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Edited Transcript of PMTS earnings conference call or presentation 8-May-18 9:00pm GMT

Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

Q1 2018 CPI Card Group Inc Earnings Call

LITTLETON May 15, 2018 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of CPI Card Group Inc earnings conference call or presentation Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 9:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Lillian Etzkorn

CPI Card Group Inc. - CFO

* Scott T. Scheirman

CPI Card Group Inc. - President, CEO & Director

* William Maina

CPI Card Group Inc. - IR

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Quarter 1 2018 CPI Card Group Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Mr. William Maina. Mr. Maina, you may begin.

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William Maina, CPI Card Group Inc. - IR [2]

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Thank you, and good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the CPI Card Group First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. Participating on today's call from CPI Card Group are Scott Scheirman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Lillian Etzkorn, Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind everyone that this call may contain forward-looking statements as they are defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Please refer to the disclosures at the end of the company's earnings press release for information about forward-looking statements that may be made or discussed on this call.

The earnings press release is posted on CPI's website. Please note, there is also a presentation that accompanies this conference call, and is also accessible on the IR section of our website.

Please review the information along with our filings with the SEC and on SEDAR for a disclosure of factors that may impact subjects discussed on this call. All forward-looking statements made today reflect our current expectations only, and we undertake no obligation to update any statement that reflects the events that occur after this call.

Also during the course of today's call, the company will be discussing one or more non-GAAP financial measures, including EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin, adjusted net income and loss, adjusted diluted earnings and loss per share, free cash flow and constant currency. Please see the earnings release on CPI's website for all the disclosures required by the SEC, including reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures.

Now I'd like to turn the call over to Scott Scheirman, President and Chief Executive Officer. Scott?

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Scott T. Scheirman, CPI Card Group Inc. - President, CEO & Director [3]

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Thanks, Will, and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us on our first quarter 2018 conference call. As you know, we preannounced preliminary results last Wednesday, May 2, as part of our press release announcing Lillian's transition. Our fully reported first quarter results are consistent with our preannouncement.

We had a good start to 2018, with operating results in line with our expectation and progress against our strategies and plans.

I will begin by briefly summarizing our first quarter financial results. I will then discuss our ongoing strategies to drive growth and deliver shareholder value, while also providing you with a few business and product updates. Then I will turn the call over to Lillian, who will go through our financials in detail.

Now turning to Slide 4 of the presentation. As I mentioned, our first quarter results were in line with our expectations. We generated revenue of $59 million, up 5% year-over-year. Revenue growth was primarily driven by strong year-over-year growth in our U.S. Prepaid Debit segment and momentum in our merging solutions including Card@Once, CPI On-Demand and CPI Metals.

Our first quarter top line performance was partially offset by continued softness in U.S. credit and debit card market and weaker-than-expected U.K. Limited results.

We recorded a GAAP net loss of approximately $7 million in the first quarter and adjusted net loss of approximately $5 million. We posted adjusted EBITDA of approximately $3 million. And we ended the first quarter with $40 million of total liquidity comprised of $20 million of cash on our balance sheet and $20 million available on our revolving credit facility.

Now turning to Slide 5. As we discussed with you on our last earnings call, our goal at CPI is to be the partner-of-choice by providing market-leading quality products and customer service with a market-competitive business model. We are doing this by focusing on 4 strategic priorities, including: first, a deep customer focus; second, market-leading quality products and customer service; third, a market-competitive business model; and fourth, continues innovation.

Moving now to the next 2 slides, I'd like to update you on our progress. Moving to Slide 6, with regard to our first priority, we are very focused on delighting our customers every day by leveraging our end-to-end suite of products and solutions and by providing the highest levels of customer service.

As a result of our efforts, I'm happy to highlight 2 recent portfolio wins. The first win is with [Incom], a highly valued and long-standing customer of CPI. After acquiring the distribution rights to program manage and process the prepaid reloadable and gift card products in the U.S. -- gift products in the U.S. -- of a major U.S. prepaid card issuer Incom turned to CPI to produce the prepaid cards for the newly acquired business, given our fast on-boarding and ability to scale with exceptional service.

The second win is with Sharetec System, a provider of both in-house and service bureau core solutions, to provide Sharetec credit unions the ability to print ATM and debit cards in-house with our Card@Once instant issuance solution, and helping them to deliver exceptional customer experiences. I believe these 2 stories help illustrate not only our strong position in the market, but also importantly, our ability to win new business by putting the customer first, and intensifying our focus on providing market-leading quality products and customer service.

I also mentioned to you last quarter that we recently completed a realignment of our U.S. business units by product. The goal of this realignment was to better serve our customers and address their needs, by leveraging our employees' strengths and talents, facilitating innovation, fostering a culture of teamwork, accountability and excellence, and delivering outstanding results for our customers and our shareholders.

Since initiating this realignment, I'm pleased to say that we are delivering improved levels of service and quality to our customers.

Turning to our second priority, market-leading quality products and customer service. While I already covered the Incom story with you, I think, it bears repeating that this competitive win was directly attributable to CPI's strength related to providing outstanding quality and service.

For our Card@Once instant issuance solution, we continued to deliver growth in the quarter driven by solid customer demand and recognition that we offer a market-leading and differentiated solution. We ended the first quarter of 2018 with approximately 7,700 Card@Once installations, up from approximately 7,400 installations in the prior quarter, and an increase of 28% from approximately 6,000 installations in the first quarter of 2017. We are pleased with our first quarter Card@Once performance, and we see continued opportunities to grow this business.

The recent expansion of our Card@Once business with First Financial Bank of Ohio is another good example of our ability to deliver on this priority. First Financial, who has used the Card@Once solution for over 3 years, recently began upgrading their previous model issuance printers with our new premium position printers, across their bank branch footprints. In addition, after recently completing the acquisition of another bank, First Financial is deploying our precision printers in its newly acquired branches.

In addition to some good success with our customers, we are also being recognized by other industry participants for our market-leading quality products. For example, I'm proud to highlight that CPI recently received awards at the International Card Manufacturing Association 2018 Élan Awards for card manufacturing excellence. These prestigious awards recognize the best of design innovation, security and technical achievements in the global card manufacturing industry. We received the 1st place award in the loyalty promotional and gift cards category for sophisticated metal card crafted for a prominent brand partner of our clients Alliance Data.

Additionally, our Uber card produced for Barclays and designed to reflect the Uber brand identity and a bridge between digital and physical worlds was named first finalists in the best secure payment card category. We are thrilled to receive these awards in recognition of the products created in collaboration with our customers.

On to our third priority, which can be found on Slide 7. Our market competitive business model. We are on track with the consolidation of our personalization sites from 3 sites to 2 and expect to complete this initiative by this summer. The benefits to our costs structure from the site consolidation will primarily be in 2019. We also remained laser-focused on our initiatives to drive additional productivity and efficiency improvements, through the business, which Lillian will discuss in more detail in her remarks.

Lastly, with respect to our fourth priority, continues innovation, I'd like to provide you with some updates. Beginning with Prepaid. Netspend, a leader in the prepaid industry selected CPI to develop a completely new and unique generation packaging protocol, for their prepaid cards based on our relationship and reputation for packaging innovation. CPI worked closely with Netspend to design and manufacture the updated Prepaid card portfolio, which successfully launched in the first quarter of 2018.

For CPI Metals, we continue to see interest from our customers extending beyond traditional financial institutions, into retail as well as some new and nontraditional verticals for us. As I mentioned on our last call, it's still early days for CPI Metals and I look forward to updating you on our progress with this premium product.

For our CPI On-Demand solution, the momentum we began building in 2017 has continued into the first quarter of 2018. We continue to deliver on our CPI On-Demand solution to new business verticals outside of traditional financial institutions, including areas such as transportation and healthcare.

Lastly, on dual interface EMV cards, we continue to view the potential migration of the U.S. market to dual interface cards as an attractive long-term opportunity. We are in active conversations with customers regarding their dual interface product road maps, and how we can play a role in fulfilling their future needs. But at this time, we are not factoring dual interface into our 2018 plans in a meaningful way.

In summary, our first quarter results were in line with our expectations. We won new businesses with our existing customers, added new customers and capitalized on opportunities to deliver our products and solutions to new client verticals. Our initiatives which are aimed at better serving our customers by providing market-leading quality of products and customer service with a competitive business model is resulting in good growth across several parts of our business. While we still have work to do, we believe our efforts positioned CPI well in the current market and will further benefit us as the demand environment for U.S. debit and credit cards begins to improve.

Before turning the call over, I would like to thank Lillian for her leadership of our finance organization and positive contributions she has made during her tenure. On behalf of the entire company, I wish Lillian the very best in her future endeavors.

I will turn the call over to Lillian to review our detailed financial and operating results for the first quarter. Lillian?

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Lillian Etzkorn, CPI Card Group Inc. - CFO [4]

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Thanks, Scott, and good afternoon, everyone. Turning to Slide 10, you'll see an overview of our first quarter 2018 results. First quarter net sales were $59.1 million, an increase of 5.5% from $56 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Product net sales decreased 7.4% year-on-year to $27.6 million in the first quarter, primarily reflecting an 8.2% decline in the number of U.S. debit and credit EMV chip cards sold and lower EMV card average selling prices. EMV volume was up 22.6% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to 16.8 million units.

Services net sales increased 20% year-over-year to $31.5 million, primarily driven by growth in our U.S. Prepaid Debit segment.

Gross profit for the first quarter was $14.4 million, representing a gross margin of 24.4% compared with 28.7% in the first quarter of 2017. Loss from operations in the first quarter of 2018 was $4 million compared with an operating loss of $1.8 million in the prior-year period. Included in our loss from operations during the first quarter of 2018, our $300,000 of restructuring charges and $800,000 accelerated depreciation charge related to the consolidation of our personalization sites.

The year-over-year changes in our gross profit margin and income from operations for the first quarter of 2018, primarily reflect our top line growth and ongoing cost-reduction actions and efficiency initiatives, offset primarily by the negative impact of absorption of overhead costs from lower volumes, weaker-than-expected results in our U.K. Limited segment, and investments in our business to enhance our products, solutions and go-to-market strategy.

As we discussed with you on our last call, we continue to seek ways to improve our cost efficiencies, enabling us to be market competitive. Increased efficiencies will help our ability to improve profitability, drive cash flow and build a stronger foundation for growth and innovation. Our key cost initiatives for 2018 remains: process improvements and efficiencies; a continued focus on direct and indirect procurement savings; and an optimized footprint.

We recorded a GAAP net loss of $7.3 million or $0.65 loss per diluted share in the first quarter of 2018. This is compared with a net loss of $4.5 million or a $0.40 loss per diluted share in the prior-year period. As a reminder, all per share amounts have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the 1 for 5 reverse stock split that went into effect in December of 2017.

Now turning to our non-GAAP metrics. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2018 was $2.7 million compared with $3.9 million for the first quarter of 2017. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 4.5% compared with 6.9% in the prior-year period. The year-over-year changes in our adjusted EBITDA and EBITDA margin primarily reflect the same factors, which impacted our reported income from operations.

Adjusted net loss was $5.2 million in the first quarter of 2018 or a $0.47 loss per diluted share compared with adjusted net loss of $3 million or a loss of $0.26 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2017.

Now to a review of our segments for the first quarter of 2018. Before I begin, I would like to note that we have changed the way we report our CPI On-Demand business. Beginning with the first quarter of 2018, we are reporting the CPI On-Demand business within our U.S. Debit and Credit segments versus our Prepaid Debit segment as previously recorded. We have realigned CPI On-Demand to be consistent with the other related personalization operations, and to correspond with our decision-making process regarding the allocation of resources.

We restated our first quarter 2017 segment information to be consistent with our new alignment. This restatement was not material.

So now turning to the results on Slide 11. U.S. Debit and Credit segment net sales were $37.1 million for the first quarter, a 6.5% decrease from the prior-year period. The corresponding segment EBITDA was $5.7 million compared with $7.4 million in the prior-year period. The year-over-year decline in our U.S. Debit and Credit segment results was predominantly driven by a decrease in cards sold as well as lower average selling prices.

CPI sold 16.8 million EMV cards in the first quarter of 2018, down from 18.3 million cards in the first quarter of 2017, but up 3.1 million cards from the fourth quarter of 2017. The year-over-year decrease in EMV cards sold was primarily due to timing of certain customer orders. On a weighted average basis, average selling prices were down approximately 6% from the first quarter of 2017, and down approximately 12% sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2017. The year-over-year decrease in average selling prices in the first quarter was primarily due to lower prices experienced across our customer base and our customer mix.

In our traditional U.S. card personalization and fulfillment business, net sales decreased $1.7 million versus the first quarter of 2017, primarily due to the reduced EMV card production. U.S. Prepaid Debit segment net sales were $15.5 million in the first quarter, up $6 million or 63.3% year-over-year. The increase in revenue was primarily driven by additional volume from recent client portfolio wins, which Scott mentioned earlier. Please note that the revenue attributable to the new portfolio wins was recognized primarily in the fourth quarter of 2017, and the first quarter of 2018.

Beginning in the second quarter, we currently anticipate that our Prepaid business will start to resemble revenue trends similar to past years with lower revenues in Q2. For the full year, 2018, consistent with what we shared with you previously, we continue to expect that we will participate in the prepaid industries modest growth this year. Prepaid Debit segment EBITDA was $4.8 million, up from $2 million recorded in the prior-year period.

Finally, our U.K. Limited segment net sales were $4.2 million in the first quarter, representing a decrease of 24.6% from the prior-year period. The lower net sales resulted from softness in the U.K. retail sector, and a decline in sales related to certain customers. U.K. Limited segment EBITDA was a $1.1 million loss compared with a positive $325,000 in the prior-year period.

Now turning to our cash flow overview on Slide 12. Cash used in operations for the first quarter was $1.8 million compared with cash used in operations of $5 million in the prior-year period. Capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2018 were $1.2 million, down from $3.3 million in the prior-year period, yielding first quarter 2018 negative free cash flow of $2.9 million, which is an improvement of over $5 million from the first quarter of 2017.

Turning to Slide 13. Our ending cash balance as of March 31, 2018, was $20.2 million compared with $23.2 million at the end of 2017. We ended the quarter with total debt principal outstanding of $312.5 million, and a net debt balance of $292.3 million. Netting the deferred financing costs and discounts, our recorded total debt balance was $304.4 million. At March 31, 2018, our net debt leverage ratio was at 12.2x.

As of March 31, 2018, we had an undrawn $40 million revolving credit facility, of which, $20 million was available for borrowing. Our term loan has no financial covenants and does not mature until August of 2022. Total available liquidity was $40.2 million as of March 31, 2018.

I would now like to recap the current industry trends that we expect will continue to impact our 2018 results on Slide 14. Overall, market conditions are consistent with what we discussed with you on our last earnings call in March. We continue to expect that U.S. industry card manufacturing volume will be essentially flat in 2018 versus 2017 levels. And then return to growth in 2019. In addition, we anticipate that the average selling prices will continue to decline in the market, during the course of this year similar to 2017.

For card personalization and fulfillment, our expectation is for more modest levels of demand in 2018, driven by steady-state new card issuance, expiration and lost and stolen replacement activity. For U.S. Prepaid, we continue to expect that CPI will participate in the Prepaid industry's modest growth this year. As a reminder, I would also like to highlight that our business segment results do fluctuate from quarter-to-quarter based on several factors, including ordering patterns of our customers and seasonality.

Lastly, we believe that we had adequate cash and liquidity to support our business plan. Our ongoing focus is on driving profitable growth, returning to consistent positive cash flow generation and delivering shareholder value.

Finally, before opening the call for questions, I would like to say that I'm truly enjoyed working with the entire CPI team, and I'm very thankful for the time I spent working directly with Scott. This was not an easy decision for me, but ultimately, I made the choice to accept a role closer to my home and family in Detroit. I will be working with my transition of my responsibilities over the next couple of months.

So with that, Madison, please open the call for questions.

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Operator [5]

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(Operator Instructions) At this time, I would like to turn the call back over to Scott Scheirman for closing remarks.

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Scott T. Scheirman, CPI Card Group Inc. - President, CEO & Director [6]

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Madison, thank you. Everyone, thank you for participating on our earnings call today, and we continue to look forward to updating you in the future with our strategies and our progress as we move forward. Madison, you can now end the call. Thank you.

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Operator [7]

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Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today's conference. Thank you for your participation, and have a wonderful day. You may all disconnect.