Revenues increased 26% to $124 million, and earnings per share increased 13% to $0.34 a share year over year. Assets under management (AUM), the key driver behind revenue and income growth, increased a very pleasing 16%, year over year, to $45.8 billion, but were down about 4% in the last quarter. CEO John Calamos Sr. commented that the firm sees a positive catalyst for growth stocks in general (the firm is a growth fund shop), once the Fed stops raising interest rates. All in all, for an asset manager, these would be great results in this tough market.
But wait, what is this minority interest in Calamos Holding LLC that is sucking away $44 million, or 77%, of operating income? Calamos Holdings LLC is 77% owned by CEO John Calamos and family, per the 10-K, and the LLC also controls all of the Class B stock issued by the Calamos Asset Management entity. This means that John Calamos controls more than 97% of the votes across all classes of stock, and is also entitled to 77% of the company's operating results, leaving only 23% for common shareholders. This raises the issue of the Calamos family taking advantage of minority shareholders, given their voting power, however there is no evidence to date of the company doing so.
The risk, of course, comes if the Calamos Growth fund, which makes up roughly 41% of the assets under management, stumbles performance-wise. This could trigger shareholder redemptions, killing the investment fees related to the fund, and thusly, company profits. While the fund is up 17% annually since its inception in 1990, it is down roughly 8% year to date. Will the fund and shares rebound this year? For the shareholders' sakes, let's hope so.
Many compelling values in the asset manager space have presented themselves in the recent market slide -- from big dogs like Legg Mason
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