Aaron’s, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2016 Results

AARON'S, INC. LOGOAaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, today announced financial results for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2016.

For the third quarter of 2016, revenues increased to $769.0 million compared with $767.7 million for the third quarter of 2015. Net earnings increased to $29.5 million compared with $24.2 million in the prior year period. Diluted earnings per share were $.40 compared with $.33 per share a year ago. Non-GAAP diluted EPS were $.50 compared with $.39 last year.

“Our third quarter results benefited from strong lease portfolio performance at Progressive and disciplined execution in our core business,” said John Robinson, Chief Executive Officer. “Consolidated EBITDA increased 23% on an adjusted basis, representing a 9.9% adjusted EBITDA margin compared with 8.1% a year ago. Total revenue gained slightly, impacted by a soft environment for our core business.”

“Progressive had an outstanding quarter, with revenues up 16% and a 28% increase in active doors as it continues to expand with existing and new retail partners,” continued Mr. Robinson. “Progressive is achieving solid revenue growth with consistent profitability. The strong increase in new doors demonstrates our compelling value proposition for customers and retailers.”

“The core business remains challenging. Ongoing efforts to manage costs and control inventory levels helped offset a decline in same store revenues, and we’re taking additional steps to rightsize our store base. We believe these actions will better position the core business for long-term profitability.”

“We continue to generate strong cash flow and ended the quarter with $320 million in cash and a net debt to capitalization ratio of 9%,” continued Mr. Robinson. “We repurchased $34.5 million of our common stock in the quarter, and we have ample financial flexibility to support our strategic priorities. We will continue to manage the core business for EBITDA and will deploy our capital to invest in the business and enhance shareholder returns,” Mr. Robinson concluded.

Further Steps to Restructure Core Business

During the third quarter, the Company implemented a range of expense reductions to drive further cost efficiencies in the core business. In addition, as previously disclosed, the Company continues to review its store base and plans to close underperforming stores, including the closure of 56 stores by the end of October. Additional stores are expected to be closed in 2017.

The restructuring expense and store closure initiatives resulted in a pre-tax charge of approximately $4.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2016. The Company expects to incur an additional pre-tax charge of approximately $13 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 to complete the closure of the 56 stores discussed above.

Financial Summary

During the first nine months of 2016, revenues increased 2.3% to $2.413 billion compared with $2.359 billion for the prior year period. Net earnings were $117.7 million versus $114.0 million last year. Diluted earnings per share were $1.61 compared with $1.56 per share a year ago. The results for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 include the previously mentioned pre-tax charge related to store closures and cost initiatives, as well as a $7.7 million loss before income taxes at the DAMI segment. The effective tax rate for the three months ended September 30, 2016 was 34.9% compared with 33.8% for the prior year period.

On a non-GAAP basis, net earnings for the first nine months of 2016 were $132.0 million compared with $126.6 million for the same period in 2015 and diluted earnings per share were $1.80 compared with $1.73 in 2015. Non-GAAP net earnings and diluted earnings per share in 2016 exclude the effects of amortization expense resulting from the 2014 acquisition of Progressive, a gain on the sale of the Company’s headquarters building, retirement and severance charges, a loss resulting from the Company’s previously announced disposition of the assets of its HomeSmart business and the core business restructuring. In 2015, non-GAAP results exclude the effects of Progressive amortization. See “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Information” and the related non-GAAP reconciliation accompanying this press release.

Adjusted EBITDA for the Company, which excludes the aforementioned other charges and adjustments, was $268.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 compared with $255.5 million for the same period in 2015. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure that is calculated as the Company’s earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation on property, plant and equipment, amortization of intangible assets and other charges and adjustments.

The Company generated $460.5 million in cash from operations during the first nine months of 2016 and ended the third quarter of 2016 with $319.5 million in cash compared with $14.9 million at the end of 2015. The Company repurchased 1,372,700 shares during the third quarter of 2016 and has authorization to purchase an additional 9,123,721 shares.

Core Results

For the third quarter of 2016, overall revenues for the core business decreased 9.5% to $454.1 million from $501.7 million in the third quarter of 2015. Revenues for the first nine months of 2016 decreased 6.5% to $1.483 billion compared with $1.585 billion for the same period a year ago. The core business is the traditional lease-to-own store-based business, and represents current operations of Aaron’s, Inc., excluding Progressive and DAMI.

On May 13, 2016, the Company completed the sale of the assets of its HomeSmart division. Revenues for the HomeSmart business through May 13, 2016 were $25.4 million, compared with $15.1 million and $47.5 million, respectively, for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015. Excluding the sale of HomeSmart, revenues for the core business decreased 6.7% and 5.2% for the three and nine months, respectively.

Earnings before income taxes for the core business were $23.2 million and $118.2 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016, respectively, compared with $30.9 million and $134.0 million for the same periods a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016 was $40.4 million and $158.8 million, respectively, compared with $43.7 million and $172.9 million for the same periods a year ago. As a percentage of revenues, Adjusted EBITDA was 8.9% and 10.7% for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016, respectively, compared with 8.7% and 10.9% for the same periods in 2015. Write offs for damaged, lost or unsaleable merchandise were 4.9% of revenues in the quarter compared to 4.1% in the year ago period.

Same store revenues (revenues earned in Company-operated stores open for the entirety of both quarters) decreased 4.6% during the third quarter of 2016, compared with the third quarter of 2015, and customer count on a same store basis was down 1.6%. Company-operated Aaron’s stores had 981,000 customers at September 30, 2016, a 1.9% decrease from the end of the third quarter a year ago, excluding HomeSmart customers for both periods.

Progressive Results

Progressive’s revenues in the third quarter of 2016 increased 15.9% to $308.4 million from $266.0 million in the third quarter of 2015. Progressive’s revenues for the first nine months of 2016 were $913.6 million compared with $773.6 million in the prior year period. Active doors increased 28% in the quarter to 15,500. Invoice volume per active door declined 13% in the quarter driven in large part by the strong growth in active doors towards the end of the quarter. Progressive had 540,000 customers at September 30, 2016, a 12% increase from the third quarter a year ago.

Earnings before income taxes for the Progressive business were $24.7 million and $75.7 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016, respectively, compared with $5.6 million and $44.8 million for the same periods a year ago. EBITDA for the third quarter and first nine months of 2016 were $37.2 million and $113.7 million, respectively, compared with $18.3 million and $82.6 million, for the same periods of 2015. As a percentage of revenues, EBITDA was 12.1% and 12.4%, respectively, for the third quarter and first nine months of 2016 compared with 6.9% and 10.7% for the same periods in 2015. Write offs for damaged, lost or unsaleable merchandise were 6.1% of revenues in the third quarter compared to 8.5% in the same period of 2015.

DAMI Results

Revenues for DAMI were $6.5 million in the third quarter of 2016 and $16.5 million for the first nine months of 2016. DAMI’s loss before income taxes was $2.5 million for the quarter and $7.7 million for the nine months ending September 30, 2016. Its pre-tax, pre-provision loss was $1.0 million in the quarter and $3.0 million for the first nine months of the year. Pre-tax, pre-provision loss is a non-GAAP measure that represents loss before income taxes adjusted so that loan charge-offs and recoveries are recognized in earnings as they occur by excluding the effect on earnings of changes to management’s provision for estimated future loan losses. Results for DAMI were in line with expectations. See “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Information” and the related non-GAAP reconciliation accompanying this press release for more information regarding the calculation of pre-tax, pre-provision loss.

Significant Components of Revenue

Consolidated lease revenues and fees for the third quarter and first nine months of 2016 increased 1.8% and 4.3%, respectively, over the same prior year periods. In addition, franchise royalties and fees decreased 10.8% in the third quarter of 2016 and 6.5% for the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same periods a year ago. The decrease in the Company’s franchise royalties and fees are the combined result of a decrease in revenues and the number of franchised stores. The Company’s franchisees collectively had revenues of $225.2 million during the third quarter and $703.1 million during the first nine months of 2016, a decrease of 4.5% and 4.2%, respectively, from the same periods last year. Same store revenues for franchised stores were down .4% and same store customer counts were up .3% for the third quarter of 2016 compared with the same quarter last year. Franchised stores had 542,000 customers at the end of the third quarter of 2016, a 4.1% decline from a year ago (revenues and customers of franchisees are not revenues and customers of Aaron’s, Inc.). Non-retail sales, which primarily consist of merchandise sales to the Company’s franchisees, decreased 17.6% for the third quarter and 16.4% for the first nine months of 2016 compared with the prior-year periods.

Store Count

During the third quarter of 2016, five Company-operated Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership stores, four franchised Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership stores and one franchised HomeSmart store were consolidated or closed. The Company acquired 15 franchised stores and sold three Company-operated stores to franchisees which were merged with existing stores.

At September 30, 2016, the Company had 1,228 Company-operated stores and 703 franchised Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership stores.

2016 Outlook Update

The Company is updating certain elements of its outlook for the 2016 year to reflect the restructuring expense and store closure initiatives announced today and current trends in the business. The Company currently expects to achieve the following:

Core Business

  • Quarterly same store revenues of approximately negative 5% to negative 3% for the remainder of 2016;
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $195 million to $205 million, compared with the previous outlook of $195 million to $215 million;

     Progressive

  • EBITDA in the range of $140 million to $150 million compared with the previous outlook of $135 million to $145 million;

     Consolidated Results

  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $330 million to $350 million compared with the previous outlook of $325 million to $355 million;
  • GAAP diluted earnings per share in the range of $1.79 to $1.93 compared with the previous outlook of $1.92 to $2.12; and
  • Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share in the range of $2.16 to $2.30 compared with the previous outlook of $2.13 to $2.33.

Conference Call and Webcast

Aaron’s will hold a conference call to discuss its quarterly financial results on Friday, October 28, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The public is invited to listen to the conference call by webcast accessible through the Company’s Investor Relations website, investor.aarons.com. The webcast will be archived for playback at that same site.

About Aaron’s, Inc.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN) is a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, and currently has more than 1,930 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada.  Progressive Leasing, a leading virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 19,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc. (DAMI), d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through a federally insured bank.  Aaron’s was founded in 1955, has been publicly traded since 1982 and owns the Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com brands. For more information, visit www.aarons.com.