Credit woes? Dollar Financial
Total revenues rose 25.5%, to $109.1 million, and earnings more than tripled to $0.42 a share, from $0.10 a year ago. On a pro forma basis, without unusual and nonrecurring expenses, earnings increased to $0.48 a share. The earnings results came about despite a marked increase in the company's loan-loss provision. Dollar Financial chose to boost the reserve to 21% of consumer lending revenue, from the 17% increase a year ago.
I'm always a little leery of pro forma results. However, in this case, I agree with excluding most of the items management would like you to ignore. These include debt-financing costs, goodwill, and a loss on store closings. It also assumes a more normalized tax rate of 38%. I would keep an eye on goodwill and store-closing costs in the future, since doing so might provide clues into how astutely management is making decisions. We could find out that management is continuing to pay too much for acquisitions and having to close underperforming stores.
Now, as for that diversity ... we're talking about product and geographical advantages. About one-third of the company's revenue comes from the United States, with the rest flowing in from Canada and the U.K. Its wide range of products include check cashing, single-payer consumer loans, installment loans, money orders, and legal-document preparation.
In contrast, Advance America
In addition to those benefits, Dollar Financial also wisely minimizes its risk by concentrating on a high volume of transactions with small dollar amounts.
As long as Dollar Financial can keep up this performance and make the most of its advantages, investors can be sure of one thing: At least they won't be needing Dollar Financial's services.
Fool contributor Larry Rothman is happy to receive feedback, and he promises to read it when he's not being wrestled by his three children. Feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He doesn't have any positions in the companies mentioned.