management fee expense   2,164     1,865     (780 )   3,249  
Income before income taxes 40,120 (11,405 ) 3,279 31,994
Income tax expense   15,300     (4,349 )   1,250     12,201  
Net income attributable to GAMCO Investors, Inc. $ 24,820   $ (7,056 ) $ 2,029   $ 19,793  
 
Net income per share attributable to GAMCO Investors, Inc.:
Basic $ 0.86   $ (0.24 ) $ 0.07   $ 0.68  
Diluted $ 0.82   $ (0.23 ) $ 0.07   $ 0.66  
 
 

Deferred Compensation Table II:

 
  For the three months ended March 31, 2016
  Impact of  
2016 RSU
Reported Deferred
GAAP Compensation Non-GAAP
 
Total revenues $ 81,385 $ - $ 81,385
 
Compensation costs 20,274 10,412 30,686
Distribution costs 10,717 - 10,717
Other operating expenses   4,372     -     4,372  
Total expenses 35,363 10,412 45,775
 
Operating income before management fee 46,022 (10,412 ) 35,610
 
Other expense, net (2,815 ) - (2,815 )
 
Income before management fee and income taxes 43,207 (10,412 ) 32,795
Management fee expense   1,080     2,199     3,279  
Income before income taxes 42,127 (12,611 ) 29,516
Income tax expense   16,102     (4,820 )   11,282  
Net income attributable to GAMCO Investors, Inc. $ 26,025   $ (7,791 ) $ 18,234  
 
Net income per share attributable to GAMCO Investors, Inc.:
Basic $ 0.89   $ (0.27 ) $ 0.62  
Diluted $ 0.88   $ (0.26 ) $ 0.61  
 
 

Deferred Compensation Table III:

 
  March 31, 2017
  Impact of  
2016 & 2017 RSU
Reported Deferred
GAAP Compensation Non-GAAP
 
ASSETS
 
Cash and cash equivalents $ 88,230 $ - $ 88,230
Investments 33,190 - 33,190
Receivable from brokers 523 - 523
Other receivables 36,554 - 36,554
Income tax receivable 12,829 22,293 35,122
Other assets   11,196     -     11,196  
Total assets $ 182,522   $ 22,293   $ 204,815  
 
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY
 
Compensation payable $ 42,295 $ 59,447 $ 101,742
Accrued expenses and other liabilities   64,317     -     64,317  
Sub-total 106,612 59,447 166,059
 
5.875% Senior notes (due June 1, 2021) 24,126 - 24,126
4.5% Convertible note (due August 15, 2021) 109,844 - 109,844
4% PIK note (due November 30, 2020)   90,000     -     90,000  
Total debt $ 223,970     -   $ 223,970  
Total liabilities 330,582 59,447 390,029
 
GAMCO Investors, Inc.'s stockholders' deficit   (148,060 )   (37,154 )   (185,214 )
 
Total liabilities and equity $ 182,522   $ 22,293   $ 204,815  
 

Business and Investment Highlights

  • On February 14, 2017, the Company launched the Gabelli Food of all NationsTM, its second actively managed, non-transparent exchange traded managed fund (“ETMF”). The fund will invest primarily in domestic and foreign companies in the food and beverage industry, which is a consolidating sector that includes many strong cash generators with pricing power. The fund will capitalize on a segment where we have accumulated and compounded knowledge. Consumer companies have long been a core competency at GAMCO.
  • During the first quarter of 2017, the shareholders of the TETON Westwood Mighty MitesSM Fund and the TETON Convertible Securities Fund voted to approve Gabelli Funds, LLC as the sub-advisor. These assets are now included in the Institutional & PWM – sub-advisory segment of our AUM.
  • Net debt was reduced from $194.1 million at December 31, 2016 to $135.7 million at March 31, 2017.

Balance Sheet

We ended the quarter with cash of $88.2 million and investments of $33.2 million and gross debt of $224 million (excluding RSU payable). We have $500 million available on our universal shelf registration. Together with earnings from operations, the shelf provides us with flexibility to do acquisitions, lift-outs, seed new investment strategies, and co-invest, as well as to fund shareholder compensation, including share repurchases and dividends.

Shareholder Compensation

During the quarter ended March 31, 2017, we returned $4.4 million of our earnings to shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases. We repurchased 125,410 shares at an average price of $30.25 per share for a total investment of $3.8 million and distributed $0.6 million in dividends. Since our IPO, in February 1999, we have returned $1.9 billion in total to shareholders comprised of $1.0 billion of spin-offs, $489.2 million in the form of dividends and $442.6 million through stock buybacks of 10,026,750 shares.

On May 3, 2017, GAMCO’s Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.02 per share payable on July 11, 2017 to its Class A and Class B shareholders of record on June 27, 2017.

About GAMCO Investors, Inc.

GAMCO Investors, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manages private advisory accounts (GAMCO Asset Management Inc.) and open-end funds and closed-end funds (Gabelli Funds, LLC).

NOTES ON NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

A.   Operating income before management fee expense is used by management to evaluate its business operations. We believe this measure is useful in illustrating the operating results of GAMCO Investors, Inc. (the “Company”) as management fee expense is based on pre-tax income before management fee expense, which includes non-operating items including investment gains and losses from the Company’s proprietary investment portfolio and interest expense. The reconciliation of operating income before management fee expense to operating income is provided in Table III.
 
B.   Adjusted operating income and adjusted operating income before management fee expense are used by management to evaluate its ongoing business operations. We believe these adjusted measures, which remove these items, are useful in evaluating the ongoing operating results of the Company as the nature of these items reduces the comparability of the results with prior periods and is not indicative of results for future periods.
 
1st Quarter
2017   2016
Operating income before management fee $ 44,607 $ 46,022
Adjustments:
Add back: Variable compensation expense from prior year RSU 2,499 -
Deduct: Variable compensation expense from current year RSU   (9,540 )   (10,412 )
Adjusted operating income before management fee   37,566     35,610  
Adjusted operating margin before management fee   43.7 %   43.8 %
 
 
1st Quarter
2017   2016
Operating income $ 42,443 $ 44,942
Adjustments:
Add back: Variable compensation expense from prior year RSU 3,279 -
Deduct: Variable compensation expense from current year RSU   (11,405 )   (12,611 )
Adjusted operating income   34,317     32,331  
Adjusted operating margin   39.9 %   39.7 %
 

The Company reported Assets Under Management as follows (in millions):

 
Table I: Fund Flows - 1st Quarter 2017
 
      Fund  
Market distributions,
December 31, appreciation/ Net cash net of March 31,
2016 (depreciation) flows reinvestments 2017
Equities:
Open-end Funds $ 13,462 $ 622 $ (365 ) $ (11 ) $ 13,708
Closed-end Funds 7,150 291 (4 ) (122 ) 7,315
Institutional & PWM - direct 13,441 676 (625 ) - 13,492
Institutional & PWM - sub-advisory 3,783 74 1,162 (a) - 5,019
SICAV   50   2   (3 )   -     49
Total Equities   37,886   1,665   165     (133 )   39,583
Fixed Income:
Money-Market Fund 1,767 1 (16 ) - 1,752
Institutional & PWM   31   -   3     -     34
Total Fixed Income   1,798   1   (13 )   -     1,786
Total Assets Under Management $ 39,684 $ 1,666 $ 152   $ (133 ) $ 41,369
 
(a) Includes $1.2 billion from being approved as the sub-advisor on two sub-advisory entities as of February 27, 2017.
 
 
Table II
 
GAMCO INVESTORS, INC.
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 
  For the Quarter Ended
March 31,
2017   2016
 
Investment advisory and incentive fees $ 74,989 $ 70,848
Distribution fees and other income   10,928     10,537  
Total revenues 85,917 81,385
 
Compensation costs 25,278 20,274
Distribution costs 10,913 10,717
Other operating expenses   5,119     4,372  
Total expenses 41,310 35,363
 
Operating income before management fee 44,607 46,022
 
Investment income 509 591
Interest expense   (2,832 )   (3,406 )
Other expense, net   (2,323 )   (2,815 )
 
Income before management fee and income taxes 42,284 43,207
Management fee expense   2,164     1,080  
Income before income taxes 40,120 42,127
Income tax expense   15,300     16,102  
Net income attributable to GAMCO Investors, Inc. $ 24,820   $ 26,025  
 
Net income per share attributable to GAMCO Investors, Inc.:
Basic $ 0.86   $ 0.89  
 
Diluted $ 0.82   $ 0.88  
 
Weighted average shares outstanding:
Basic   28,970     29,247  
 
Diluted   31,160     29,684  
 
Actual shares outstanding (a)   29,334     29,790  
 
Notes:
(a) Includes 420,240 and 553,100 of RSAs, respectively.
 
See GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation on page 11.
 
 
Table III
 
GAMCO INVESTORS, INC.
UNAUDITED QUARTERLY CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 
  2017   2016
1st 1st   2nd   3rd   4th  
Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter Full Year
Income Statement Data:
 
Revenues $ 85,917 $ 81,385 $ 83,944 $ 87,721 $ 99,950 $ 353,000
 
Expenses   41,310     35,363     36,064     38,482     44,777     154,686  
 
Operating income before
management fee 44,607 46,022 47,880 49,239 55,173 198,314
 
Investment income 509 591 605 426 1,483 3,105
Interest expense   (2,832 )   (3,406 )   (3,168 )   (3,155 )   (2,945 )   (12,674 )
Other expense, net (2,323 ) (2,815 ) (2,563 ) (2,729 ) (1,462 ) (9,569 )
 
Income before management
fee and income taxes 42,284 43,207 45,317 46,510 53,711 188,745
Management fee expense   2,164     1,080     1,133     1,163     3,142     6,518  
Income before income taxes 40,120 42,127 44,184 45,347 50,569 182,227
Income tax expense   15,300     16,102     16,641     14,486     17,877     65,106  
Net income attributable to
GAMCO Investors, Inc. $ 24,820   $ 26,025   $ 27,543   $ 30,861   $ 32,692   $ 117,121  
 
Net income per share
attributable to GAMCO
Investors, Inc.:
Basic $ 0.86   $ 0.89   $ 0.94   $ 1.06   $ 1.12   $ 4.01  
 
Diluted $ 0.82   $ 0.88   $ 0.93   $ 1.03   $ 1.07   $ 3.92  
 
Weighted average shares outstanding:
Basic   28,970     29,247     29,234     29,185     29,062     29,182  
 
Diluted   31,160     29,684     29,522     30,406     31,241     30,170  
 
Reconciliation of non-GAAP
financial measures to GAAP:
Operating income before
management fee 44,607 46,022 47,880 49,239 55,173 198,314
Deduct: management fee expense   2,164     1,080     1,133     1,163     3,142     6,518  
Operating income $ 42,443   $ 44,942   $ 46,747   $ 48,076   $ 52,031   $ 191,796  
 
Operating margin before
management fee   51.9 %   56.5 %   57.0 %   56.1 %   55.2 %   56.2 %
Operating margin after
management fee   49.4 %   55.2 %   55.7 %   54.8 %   52.1 %   54.3 %
 
 
Table IV
 
GAMCO INVESTORS, INC.
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION
(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 
  March 31,   December 31,   March 31,
2017 2016 2016
 
ASSETS
 
Cash and cash equivalents $ 88,230 $ 39,812 $ 28,045
Investments 33,190 37,285 36,422
Receivable from brokers 523 453 1,135
Other receivables 36,554 50,756 35,961
Income tax receivable 12,829 9,349 2,452
Other assets   11,196     11,574     11,910  
 
Total assets $ 182,522   $ 149,229   $ 115,925  
 
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY
 
Payable to brokers $ 10,022 $ 66 $ -
Income taxes payable and deferred tax liabilities 19,787 3,815 12,198
Compensation payable 42,295 42,384 19,218
Accrued expenses and other liabilities   34,508     35,656     38,609  
Sub-total 106,612 81,921 70,025
 
5.875% Senior notes (due June 1, 2021) 24,126 24,120 24,103
4.5% Convertible note (due August 15, 2021) 109,844 109,835 -
4% PIK note (due November 30, 2020) 90,000 100,000 250,000
Loan from GGCP (due December 28, 2016)   -     -     20,000  
Total debt   223,970     233,955     294,103  
Total liabilities 330,582 315,876 364,128
 
GAMCO Investors, Inc.'s stockholders' deficit   (148,060 )   (166,647 )   (248,203 )
 
Total liabilities and equity $ 182,522   $ 149,229   $ 115,925  
 

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

The financial results set forth in this press release are preliminary. Our disclosure and analysis in this press release, which do not present historical information, contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements convey our current expectations or forecasts of future events. You can identify these statements because they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” and other words and terms of similar meaning. They also appear in any discussion of future operating or financial performance. In particular, these include statements relating to future actions, future performance of our products, expenses, the outcome of any legal proceedings, and financial results. Although we believe that we are basing our expectations and beliefs on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of what we currently know about our business and operations, the economy and other conditions, there can be no assurance that our actual results will not differ materially from what we expect or believe. Therefore, you should proceed with caution in relying on any of these forward-looking statements. They are neither statements of historical fact nor guarantees or assurances of future performance.

Forward-looking statements involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors, some of which are listed below, that are difficult to predict and could cause actual results and outcomes to differ materially from any future results or outcomes expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause our actual results to differ from our expectations or beliefs include a decline in the securities markets that adversely affect our assets under management, negative performance of our products, the failure to perform as required under our investment management agreements, a general downturn in the economy that negatively impacts our operations. We also direct your attention to the more specific discussions of these and other risks, uncertainties and other important factors contained in our Form 10-K and other public filings. Other factors that could cause our actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of them. We do not undertake to update publicly any forward-looking statements if we subsequently learn that we are unlikely to achieve our expectations whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by law.

Contacts

GAMCO Investors, Inc.
Kieran Caterina or Diane M. LaPointe
SVPs and Co-Chief Accounting Officers
(914) 921-5149 or 7763
www.gabelli.com

Contacts

GAMCO Investors, Inc.
Kieran Caterina or Diane M. LaPointe
SVPs and Co-Chief Accounting Officers
(914) 921-5149 or 7763
www.gabelli.com