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Crescent Capital BDC, Inc. (CCAP) Q1 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

By Motley Fool Transcribing - May 14, 2021 at 2:30AM

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CCAP earnings call for the period ending March 31, 2021.

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Crescent Capital BDC, Inc. (CCAP -0.06%)
Q1 2021 Earnings Call
May 13, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Operator

Good day, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Q1 Crescent Capital BDC earnings call. [Operator instructions]. I would now like to turn the call over to your host Dan McMahon.

You may begin.

Dan McMahon -- Vice President and Head of Investor Relations

Thanks, Kevin. Good morning and welcome to Crescent Capital BDC Inc.'s first quarter ended March 31 2021 earnings conference call. Please note that Crescent Capital BDC Inc. may be referred to a CCAP, Crescent BDC or the company throughout the call.

Before we begin, I'll start with some important reminders. Comments made during the course of this conference call and webcast may contain forward-looking statements and are subject to risks and uncertainties. The company's actual results could differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements for any reason, including those listed in its SEC filings. The company assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.

Please also note that past performance or market information is not a guarantee of future results. During this conference call, we may discuss certain non-GAAP measures as defined by SEC regulation G such as, adjusted Net Investment Income or NII per share. The company believes that adjusted NII per share provides useful information to investors regarding financial performance because it's one method the company uses to measure its financial condition and results of operations. A reconciliation of adjusted Net Investment Income per share to Net Investment Income per share, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure can be found in the accompanying slide presentation for this call.

In addition, a reconciliation of this measure may also be found in our earnings release. Yesterday, after the market closed, the company issued its earnings press release for the first quarter ended March 31, 202, and posted a presentation to the Investor Relations section of its website at www.crescentbdc.com. The presentation should be reviewed in conjunction with the company's Form 10-Q filed yesterday with the SEC. As a reminder, this call is being recorded for replay purposes.

Speaking on today's call will be Jason Breaux, chief executive officer of CCAP; and Gerhard Lombard, chief financial officer of CCAP. And with that, I would now like to turn it over to Jason.

Jason Breaux -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Dan. Hello everyone and thank you for joining us. We appreciate your continued interest in CCAP. For our call today, I'll provide a few highlights from this quarter's results, review our investing activity, provide some thoughts on our current positioning, and then turn it over to Gerhard to review our financial results in more detail before we open the call to Q&A.

So, let's begin. Please turn to Slide 6, where you'll see a summary of our results. We reported strong first-quarter financial results with adjusted Net Investment Income of $0.46 per share. This quarter, we accrued a capital gains-based incentive fee expense related to changes in net realized and unrealized gains and losses.

This non-cash expense, which was not paid and is not payable was approximately $0.05 per share for the quarter. Our Q1 Net Investment Income per share inclusive of the accrued capital gains incentive fee expense was $0.41. Pausing on the impact of this adjustment for a moment, which is only payable at the end of each fiscal year based on our investment advisory agreement, if we were to hypothetically end the year as of this March 31, the $0.05 per share of cumulative accrued capital gain incentive the expenses that we had at quarter end would not be paid or payable since the gains must be realized in order for us to be eligible to receive the fee. Turning back to our results.

Our net asset value per share increased for the fourth consecutive quarter up approximately 1.8% in Q1 to 2024. One of the highest levels since CCAPs Inception. Gerhard Lombard will walk through the key drivers and more detail, but the increase was primarily driven by a net change in unrealized depreciation specific to certain individual portfolio companies, and net unrealized mark to market gains related to the tightening of credit spreads relative to the end of the fourth quarter. Please turn to Slide 4, which highlights our historical NAV trajectory and cumulative dividends since inception.

Focusing on the right-hand side of the page, our business has performed well through the pandemic. From a total economic return perspective, which is change in NAV plus dividends paid, we've generated over 14% since the year ended 2019, just prior to the onset of COVID-19. This was driven by growth in our Net Asset Value per share up 3.8% in that timeframe and the payment of our quarterly base dividends, which cumulatively represent another 10.5%. Overall, we're pleased with this outcome and with our total investment portfolio carried at 103% of cost as of quarter end versus 102% as of yearend.

We remain comforted by the quality of our portfolio and its performance, particularly given the volatility we've all experienced since March of last year. Let's now shift gears and turn to Slide 13 and Slide 14 of the presentation, which provide a snapshot of the current portfolio. We ended the quarter with just under $1.1 billion of investments at fair value across 131 portfolio companies with an average investment size of less than 1% of the total portfolio. Our investment portfolio continues to consist primarily of senior secured first lien and Unitranche first lien loans.

We are well diversified across 20 industries and lend primarily to private equity backed companies; 99% of our debt portfolio was in sponsor backed companies as of year-end, consistent with prior quarters; and 80% of the portfolio at fair value was first lien, up from 78% as of year-end, driven by our Q1 deployment, which I'll touch on shortly. For the first quarter, our portfolio companies continued to perform well, 118 out of our 120 debt investment portfolio companies representing 99% of total and debt investments at fair value made full schedule principal and interest payments and picked interest represented approximately 4% of total investment income in Q1. 91% of our debt investment portfolio today is marked above $0.95 on a dollar, and the average mark of the entire debt portfolio is $97.6. Two more positive credit trends are outlined on Slide 17, continued strong performance ratings, and non-accrual levels.

Our weighted average portfolio grade of 2.1 was unchanged as compared to year end, and the percentage of risk rated 1and 2 investments, the highest ratings our portfolio companies can receive increased modestly to 87.6% of the portfolio of fair value as compared to 87.5% as of year-end. As the quarter end, we had investments in two portfolio companies on non-accrual status representing 1.7% and 1.3% of our total debt investments at cost and fair value respectively, unchanged from year end. Moving to our investment activity. Please turn to Slide 15.

In terms of the broader market backdrop spreads tightened across the board in Q1. A strong demand in the leverage loan markets led to pricing and terms in favor of borrowers. All and yields for new issuers were generally lower than the last few quarters and a larger percentage of new deals were covenant lite. Despite this competitive backdrop with record levels of dry powder in the direct lending market, we continue to benefit from Crescent long-standing reputation as a reliable partner and ability to offer surety of capital and scale financing solutions to the sponsor community.

This was evidenced by over 1 billion of total deployment across Crescent Private Credit platform in Q1. Sponsors and Portfolio company management teams alike are in our view exhibiting a strong preference for flexibility of capital and a long-term partnership approach with firms like ours. CCAP's growth deployment in the first quarter totaled $88.2 million, approximately 90% of which was in Unitranche first lien investments. All told, we closed on six new investments and 11 follow ons totaling $63 million and $13 million respectively.

With the remaining $12 million coming from revolver and delayed draw term loan activity during the quarter. All six of the new investments were private equity backed loans at 600-basis-points to 675-basis-point spreads each with a live work floor and OIDs between 1.5% and 2.75%. In addition, loan to value levels remain attractive, averaging approximately 45% for these transactions. The $88 million and gross deployment compares to $77 million in aggregate exits sales and repayments in the quarter.

It's also worth highlighting that the $63 million CCAP invested in the six aforementioned new deals represented only 12% of the over half billion-dollar total check sides committed across Crescent. Highlighting the breadth of our platform. For the month of April, we closed on three new investments for $31 million, and four add ons for $6 million. The new investments are each private equity backed first lien and Unitranche loans with spreads LIBOR floors and other characteristics fairly comparable to the aforementioned Q1 investments.

Two more updates before I turn it over to Gerhard. First, as we have previously disclosed, Sun Life has advised us that it intends to purchase up to $10 million of CCAP stock in the secondary market over time pursuant to a 10b5-1 plan demonstrating its alignment with CCAP stockholders. We expect that this Sun Life purchase plan will be adopted in this upcoming open trading window commence purchasing CCAPs stock this calendar quarter if such purchases meet the terms of the plan and be in effect for approximately 12 months unless extended or until the aggregate approved purchase amount has been expended. This is in addition to a currently active $1.2 million affiliate purchase program funded by certain officers of CCAP and employees and affiliates of Crescent.

The third such plan implemented since our listing following the cumulative purchase of approximately $4.9 million of CCAP stock pursuant to the first two plants. And finally, our board has declared a $0.41 per share quarterly cash dividend for the second quarter of 2021 payable on July 15, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on June 30. With that, I'll now turn it over to Gerhard to cover additional details on the quarter. Gerhard?

Gerhard Lombard -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Jason. Our adjusted net investment income per share of $0.46 for the first quarter of 2021 compares to$0. 47 and $0.44 per share for the fourth and first quarters of 2020. Our GAAP earnings or net increase in net assets resulting from operations was $0.76 per share for the first quarter of 2021, which compares to one spot 22 per share for the fourth quarter of 2020, and minus two spot 84 per share for the first quarter of 2020.

Our first quarter adjusted earnings were driven by strong recurring interest and dividend income generated from our growing portfolio. Our net unrealized gains on investments of $8.3 million or $0.30 per share primarily reflected the continuing tightening of credit spreads relative to year end, and performance improvements in certain names. At March 31, stockholder's equity was $570 million resulting in a net asset value per share of $20.24 as compared to $560 million or $19.88 per share at year end or $466 million or $16.52 per share at March 31, 2020. The increase in our net asset value during the first quarter was primarily driven by net unrealized gains as highlighted on Slide 10, and we had $0.06 of realized gains per share.

Investments at fair value increased by 2.3% in the quarter from $1.34 billion to $1.58 billion, driven by approximately $11 million in net deployment in addition to an increase in net unrealized portfolio appreciation. Turning to Slide 16. This graph summarizes the weighted average yield on income producing securities and spread over LIBOR on a floating rate debt investment. As of March 31, 2021, the weighted average yield on our income producing securities at amortized cost was 7.9% as compared to 8% at year end.

As highlighted on Slide 8, the weighted average annual yield on the six new investments made in Q1 that Jason walked through was 7.8%, which is particularly attractive given their senior secured nature and the competitive market backdrop to start the year, 98% of our debt investments bear interest that a floating rate and have a weighted average LIBOR floor of approximately 90-basis-point, which is well above today's current three month level rate. Now, let's shift to our capitalization and liquidity. I'm on Slide 19. As of March 31, our debt to equity ratio was 0.86 times, up modestly from 0.85 times at the end of the year with significant cushion to our regulatory asset coverage of 150%.

During the first quarter, we issued a $135 million of 4% unsecured notes due 2026, our largest private placement today. The initial issuance of $50 million closed on February 17, while the issuance of the remaining $85 million closed on May 5. The unsecured offering coupled with the redemption of our remaining $16.4 million of internal notes, which we assumed in connection with the Alcentra acquisition and which bore interest at fixed annual rates ranging from 6% in a quarter to 6.75% led to an improvement in the maturity profile of our debt capital base. We now have no near-term maturities with 100% of the principal amount of debt outstanding maturing after June 2023.

From a liquidity perspective as the quarter end, we had $247 million of undrawn capacity subject to leverage borrowing base and other restrictions. As Jason mentioned, our board of directors declared a regular second-quarter cash dividend of $0.41 per share, which is consistent with a regular quarterly dividend paid in the first quarter. And with that, I'd like to turn it back to Jason for closing remarks.

Jason Breaux -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Gerhard. Overall, we are pleased with our financial results this quarter. Additionally, our credit performance remains strong and we believe we have built a diverse and defensive portfolio of increasing scale supported by an increasingly attractive financing profile. We are optimistic about the economy given the pace of vaccinations and businesses reopening.

Our fundamental outlook for the performance of our portfolio companies is positive and we look forward to leveraging our competitive advantages in the full Crescent platform to continue to deliver attractive risk adjusted returns for our stockholders. We would like to thank all of you for your confidence and continued support. And with that operator, please open the line for questions.

Questions & Answers:


Operator

[Operator instructions] The first question comes from Robert Dodd of Raymond James.

Robert Dodd -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Hi guys. Congrats on the quarter, and the year. Early on that topic, now first question is going to get a out of the Alcentra assets. Now you've owned them.

Obviously, you're slightly more than a year. Obviously, they were in the end of Q1 last year. Obviously, during that time we've had COVID, but could you tell us how much of your book is is now let presented by the Alcentra assets. And you got any color on how those performed over the last year versus your originated book?

Jason Breaux -- Chief Executive Officer

Hey Robert. Thanks for the question. Yeah on Alcenra, we did provide a one year look back last quarter and I think as -- was the case last quarter, this quarter I think we continue to be pleased with the performance of that portfolio in its totality. We did break out core, non-core buckets last quarter that we had surnamed when we underwrote that portfolio and I would say both of those buckets have continued to perform well and be up relative to respective cost basis.

And so I think -- and certainly some of the appreciation in the portfolio is coming from some of the Alcentra acquired assets.

Robert Dodd -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Ok, fair enough. Thank you, on that. I'm not the one on -- I mean the data you gave me is very interesting. I mean that the platform as a whole deployed a billion that the BDC accounts for obviously, quite small part of that.

That tends to imply obviously that there's a lot of available capital in other direct lending middle market Crescent funds. Do you think that available capital elsewhere in the platform is going to meet? Does that represent a risk and I don't mean that in a bad way? Really to the BDC being able to reach its leverage targets in the near or medium term with presumably a lot of your activities going to be allocated elsewhere given available capital?

Jason Breaux -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Thanks, Robert. I don't view that as an impediment for us. I think we view the benefits of being attached to the platform as really significant in terms of deal flow, and the opportunities that we see.

There are certain investments that may fit certain fund parameters and not the BDCs for instance. So, we're conscious of qualifying assets and certain yields and bogeys that we're trying to achieve. So not every investment that is sourced across the platform is appropriate for the BDC. But I think just generally speaking, we think having a $20 billion credit platform with BDC being able to participate in any of the deals that are sourced across that platform allows us to to service our client relationships best in our private equity firms best.

And ideally, continuous to translate into more deal flow and larger commitments and larger holds across our investments.

Robert Dodd -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Got it. I appreciate that. Just one more if I can. On -- as you pointed out I mean the markets in Q1 they did good come a bit more friendly very, very competitive.

Good number of originations for me that's in the quarter. On the repayment side, and I recognize this even harder to predict as retail repayment activity was healthy. So I'm saying, Q1 what's the outlook on that so to speak. Do you expect that to mean elevated to say the middle of the year, or do you think a lot of that is now in the rearview mirror and it goes back to a normal pattern asset like if you will.

Jason Breaux -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Thank you. I would say what we saw in the first quarter was certainly significant repayment activity and that was set against middle market sponsored volume being down 20% quarter over quarter, which is seasonally a slower quarter throughout the year. Our view is that Q2 volumes are picking up, and I think we're very constructive on increased volumes throughout the balance of the year.

I think that's going to be driven by growth expectations and prospects as we continue to emerge from the pandemic significant private equity dry powder. And perhaps the potential for capital gains tax changes that might motivate transactions as well as sellers on transactions. So, I do think that we've seen some of the repayment activity continue in the second quarter, but I think as the supply and demand come more in balance through the balance of the year, that's going to create more opportunities for net deployment growth for our BDC. And certainly, the sector, and I think we're -- we talked about just a few moments ago that the power of the platform, the relationships with sponsors and management teams that we have were quite constructive on our ability to continue to deploy and scale the portfolio over the course of the year.

Robert Dodd -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you.

Jason Breaux -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from [Inaudible] with Wells Fargo Securities.

Unknown speaker -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

Hi, Guys. Just a follow up on your dialogue with Robert there. It sounds like you'll be going up market a bit larger holds with your larger capital base. Can you talk about any style drift we should expect that it feels like fit pretty well into the core middle market category judging by your senior spreads, and your EBITDA levels and so forth? How much of a change should we expect? I suppose in area and longer term?

Jason Breaux -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, thanks Van. Jason. I wouldn't say you should expect any style drift in terms of what we've been doing. I will point out if you look at sort of historical deployment.

We have consciously taken the Unitranche composition of the portfolio up as a percentage of the aggregate, and that's been intentional. I think that's where the market is moving in a lot of cases as well. So, I do think Unitranche will continue to take more share as a percentage of the overall portfolio. But I might also just go to remind everyone that our core focus is in two main areas.

We spend a lot of time in the lower middle market, which would characterize as businesses that have kind of $10 million to $40 million of EBITDA, and we're operating and investing at the top of the capital structure there. And then when we're underwriting larger companies with more than $50 million of EBITDA, we're oftentimes coming into the Unitranche or into secondly junior debt positions in certain cases. First lien and UNI will always be the core focus of the BDC but -- and therefore, our median EBITDA will continue to hover in that lower middle market range, but what we will continue to underwrite larger companies as well given our focus in the upper middle market Unitranche and second Liens.

Unknown speaker -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

Ok. Very well. That's helpful. And then just the -- you are so sounded pretty positive on continuing to ramp the portfolio.

But the last couple of quarters have obviously, but we're strong for you and most others there was seemingly a large quantity of quality deal flow. How do you think that the presumably decline -- presumed decline of those conditions happening today translates to your origination for say the rest of the year?

Jason Breaux -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Thanks, Van. I think you're right. Back half of last year deployment was strong for us as we saw a lot of high-quality opportunities.

And I think what we've really seen more recently is more demand come into the market. I wouldn't say, we're necessarily seeing a decline in the quality of opportunities today, but they're certainly more demand for private credit. And as I mentioned a little bit earlier, I do think Q1 certainly was a little bit slower as it is generally the case. And I think we're quite constructive on continuing to see good volumes and high-quality deals.

Unknown speaker -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

Sorry, I was on mute. That's all for me. Thank you.

Jason Breaux -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Van.

Operator

[Operator instructions]. And I'm not showing any further questions. At this time, I'll turn the call back over to our host for any closing remarks.

Jason Breaux -- Chief Executive Officer

Great. Well thank you everyone for your interest and your time here today in listening to the Q1 earnings. And we look forward to being in touch with you soon.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 29 minutes

Call participants:

Dan McMahon -- Vice President and Head of Investor Relations

Jason Breaux -- Chief Executive Officer

Gerhard Lombard -- Chief Financial Officer

Robert Dodd -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Unknown speaker -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

More CCAP analysis

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