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EZCORP Announces First Quarter Results

Jan 22, 2002

EZCORP, Inc. (NASDAQ: EZPW) announced today the results for its 2002 first fiscal quarter, which ended December 31, 2001.

For the first fiscal 2002 quarter, operating income before depreciation and amortization increased 7% to $6.6 million compared to $6.2 million for the prior year period. Net income increased 30% to $1.4 million ($0.11 per share) compared to $1.1 million ($0.09 per share) a year ago.

Commenting on these results, President and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph L. Rotunda, stated, "We are quite pleased with our first quarter results. Revenue growth, contribution from our short-term loans, and lower interest expense were all contributors to our performance. Same store pawn service charges grew approximately 7% primarily due to same store loan balances 5% above a year ago. Our 10% same store sales growth was especially strong. Product promotions, sales events, and committed, enthusiastic store associates were key factors. Also, a change in our layaway program accelerated some portion of layaways that would have paid in full in the second quarter into the first quarter."

Rotunda added, "Short term loans, or what is commonly referred to as payday loans, are now offered in 204 of our stores. This product continues to mature with the quarter's contribution exceeding all of last year. Our operating results over the last twelve months and the completion of twenty- nine sale leasebacks have enabled us to reduce our debt $33 million from a year ago, to just over $51 million. As a result, our interest expense for the quarter is down 20%."

Rotunda concluded, "I am excited about what we have accomplished in a relatively short period of time and am more optimistic than ever about EZCORP's potential. We continue to demonstrate our viability and are well on our way to becoming the premier provider of financial services to the cash and credit constrained consumer."

EZCORP offers consumers convenient, non-recourse loans collateralized by tangible personal property and short-term, non-collateralized loans, often referred to as payday loans. A secondary, but related, business activity is the selling of previously owned merchandise consisting primarily of forfeited collateral. At December 31, 2001, the Company operated 283 stores in twelve states.

This announcement contains certain forward-looking statements regarding the Company's expected performance for future periods including, but not limited to, the success of new products or services. Actual results for these periods may materially differ from these statements. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties such as changing market conditions in the overall economy and the industry, consumer demand for the Company's services and merchandise, changes in regulatory environment, and other factors periodically discussed in the Company's annual, quarterly and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

You are invited to listen to the conference call that will be broadcast over the Internet at http://www.videonewswire.com/event.asp?id=2637 . The conference call can be replayed at the same address. For additional information, contact Dan Tonissen at (512) 314-2220.

                                EZCORP, Inc.
        Highlights of Consolidated Results of Operations (Unaudited)
            (in thousands, except per share data and store count)

                                                    A                 B
                                             Three Months Ended December 31,
                                                   2001              2000

   1  Total revenues                             $54,582           $47,241
   2  Cost of goods sold                          23,170            18,098
   3  Net revenues                                31,412            29,143
   4  Operating expenses                          24,803            22,955
   5   Operating income before depreciation
        and amortization                           6,609             6,188
   6  Depreciation and amortization                2,598             2,434
   7   Operating income                            4,011             3,754
   8  Interest expense, net                        1,742             2,188
   9  Equity in net income of
       unconsolidated affiliate                      (64)              (27)
   10 (Gain) / loss on sale of assets                155                (3)
   11 Income before income taxes                   2,178             1,596
   12 Income tax expense                             806               543
   13 Net income                                  $1,372            $1,053

   14 Net income per share                         $0.11             $0.09

   15 Weighted average shares                     12,128            12,087
   16 Store count - average for period               283               302


                                EZCORP, Inc.
            Highlights of Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited)
                     (in thousands, except store count)

                                                    A                 B
                                                        December 31,
                                                   2001              2000
      Assets:
        Current assets:
   1    Cash and cash equivalents                   $359            $5,218
   2    Pawn loans                                47,254            45,257
   3    Short-term loans                           1,737                37
   4    Service charges receivable, net            9,921             9,214
   5    Inventory, net                            32,395            37,898
   6    Deferred tax asset                         6,607             7,154
   7    Federal income tax receivable                ---             5,045
   8    Prepaid expenses and other assets          2,027             1,527
   9        Total current assets                 100,300           111,350

   10   Investment in unconsolidated affiliates   14,097            13,872
   11   Property and equipment, net               40,882            61,388
   12   Other assets                              16,686            18,138
   13 Total assets                              $171,965          $204,748

      Liabilities and stockholders' equity:
        Current liabilities:
   14   Current maturities of long-term debt     $51,097           $84,312
   15   Accounts payable and other
         accrued expenses                         11,472            11,750
   16   Restructuring reserve                        118               758
   17   Customer layaway deposits                    579             2,280
   18       Total current liabilities             63,266            99,100

   19   Long-term debt, less current maturities      ---                98
   20   Deferred tax liability                     1,193             1,622
   21   Deferred gains and other long-
         term liabilities                          3,956               379
   22       Total long-term liabilities            5,149             2,099

   23   Total stockholders' equity               103,550           103,549
   24 Total liabilities and stockholders'
       equity                                   $171,965          $204,748

   25   Loan balance per ending store               $173              $156
   26   Inventory per ending store                  $114              $130
   27   Book value per share                       $8.54             $8.57
   28   Tangible book value per share              $7.36             $7.36
   29   Store count - end of period                  283               291

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SOURCE: EZCORP, Inc.

Contact: Dan Tonissen of EZCORP, Inc., +1-512-314-2220

Website: http://www.ezcorp.com/

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