April 21, 2004

West Corporation Reports First Quarter Results

OMAHA, Neb., Apr 21, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- West Corporation (Nasdaq: WSTC), a leading provider of outsourced communication solutions, today announced first quarter 2004 results.


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

                                       Three Months Ended
                                            March 31
                                      2004           2003    Percent Change
    Total Revenue                    $289.4          $216.2         33.9%
    Operating Income                  $44.7           $31.9         40.2%
    Net Income                        $27.4           $20.1         36.5%
    Net Income per share (basic)      $0.41           $0.30         36.7%
    Net Income per share (diluted)    $0.40           $0.30         33.3%

"We are pleased with this quarter's results," commented Thomas B. Barker, Chief Executive Officer of West Corporation. "Our continued focus to strive for operational excellence is demonstrated by our profitable results and overall margin improvements this quarter."

Consolidated Operating Results

For the quarter ended March 31, 2004, the Company recorded revenues of $289.4 million up 33.9% from $216.2 million in the first quarter 2003. Net income was $27.4 million, compared to $20.1 million for the same quarter of last year. Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter was 40 cents, versus 30 cents in the prior year comparable period. The results for 2004 include the effect of the InterCall acquisition, which closed on May 9, 2003 and the ConferenceCall.com acquisition, which closed on November 1, 2003.

Margins

The company reported consolidated operating margins of approximately 15.5%, up from 14.8% in the same quarter last year, and 14.5% for the year ended December 31st 2003. As a percentage of revenue, consolidated SG&A expense increased during first quarter 2004 to 41.0% from 37.5% in the same period last year, due to the acquisition of InterCall and ConferenceCall.com, which have a different operating structure than the Communication Services division.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

During the first quarter, West invested $12.5 million in capital expenditures. The company's financial standing remained strong with cash and cash equivalents of $39.5 million and a solid current ratio of 1.53 to 1. As of March 31, 2004, the company had $250 million of capacity available on its bank line of credit.

"Our ability to grow profitably is highlighted by cash flow generated by the company. The earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased to $69.7 million in the first quarter of 2004 compared to $49.3 million in the first quarter of 2003," commented Paul Mendlik, Chief Financial Officer of West. "We increased both the number of workstations and our revenue per workstation during the quarter. Our workstation count as of March 31, 2004 was approximately 14,000 and revenue per workstation increased to $13,545."

Conference Call

The company will hold a conference call to discuss earnings on April 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.

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measure

"EBITDA" is defined as income before income tax expense and minority interest, depreciation, interest income, interest expense and amortization. EBITDA is not intended to represent cash flow from operations as defined by generally accepted accounting principles and should not be considered as an alternative to net income as an indicator of operating performance or to cash flows as a measure of liquidity. EBITDA is presented as one measure of a borrower's historical ability to service its debt. The following is a reconciliation of EBITDA to net income:


                         For the three months ended March 31,
                         Amounts in thousands
                                                        2004        2003
    Net income                                        $27,427     $20,095
    Depreciation and amortization                      24,647      17,219
    Income taxes                                       16,039      12,103
    Interest income                                       (61)       (409)
    Interest expense                                    1,605         337
    EBITDA                                            $69,657     $49,345

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, conferencing and accounts receivable management services.

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, West has a team of approximately 25,000 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: planned expansion of operating facilities; labor market conditions; mergers, acquisitions, or joint ventures, including their execution; customer concentrations; technological innovation; and general economic conditions. 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
                       CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
     (Unaudited, in thousands except per share and selected operating data)


                                       Three Months Ended March 31,    %
                                              2004        2003       Change
    Revenue                                 $289,368    $216,186      33.9%
    Cost of services                         125,934     103,262      22.0%
    Selling, general and administrative
     expenses                                118,695      81,017      46.5%
    Operating income                          44,739      31,907      40.2%
    Other income (expense), net               (1,273)        456    -379.2%
    Income before tax                         43,466      32,363      34.3%
    Income tax expense                        16,039      12,103      32.5%
    Minority Interest                            -           165    -100.0%
    Net income                               $27,427     $20,095      36.5%

    Earnings per share:
      Basic                                    $0.41       $0.30
      Diluted                                  $0.40       $0.30
    Weighted average common shares
     outstanding:
      Basic                                   67,297      66,185
      Diluted                                 68,754      67,468

    SELECTED OPERATING DATA:
    Revenue:
         Communication Services *            214,140     216,186
         Conferencing                         75,228         -
         Total                               289,368     216,186

    Operating Income:
         Communication Services               27,971      31,907
         Conferencing                         16,768         -
         Total                                44,739      31,907

    Operating Margin:
         Communication Services                13.1%       14.8%
         Conferencing                          22.3%         -
         Total                                 15.5%       14.8%

    Number of Communication Services
     workstations (end of period)             14,019      14,154
    Number of Communication Services
     ports (end of period)                   141,840     153,659

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


                                            Condensed Balance Sheet
                                             March 31,   December 31,  %
                                               2004         2003     Change
    Current assets:
       Cash and cash equivalents              $39,534      $25,563    54.7%
       Accounts receivable, net               156,082      153,428     1.7%
       Other current assets                    29,173       23,423    24.5%
       Total current assets                   224,789      202,414    11.1%
    Property and equipment, net               226,196      234,650    -3.6%
    Goodwill                                  462,459      452,848     2.1%
    Other assets                              113,169      125,951   -10.1%
         Total assets                      $1,026,613   $1,015,863     1.1%
    Current liabilities                      $147,210     $121,621    21.0%
    Long Term Obligations                     126,250      169,500   -25.5%
    Other liabilities                          68,394       68,504    -0.2%
    Stockholders' equity                      684,759      656,238     4.3%
       Total liabilities and
        stockholders' equity               $1,026,613   $1,015,863     1.1%

SOURCE West Corporation

Investor Relations, Carol Padon of West Corporation,
+1-402-963-1500
(WSTC)

Copyright (C) 2004 PR Newswire. All rights reserved.

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