FTI Consulting, Inc. Reports First Quarter Results
May 1, 2007
FTI Consulting (NYSE: FCN),, the global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance their enterprise value, today reported its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2007.
First Quarter Results
Revenues for the 2007 first quarter increased 34.4 percent to $227.7 million from $169.3 million in the prior year period. Earnings from operations before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 32.3 percent to $44.4 million from $33.6 million in the prior year period. Earnings per diluted share increased to $0.36, from $0.31 per diluted share in the prior year period.
Commenting on the quarter, Jack Dunn, FTI's president and chief executive officer, said, “As anticipated, thanks to the continuing trust of our clients and the dedication of our professionals, the first quarter was an excellent start to our year, continuing our momentum from 2006. All of our business segments contributed to a solid overall performance, reflecting the power of our brand, the reach of our intellectual capital and our position in the market. The markets for our services continue to grow both domestically and internationally, and our expanded geographical footprint has positioned us nicely to participate in that growth.
“Increasingly, we are at the forefront of our clients' minds as they face new challenges. Recent successful experience in addressing such issues as options backdating, subprime lending, hedge fund/private equity matters and the antitrust aspects of M&A confirm our position as a thought leader and trusted advisor to the world's largest companies, financial institutions and law firms.
“We are off to a very strong start in 2007 and remain focused on leveraging the opportunities afforded to us by our leadership in the marketplace and the differentiating factor we bring to bear in addressing our clients' issues through our multi-discipline and multi-national solutions. We believe the breadth and depth of our success indicates that our message is being received by corporate management teams and boards of directors in the U.S. and, increasingly, around the world, and that our fully integrated approach bodes well for our continued success and organic growth in 2007 and beyond.”
As anticipated and consistent with past experience, the first quarter saw our most intensive use of cash, primarily in connection with compensation, as cash flow used in operations in the first quarter of 2007 was $26.9 million, compared with a cash use of $37.8 million in the prior year's period. At March 31, 2007, cash and cash equivalents were $38.2 million, accounts receivable days-sales-outstanding were approximately the same as December 31, 2006, and total long-term debt was $565.0 million.
As of March 31, 2007, total headcount was 2,157, of which 1,628 represented revenue-generating headcount. As a result of the contributions of the technology segment and FD, the Company believes utilization of revenue-generating personnel and average rate per hour metrics are much less meaningful for the Company taken as a whole, but are presented in the accompanying tables for those business segments for which the metrics continue to be relevant.
First Quarter Business Segment Results
Forensic and Litigation Consulting
Revenues in the Forensic and Litigation Consulting segment rose 8.6 percent to $54.4 million from $50.1 million in the prior year period. Segment EBITDA rose 8.5 percent to $14.1 million, or 25.9 percent of revenues, compared to $13.0 million, or 26.0 percent of revenues, in the prior year period. While no major case or genre of cases particularly impacted the quarter, the general environment for the segment's suite of services, including its Asian and Latin American operations, remained strong, with a continued focus on corporate governance, independent investigations, intellectual property litigation and post-acquisition disputes. During the quarter, based on its breadth of offerings, FLC has also launched a new initiative to help boards address Enterprise Risk Management from a diagnostic or prophylactic standpoint. The opportunity to help clients develop programs to identify, assess and mitigate risks in advance of their materializing is both a tremendous service to these clients and another step in FTI moving from an incident driven to a more proactive, annuity based model.
Revenues within Technology increased 22.6 percent to $33.1 million from $27.0 million in the prior year period. Segment EBITDA was $10.6 million, or 32.1 percent of revenues, compared to $11.0 million, or 40.6 percent of revenues, in the prior year period. Drivers of the segment's results included the impact of the expansion of eDiscovery services into the Antitrust/Second Request arena, as well as demand for consulting resources in response to the new federal rules on electronic discovery and the implementation of Ringtail's global translator module as a key product differentiator. These factors were somewhat offset by the slower than expected ramp-up of a major document hosting assignment, investment in the U.K. technology build-out to support the segment's future growth, and a disproportionate level of software license expenses in the first quarter. These factors caused segment profit to be slightly below target margin for the quarter.
Corporate Finance/Restructuring revenues were $62.1 million, an increase of 14.8 percent compared with revenues of $54.1 million in the prior year period. Segment EBITDA rose 4.7 percent to $14.9 million, or 24.0 percent of revenues, compared to $14.3 million, or 26.4 percent of revenues, in the year ago period. The segment's performance in the quarter was led by good demand in the subprime lending, home building, healthcare and automotive sectors. Results for this segment also reflect contribution from a major matter for a global automotive supplier, which is expected to end early in the 2007 second quarter. FTI believes its U.K. and European presence in core restructuring will be significantly enhanced going forward with the addition in April of three leading practitioners in London from a “big four” firm.
Strong performance continued in the Economic Consulting segment. Revenues increased 5.0 percent to $40.0 million from $38.1 million in the prior year period. Segment EBITDA increased 27.6 percent to $11.1 million, or 27.8 percent of revenues, from $8.7 million, or 22.9 percent of revenues, in the prior year period. Continued strength of M&A antitrust-related work, a significant upswing in energy-related oil and natural gas litigation resulting from the pricing volatility seen in recent years, and the addition of two new prominent economists were drivers of the segment's performance. Going forward, the Company believes there may be a larger number of mergers in the hospital area and increased activity involving the private equity sector as those firms increasingly look to merge targets with existing portfolio companies. The Company also believes that M&A activity may again, as last year, accelerate towards the fourth quarter with the additional impetus of acquirers seeking to have their transactions reviewed by the current administration.
Strategic and Financial Communications
The Company's new Strategic and Financial Communications segment had an excellent first quarter, generating revenues of $38.2 million. Segment EBITDA was $10.0 million, or 26.2 percent of revenues. Results were led by the U.K., French and U.S. practices. Retained client wins as well as project assignments from retained clients were strong, and the pipeline for European capital markets work remained healthy. The integration of FD into the FTI network continued on schedule, with a number of collaborative wins during the period.
Reaffirming 2007 Guidance
Based on current conditions in the markets in which it operates, the Company is re-affirming its financial guidance for the 2007 full-year period:
First Quarter Conference Call
FTI will hold a conference call for analysts and investors to discuss first quarter financial results at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, May 1, 2007. The call can be accessed live and will be available for replay over the Internet for 90 days by logging onto the Company's website, from the Events Page.
About FTI Consulting FTI Consulting is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 2000 professionals located in most major business centers in the world, we work closely with clients every day to anticipate, illuminate, and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management and restructuring. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.
Note: Although EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income are not measures of financial condition or performance determined in accordance with GAAP, FTI believes that they are useful operating performance measures for evaluating its results of operations from period to period and as compared to its competitors. EBITDA is a common alternative measure of operating performance used by investors, financial analysts and rating agencies to value and compare the financial performance of companies in FTI's industry. FTI uses EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to evaluate and compare the operating performance of its segments and it is one of the primary measures used to determine employee bonuses. FTI also uses EBITDA to value businesses it acquires or anticipates acquiring. A reconciliation of EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income to Net Income is included in the accompanying tables to this press release. EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income are not defined in the same manner by all companies and may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies unless the definition is the same. In addition, because the calculation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA in the maintenance covenants contained in FTI's credit facilities is based on accounting policies in use, consistently applied from the time the indebtedness was incurred, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as supplemental financial measures are also indicative of the company's capacity to service debt and thereby provides additional useful information to investors regarding the company's financial condition and results of operations. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA for purposes of those covenants are not calculated in the same manner as they are calculated in the accompanying table.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release includes "forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that involve uncertainties and risks including statements related our future financial results. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ from the company's expectations. The Company has experienced fluctuating revenues, operating income and cash flow in some prior periods and expects this will occur from time to time in the future. As a result of these possible fluctuations, the Company's actual results may differ from our projections. Further, preliminary results are subject to normal year-end adjustments. Other factors that could cause such differences include the pace and timing of the consummation and integration of past and future acquisitions, the company's ability to realize cost savings and efficiencies, competitive and general economic conditions, retention of staff and clients and other risks described under the heading “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in the Company's most recent Form 10-K and in the Company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We are under no duty to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform such statements to actual results or events and do not intend to do so.