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Envestnet Posts Loss, but Expects Stronger Growth Ahead

By Dan Caplinger - Aug 10, 2016 at 1:35PM

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The wealth-management technology company has bounced back from volatile markets earlier in the year.

Image source: Getty Images.

Providing services to financial-industry giants leaves a company exposed to the ups and downs of the financial markets, and Envestnet ( ENV 3.25% ) has seen its shares hit turbulence when prospects for the industry became cloudy. Coming into Monday's second-quarter financial report, Envestnet investors were prepared to see the company's bottom line take a temporary hit, and the fact that its GAAP results were worse than expected left some investors disappointed.

In the long run, however, things continue to look favorable for the financial-tech provider. Let's look more closely at Envestnet, and what its future might bring.

Envestnet sees some red ink

Envestnet's second-quarter results were mixed, giving investors some, but not all, of what they were hoping to see. Revenue continued to grow nicely, climbing 38%, to $141.9 million, and surpassing the growth rate that those following the stock were expecting. The company lost $7.9 million during the quarter, but after making allowances for certain extraordinary items, adjusted earnings of $0.21 per share were better than the consensus forecast among investors, even though they were down by an eighth from year-ago levels.

Envestnet's operating metrics also provided a picture of the company that included both good and bad points. Platform assets jumped above the $1 trillion mark for the first time, climbing by more than a quarter from year-ago levels. The number of platform accounts soared to 5.74 million, almost doubling in just the past year. More than 51,000 advisors now use the company's platform either with client assets, or on a licensing basis.

Two events were primarily responsible for the sizable growth. First, the company completed its integration of its 2013 acquisition of the wealth-management solutions arm of Prudential, giving it a sizable boost, and allowing Envestnet to focus on future opportunities. Also, Envestnet said that it brought on board an enterprise-data client for its Vantage platform with $97 billion in assets, marking the largest conversion in its history.

The markets also helped Envestnet during the quarter. Assets under management or administration climbed to $317.4 billion, and market impacts accounted for almost half of the roughly $14 billion increase over the past three months. The remainder came from net inflows, especially on the administration side of the business.

CEO Jud Bergman saw the quarter as a milestone for Envestnet. "Our second-quarter results reflect continued growth," Bergman said, "as we empower enterprises and their advisors to deliver better financial outcomes." The CEO sees its success in attracting new clients as a solid indicator that Envestnet can bring in big clients in the future.

What's ahead for Envestnet?

Envestnet also has other ways it expects to bring more clients into the fold. As Bergman noted, "Our ongoing efforts in helping advisors cross the digital divide -- through industry-leading wealth-management solutions that incorporate personal financial data and goals-based financial planning -- position Envestnet for continued profitable growth into 2017 and beyond."

Envestnet's guidance for the coming quarter and the rest of the year, however, didn't seem to leave everyone satisfied. The company said it expects revenue of between $145.3 million and $147.8 million for the third quarter, which is fairly consistent with the consensus forecast among investors.

Adjusted earnings of $0.25 to $0.26 per share would be mildly disappointing because it would represent flat net income despite soaring revenue. For the full year, Envestnet said it expects revenue of $575 million to $584 million, and it once again chose not to give full-year earnings guidance due, in part, to the complexities of dealing with adjustments to GAAP preparation.

Because of the disconnect between top- and bottom-line figures, Envestnet investors reacted poorly to the report, sending the stock down almost 10% on Tuesday after the late-Monday announcement. With uncertainty across the global financial industry due to items like the U.K. Brexit vote, Envestnet could present a good contrarian investing opportunity right now for those who are willing to take the risk that things won't resolve as favorably as many hope. In the long run, though, Envestnet is laying the foundation to become a go-to provider for tech solutions throughout the financial industry.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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