Virtus Investment Partners Announces Financial Results for Third Quarter 2020


Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTS) today reported financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2020.

Earnings Summary

The company presents U.S. GAAP and non-GAAP earnings information in this release. Management believes that the non-GAAP financial measures presented reflect the company's operating results from providing investment management and related services to individuals and institutions and uses these measures to evaluate financial performance. Non-GAAP financial measures have material limitations and should not be viewed in isolation or as a substitute for U.S. GAAP measures. Reconciliations of the non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable U.S. GAAP measures can be found beginning on page 11 of this earnings release.

Long-term assets under management increased 7% to $115.0 billion at September 30, 2020 from $107.1 billion at June 30, 2020 as a result of $7.1 billion of market appreciation and $1.2 billion of positive net flows. Total assets under management at September 30, 2020 were $116.5 billion, including $1.5 billion of assets in liquidity strategies.

Total sales of $7.6 billion compared with $9.1 billion in the second quarter, as higher sales of retail separate accounts were more than offset by lower institutional inflows and open-end fund sales. Retail separate account sales of $1.7 billion increased 16% with continued growth in both the intermediary sold and private client channels. Open-end fund sales of $3.8 billion compared with $4.4 billion in the second quarter primarily due to lower sales of small cap and fixed income strategies. Institutional sales of $2.1 billion, including contributions from new mandates and existing accounts, declined from $3.1 billion in the prior quarter, which included meaningful flows into an existing subadvisory mandate.

Net flows of $1.2 billion compared with $2.5 billion in the prior quarter and included positive net flows in retail separate accounts, open-end funds, and exchange traded funds. Positive net flows of $1.1 billion in retail separate accounts increased from $0.8 billion in the second quarter and included contributions from both the intermediary sold and private client channels. Open-end fund net flows of $0.4 billion were comparable to the prior quarter and reflected positive net flows in domestic equity and investment-grade fixed income partially offset by net outflows in international equity and credit-sensitive fixed income. Institutional net outflows of $0.3 billion, which included a $0.6 billion redemption of an account, compared with positive net flows of $1.5 billion in the prior quarter.

GAAP Results

Operating income increased 54% to $41.0 million from $26.6 million in the prior quarter, as a 16% increase in total revenues, due to higher average assets under management, was partially offset by a 7% increase in total operating expenses, largely due to higher variable incentive compensation.

Net income attributable to common stockholders of $3.71 per diluted common share included ($1.09) of fair value adjustments on affiliate noncontrolling interests and $0.75 of realized and unrealized gains on investments. Second quarter net income per diluted share of $1.43 included ($0.87) of collateralized loan obligation (CLO) expenses, ($0.48) of fair value adjustments on affiliate noncontrolling interests, and ($0.22) of realized and unrealized losses on investments.

The effective tax rate during the second quarter of 23% compared with 32% in the prior quarter, reflecting changes in the valuation allowances related to marketable securities.

Non-GAAP Results

Revenues, as adjusted, of $137.6 million increased 17% sequentially primarily as a result of a 15% increase in average assets under management due to market appreciation and positive net flows. Revenues, as adjusted, included performance-related fees of $2.0 million, an increase from $0.6 million in the prior quarter.

Employment expenses, as adjusted, increased 12% to $66.1 million largely due to higher variable incentive compensation. Other operating expenses, as adjusted, of $16.3 million declined from $17.4 million primarily due to the annual equity grants to the Board of Directors of $0.8 million in the second quarter.

Operating income, as adjusted, and the related margin increased to $54.1 million and 39%, respectively, from $40.5 million and 34% in the prior quarter primarily due to higher revenues, as adjusted, partially offset by higher employment expenses.

Net income attributable to common stockholders, as adjusted, which is net of noncontrolling interests, was $4.49 per diluted common share, an increase of $1.25, or 39%, from $3.24 in the prior quarter. The increase primarily reflected higher revenues, as adjusted, as a result of higher average assets under management.

Working capital at September 30, 2020 of $159.1 million increased 2% from June 30, 2020 as net cash generated from the business was partially offset by return of capital to shareholders and debt repayments.

In August, the company declared an $0.82 per share common stock dividend, an increase of 22% from the previous quarterly rate.

During the quarter, the company repurchased 53,867 shares, or 0.7% of beginning-of-quarter outstanding common shares, for $7.5 million.

The company reduced gross debt in the quarter by $17.5 million, or 7%, to $223.2 million. The net leverage ratio, which is defined as net debt to EBITDA (in accordance with the company's credit agreement), was 0.1x at September 30, 2020, down from 0.3x at June 30, 2020 and 0.3x at December 31, 2019.

About Virtus Investment Partners

Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ: VRTS) is a distinctive partnership of boutique investment managers singularly committed to the long-term success of individual and institutional investors. The company provides investment management products and services through its affiliated managers and select subadvisers, each with a distinct investment style, autonomous investment process, and individual brand. Virtus Investment Partners offers access to a variety of investment styles across multiple disciplines to meet a wide array of investor needs. Its affiliates include Ceredex Value Advisors, Duff & Phelps Investment Management, Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, Newfleet Asset Management, Seix Investment Advisors, Silvant Capital Management, Sustainable Growth Advisers, and Virtus ETF Solutions.

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