West Corporation
Oct 21, 2003

West Corporation Announces Third Quarter Results and Acquisition Of ConferenceCall.com

Company Adds Market Leading Internet Conferencing Solutions Firm

OMAHA, Neb., Oct 21, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- West Corporation (Nasdaq: WSTC), a leading provider of outsourced communication solutions, today announced results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2003 and the acquisition of ConferenceCall.com.

    Financial Summary (unaudited)
    (In thousands, except per share amounts and percentages)

                        Three Months Ended             Nine Months Ended
                           September 30                   September 30
                                     Percent                         Percent
                     2003     2002   Change        2003       2002    Change
     Revenue      $263,551  $199,354   32.2%    $717,296   $604,978   18.6%
      Income        40,438    20,931   93.2%     105,835     86,917   21.8%
     Net Income     24,368    13,607   79.1%      65,325     56,484   15.7%
      per share
      (basic)         0.37      0.21                0.98       0.86
      per share
      (diluted)       0.35      0.20                0.95       0.83

"We are pleased with this quarter's results and the progress made with the integration of InterCall," stated Thomas B. Barker, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Although our Communication Services segment continues to be impacted by a difficult operating environment, it still produced solid numbers this quarter."

Third Quarter Operating Results

For the quarter ended September 30, 2003, consolidated revenues increased 32.2% to $263.6 million compared to $199.4 million in the third quarter 2002. The first full quarter of results for the Conferencing segment produced $61.5 million of revenue in the third quarter 2003. Consolidated operating income for the third quarter was $40.4 million, an increase of 93.2% compared to $20.9 million in the same period last year. Consolidated operating income included $12.7 million from the Conferencing segment in 2003. Consolidated net income for the quarter stood at $24.4 million versus $13.6 million in third quarter 2002, an increase of 79.1%. Diluted earnings per share for the third quarter 2003 was 35 cents, versus 20 cents during the same period in 2002.

Nine-Month Operating Results

For the nine-months ended September 30, 2003, consolidated revenues were $717.3 million, an increase of 18.6% compared to $605.0 million for the same period in 2002. Consolidated operating income increased by 21.8% to $105.8 million in the first nine months of 2003 compared to $86.9 million last year. Consolidated net income was $65.3 million, an increase of 15.6% from $56.5 million in the nine-month 2002 period.

"The company generated $147.9 million in cash flow from operating activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2003," noted Paul Mendlik, Chief Financial Officer of West Corporation. "We expect strong cash flow to continue going forward."


Consolidated operating margins for the third quarter 2003 were 15.3%, compared to 10.5% in the same period last year. For the nine-months ended September 30, 2003, consolidated operating margins were 14.8%, compared to 14.4% in the same period last year. The margin improvement for the nine months ended September 30, 2003, is the result of continued improvements in the Communications Services segment and the addition of the Conferencing segment.

In the third quarter of 2003, SG&A as a percent of revenues rose to 41.9% compared to 40.3% last year. For the first nine months of 2003, SG&A as a percent of revenues increased to 40.3% from 37.2% in the comparable period last year. The increase can be attributed to the acquisition of InterCall, Inc. due to its different operating structure, and the mix of overall business completed during the quarter.

Balance Sheet

On September 30, 2003, the company reported a solid current ratio of 1.54 to 1 and cash and short-term investments totaling $40.6 million. The company's total debt was reduced to $198 million at September 30, 2003, due to the payment of $55.7 million of long-term obligations during the quarter.

Acquisition Details

West has agreed to acquire ConferenceCall.com for approximately $38.5 million net of cash. The acquisition will be funded with cash and the company's existing bank credit facility. Based in Dallas, Texas, ConferenceCall.com is a provider of conferencing solutions to companies of all sizes through the Internet. The acquisition is expected to close on November 1, 2003.

The firm brings proprietary conferencing related URL's, a strong Internet marketing presence and sophisticated marketing tools to West. ConferenceCall.com will be integrated into InterCall, but will maintain its brand and market presence. West will leverage its infrastructure, technology and operating expertise to improve the operating efficiency of ConferenceCall.com.

In 2003, ConferenceCall.com is expected to produce annual revenue of approximately $18.0 million and normalized operating income of approximately $8.0 million, delivering an operating margin of approximately 44%. Given the cyclical nature of the conferencing sector and the approaching holiday season, the acquisition is not expected to contribute to West's overall net income during the remaining two months of the year, but is expected to be accretive in 2004.

Conference Call

The company will hold a conference call to discuss earnings on October 22nd at 10:00 AM Central Time. Investors may access the call by visiting the Investor Relations section of the West Corporation website at www.west.com and clicking on the Live Webcast icon. If you are unable to participate during the live webcast, a replay of the call will also be available on the website.

About West Corporation

West Corporation is a leading provider of outsourced communication solutions to many of the world's largest companies. The company helps its clients communicate effectively, maximize the value of their customer relationships and drive greater revenue from each transaction. West's integrated suite of customized solutions includes customer acquisition, customer care and retention services, interactive voice response services, and conferencing and accounts receivable management services.

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, West has a team of approximately 23,000 employees based in North America, Europe and Asia.

    For more information, please visit www.west.com .

Statements which are not historical facts contained in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: our expected margins, the expected closing date of our announced acquisition of ConferenceCall.com, the expected financial results of ConferenceCall.com and its contribution to our operating results, expected changes in the efficiency and profitability of ConferenceCall.com, planned expansion of operating facilities; labor market conditions; mergers, acquisitions, or joint ventures, including their execution and integration; customer concentrations; technological innovation; and general economic conditions. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Further information regarding the factors that could cause actual results to differ from expected or projected results can be found in documents filed by the Company with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC").

                               WEST CORPORATION
    (Unaudited, in thousands except per share and selected operating data)

                          Three Months Ended           Nine Months Ended
                            September 30,                  Sept 30,
                        2003     2002    % Change   2003    2002     % Change
    Revenue          $263,551  $199,354   32.2% $717,296  $604,978     18.6%
    Cost of services  112,804    98,103   15.0%  322,290   293,210      9.9%
    Selling, general
     expenses         110,309    80,320   37.3%  289,171   224,851     28.6%
    Operating income   40,438    20,931   93.2%  105,835    86,917     21.8%
    Other income
     (expense), net    (1,409)      406 (447.0%)  (1,615)    1,548   (204.3%)
    Income before tax  39,029    21,337   82.9%  104,220    88,465     17.8%
    Income tax expense 14,661     7,682   90.8%   38,730    31,778     21.9%
    Minority Interest       -        48              165       203    -18.7%
    Net income        $24,368   $13,607   79.1%  $65,325   $56,484     15.7%
    Earnings per share:
      Basic             $0.37     $0.21            $0.98     $0.86
      Diluted           $0.35     $0.20            $0.95     $0.83
    Weighted average
     common shares
      Basic            66,617    65,725           66,411    65,685
      Diluted          69,026    67,561           68,521    68,313

       Services*     $202,072  $199,354         $621,979  $604,978
       Services        61,479         -           95,317         -
      Total          $263,551  $199,354         $717,296  $604,978

    Operating Income:
       Services*      $27,708   $20,931          $85,747   $86,917
       Services        12,730         -           20,088         -
      Total           $40,438   $20,931         $105,835   $86,917

    Operating Margin:
       Services*        13.7%     10.5%            13.8%     14.4%
       Services         20.7%         -            21.1%         -
      Total             15.3%     10.5%            14.8%     14.4%

    Number of
     (end of period)   14,103    13,827           14,103    13,827
    Number of
     (end of period)  144,719   143,600          144,719   143,600

    * Communication Services = includes all West Corporation services apart
      from InterCall conferencing.

                                           Condensed Balance Sheet
                                          September 30,  December 31,     %
                                              2003          2002       Change
    Current assets:
      Cash and short-term investments         $40,568     $137,927     -70.6%
      Trade accounts receivable, net          147,485      121,868      21.0%
      Other current assets                     24,611       29,790     -17.4%
        Total current assets                  212,664      289,585     -26.6%
    Property and equipment, net               242,817      213,641      13.7%
    Goodwill                                  418,727      114,146     266.8%
    Other assets                              107,318       53,450     100.8%
        Total assets                         $981,526     $670,822      46.3%
    Current liabilities                      $138,201      $66,322     108.4%
    Long Term Obligations                     156,750       17,155     813.7%
    Other liabilities & minority interest      54,652       37,753      44.8%
    Stockholders' equity                      631,923      549,592      15.0%
      Total liabilities and
       stockholders' equity                  $981,526     $670,822      46.3%

SOURCE West Corporation

Carol Padon, Investor Relations of West Corporation,
/Website: http://www.west.com

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