Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2020 Results

Dallas, Texas, UNITED STATES

Strong investment performance across multiple strategies

Earnings impacted by non-cash and non-recurring items

U.S. cash position strengthened with funds repatriated from Canadian operation

DALLAS, Oct. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. (NYSE: WHG) today reported third quarter 2020 earnings. Significant items include:

  • Income Opportunity, AllCap Value, SmidCap, Total Return, High Income, Alternative Income, and Global Convertibles strategies all beat their primary benchmarks for the quarter.

  • Total Return strategy achieved a top quartile peer ranking while our SmidCap, AllCap Value, and High Income strategies posted top 40% peer rankings.

  • Westwood held $77.6 million in cash and short-term investments at September 30, 2020, up $3.4 million from June 30, 2020. Stockholders' equity was $126.5 million and no debt.

  • Revenues of $15.5 million compared with $15.9 million in the second quarter of 2020 and $19.9 million a year ago.

  • Net loss of $10.3 million compared with a net loss of $2.6 million in the second quarter of 2020 and net income of $1.1 million a year ago.

  • The third quarter was negatively impacted by several one-time items, including:

    • $4.2 million non-cash reclassification of foreign currency translation adjustments from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) to Net Income (Loss), with no impact on Stockholder's Equity, following the closure of Westwood International Advisors.
    • $1.1 million in incremental Canadian withholding taxes (net of U.S. federal tax deduction) paid to repatriate more than $37.0 million from Westwood International Advisors to the U.S.
    • $3.4 million non-cash write-off of historical Advisory goodwill to reflect lower market capitalization and Advisory net outflows.

  • Non-GAAP economic loss of $1.7 million, compared with economic earnings of $0.2 million in the second quarter of 2020 and $3.9 million a year ago.

Brian Casey, Westwood’s President and CEO, commented, "As part of the ongoing execution of our strategic plan that we communicated to you last quarter, Westwood International Advisors has now ceased operations and a significant amount of cash has been moved from Canada to the U.S. for deployment in business initiatives that we consider more attractive over the long-term. These decisive actions, along with the write-off of historical goodwill in our Advisory business, contributed to a loss for the quarter, however the associated accounting effects were primarily non-cash and non-recurring in nature. We have recently celebrated several institutional and retail wins that will fund later this year or early in the New Year. Consultant approval ratings continue to move up, our pipeline for new business opportunities is at its highest level in over five years and we have recently been invited to present in finals for several large mandates. Our investment performance is competitive across our wide range of strategies and I am particularly pleased to report that our investment teams weathered the recent market volatility very well. Our new client portal, developed in partnership with InvestCloud, will be released to Westwood Wealth clients over the next few weeks. We are excited to bring this digital experience to our customers and look forward to announcing additional technology platform ventures in the months ahead."

Revenues were somewhat lower than the second quarter due to closing Emerging Markets strategies, which slightly reduced our average fee rate.  Revenues were lower than last year's third quarter principally as a result of lower average assets under management ("AUM").

AUM of $12.0 billion at September 30, 2020 rose slightly from $11.9 billion at June 30, 2020. The increase reflected market appreciation offset by net outflows mainly in our closed Emerging Markets products while our MLP strategies experienced drawdowns.

The third quarter net loss of $10.3 million exceeded the second quarter's $2.6 million net loss primarily due to the one-time items noted above, partially offset by lower operating expenses and lower foreign currency transaction losses. Diluted earnings per share ("EPS") was a loss of $1.31 compared with a loss of $0.33 for the second quarter. Non-GAAP economic losses of $1.7 million, or $0.22 per share, compared with earnings of $0.2 million, or $0.03 per share, in the second quarter.

The third quarter net loss of $10.3 million compared unfavorably with net income of $1.1 million in the third quarter of 2019 primarily due to the one-time items noted above, partially offset by lower operating expenses, particularly employee compensation and benefits. Diluted EPS was a loss of $1.31 compared with earnings of $0.13 for the third quarter of 2019. Non-GAAP economic losses were $1.7 million, or $0.22 per share, compared with earnings of $3.9 million, or $0.46 per share for the third quarter of 2019.

Economic earnings (loss) and Economic EPS are non-GAAP performance measures and are explained and reconciled with the most comparable GAAP numbers in the attached tables.

Westwood will host a conference call to discuss third quarter 2020 results and other business matters at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time today. To join the conference call, dial 877-303-6235 (U.S. and Canada) or 631-291-4837 (international). The conference call can also be accessed via our Investor Relations page at westwoodgroup.com and will be available for replay through November 5, 2020 by dialing 855-859-2056 (U.S. and Canada) or 404-537-3406 (international) and entering the passcode 2732349.


Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. is a focused investment management boutique and wealth management firm. 

Westwood offers high-conviction equity and outcome-oriented solutions to institutional investors, private wealth clients and financial intermediaries. The firm specializes in several distinct investment capabilities: U.S. Value Equity, Multi-Asset, Convertibles and Liquid Alternatives, available through separate accounts, the Westwood Funds® family of mutual funds and other pooled vehicles. Westwood benefits from significant, broad-based employee ownership and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “WHG.” Based in Dallas, Westwood also maintains offices in Boston and Houston.

For more information on Westwood, please visit westwoodgroup.com.

Forward-looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not purely historical facts, including, without limitation, statements about our expected future financial position, results of operations or cash flows, as well as other statements including without limitation, words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,” “could,” and other similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Actual results and the timing of some events could differ materially from those projected in or contemplated by the forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including, without limitation:

the composition and market value of our AUM; our ability to maintain our fee structure in light of competitive fee pressures; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; the significant concentration of our revenues in a small number of customers; our ability to avoid termination of client agreements and the related investment redemptions; regulations adversely affecting the financial services industry; competition in the investment management industry; our ability to develop and market new investment strategies successfully; our AUM include investments in foreign companies; our reputation and our relationships with current and potential customers; our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; our ability to maintain effective cyber security; our ability to perform operational tasks; our ability to identify and execute on our strategic initiatives; our ability to maintain effective information systems; our ability to select and oversee third-party vendors; litigation risks; our ability to declare and pay dividends; our ability to fund future capital requirements on favorable terms; our ability to properly address conflicts of interest; our ability to maintain adequate insurance coverage; our ability to maintain an effective system of internal controls; our stock is thinly traded and may be subject to volatility; our organizational documents contain provisions that may prevent or deter another group from paying a premium over the market price to our stockholders to acquire our stock; we are a holding company dependent on the operations and funds of our subsidiaries; our relationships with investment consulting firms; and the other risks detailed from time to time in Westwood’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020, June 30, 2020 and September 30, 2020. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, Westwood is not obligated to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

SOURCE:  Westwood Holdings Group, Inc.

Westwood Holdings Group, Inc.
Terry Forbes
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
(214) 756-6900

(in thousands, except per share and share amounts)

 Three Months Ended
 September 30, 2020 June 30, 2020 September 30, 2019
Advisory fees:     
Asset-based$8,847   $9,328   $13,164  
Performance-based713   695   154  
Trust fees5,787   5,657   6,281  
Trust performance-based fees37   40     
Other, net70   155   293  
Total revenues15,454   15,875   19,892  
Employee compensation and benefits9,515   10,787   12,072  
Sales and marketing215   253   506  
Westwood mutual funds421   434   916  
Information technology2,158   2,030   2,017  
Professional services1,033   991   940  
General and administrative2,333   2,191   2,317  
Impairment expense3,403        
(Gain) loss on foreign currency transactions419   1,323   (402) 
Total expenses19,497   18,009   18,366  
Net operating income (loss)(4,043)  (2,134)  1,526  
Unrealized gains (losses) on private investments(73)  159     
Investment income (expense)(43)  124     
Other income34   34   33  
Foreign currency translation adjustments to net income (loss) upon liquidation of a foreign subsidiary(4,193)       
Income (loss) before income taxes(8,318)  (1,817)  1,559  
Income tax expense1,971   758   442  
Net income (loss)$(10,289)  $(2,575)  $1,117  
Other comprehensive income (loss):     
Foreign currency translation adjustments621   1,371   (482) 
Reclassification of cumulative foreign currency translation adjustments to net income (loss) upon liquidation of a foreign subsidiary4,193        
Total comprehensive income (loss)$(5,475)  $(1,204)  $635  
Earnings (loss) per share:     
Basic$(1.31)  $(0.33)  $0.13  
Diluted$(1.31)  $(0.33)  $0.13  
Weighted average shares outstanding:     
Basic 7,829,478    7,879,698    8,432,598  
Diluted 7,829,478    7,879,698    8,470,673  
Economic Earnings (Loss)$(1,711)  $224   $3,871  
Economic EPS$(0.22)  $0.03   $0.46  
Dividends declared per share$0.00   $0.00   $0.72  

(in thousands, except per share and share amounts)

 Nine Months Ended
 September 30, 2020 September 30, 2019
Advisory fees:   
Asset-based$29,277   $44,265 
Performance-based1,408   454 
Trust fees17,395   19,264 
Trust performance-based fees77    
Other, net(159)  1,480 
Total revenues47,998   65,463 
Employee compensation and benefits32,970   38,060 
Sales and marketing946   1,550 
Westwood mutual funds1,370   2,423 
Information technology6,219   6,276 
Professional services3,217   3,258 
General and administrative6,830   7,153 
Impairment expense3,403    
(Gain) loss on foreign currency transactions(1,196)  1,142 
Total expenses53,759   59,862 
Net operating income (loss)(5,761)  5,601 
Unrealized losses on private investments(909)   
Investment income625    
Other income102   110 
Foreign currency translation adjustments to net income (loss) upon liquidation of a foreign subsidiary(4,193)   
Income (loss) before income taxes(10,136)  5,711 
Income tax expense1,626   2,341 
Net income (loss)$(11,762)  $3,370 
Other comprehensive income (loss):   
Foreign currency translation adjustments(1,250)  1,084 
Reclassification of cumulative foreign currency translation adjustments to net income (loss) upon liquidation of a foreign subsidiary4,193    
Total comprehensive income (loss)$(8,819)  $4,454 
Earnings (loss) per share:   
Basic$(1.46)  $0.40 
Diluted$(1.46)  $0.40 
Weighted average shares outstanding:   
Basic 8,040,417    8,414,317 
Diluted 8,040,417    8,467,823 
Economic Earnings$2,713   $12,761 
Economic EPS$0.34   $1.51 
Dividends declared per share$0.43   $2.16 

(in thousands, except par value and share amounts)

 September 30, 2020 December 31, 2019
Current Assets:   
Cash and cash equivalents$15,593   $49,766  
Accounts receivable9,492   13,177  
Investments, at fair value61,993   50,324  
Prepaid income taxes511   1,150  
Other current assets2,211   2,544  
Total current assets89,800   116,961  
Investments8,154   8,154  
Noncurrent investments at fair value3,328   4,238  
Goodwill16,401   19,804  
Deferred income taxes2,398   2,216  
Operating lease right-of-use assets6,364   7,562  
Intangible assets, net13,963   15,256  
Property and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation of $8,056 and $7,3953,532   4,152  
Other long-term assets444   364  
Total assets$144,384   $178,707  
Current Liabilities:   
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities$2,097   $2,145  
Dividends payable873   7,362  
Compensation and benefits payable5,938   9,975  
Operating lease liabilities1,695   1,584  
Income taxes payable195   289  
Total current liabilities10,798   21,355  
Accrued dividends575   1,303  
Noncurrent operating lease liabilities6,519   7,762  
Total long-term liabilities7,094   9,065  
Total liabilities17,892   30,420  
Stockholders’ Equity:   
Common stock, $0.01 par value, authorized 25,000,000 shares, issued 10,542,571 and outstanding 8,366,811 shares at September 30, 2020; issued 10,306,570 and outstanding 8,881,086 shares at December 31, 2019106   103  
Additional paid-in capital209,060   203,441  
Treasury stock, at cost - 2,175,758 shares at September 30, 2020; 1,425,483 shares at December 31, 2019(78,050)  (63,281) 
Accumulated other comprehensive (income) loss   (2,943) 
Retained earnings (accumulated deficit)(4,624)  10,967  
Total stockholders’ equity126,492   148,287  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$144,384   $178,707  

(in thousands)

 Nine Months Ended September 30,
 2020 2019
Net income (loss)$(11,762)  $3,370  
Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to net cash (used in) provided by operating activities:   
Depreciation697   662  
Amortization of intangible assets1,293   1,281  
Unrealized (gains) losses on investments1,132   (501) 
Stock-based compensation expense5,409   7,932  
Deferred income taxes(191)  1,572  
Non-cash lease expense1,253   852  
Impairment of goodwill3,403     
Currency translation adjustment reclassification4,193     
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:   
Net (purchases) sales of investments – trading securities(11,891)  23,438  
Accounts receivable3,634   5,673  
Other current assets246   (361) 
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities(47)  (482) 
Compensation and benefits payable(3,769)  (8,100) 
Income taxes payable492   (668) 
Other liabilities(1,174)  (1,057) 
Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities(7,082)  33,611  
Purchases of property and equipment(92)  (516) 
Purchases of investments   (3,020) 
Additions to internally developed software   (584) 
Net cash used in investing activities(92)  (4,120) 
Purchases of treasury stock(12,952)  (1,258) 
Purchases of treasury stock for employee stock plans(697)  (981) 
Restricted stock returned for payment of taxes(1,120)  (2,385) 
Cash dividends(11,043)  (19,979) 
Net cash used in financing activities(25,812)  (24,603) 
Effect of currency rate changes on cash(1,187)  1,035  
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period49,766   52,449  
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period$15,593   $58,372  
Supplemental cash flow information:   
Cash paid during the period for income taxes$1,294   $1,431  
Accrued dividends$1,448   $8,390  

Reconciliation of Net Income (Loss) to Economic Earnings (Loss)
(in thousands, except per share and share amounts)

 Three Months Ended
 September 30, 2020 June 30, 2020 September 30, 2019
Net income (loss)$(10,289)  $(2,575)  $1,117 
Add:  Stock-based compensation expense488   2,305   2,249 
Add:  Impairment expense3,403       
Add:  Intangible amortization435   435   445 
Add:  Currency translation adjustment reclassification4,193       
Add:  Tax benefit from goodwill amortization59   59   60 
Economic Earnings (Loss)$(1,711)  $224   $3,871 
Diluted weighted average shares 7,829,478    7,879,698    8,470,673 
Economic EPS$(0.22)  $0.03   $0.46 
   Nine Months Ended
   September 30, 2020 September 30, 2019
Net income (loss)  $(11,762)  $3,370 
Add:  Stock-based compensation expense  5,409   7,932 
Add:  Impairment expense  3,403    
Add:  Intangible amortization  1,293   1,281 
Add:  Currency translation adjustment reclassification  4,193    
Add:  Tax benefit from goodwill amortization  177   178 
Economic Earnings  $2,713   $12,761 
Diluted weighted average shares  8,040,417   8,467,823 
Economic EPS  $0.34   $1.51 

As supplemental information, we are providing non-GAAP performance measures that we refer to as Economic Earnings (Loss) and Economic EPS. We provide these measures in addition to, not as a substitute for, net income (loss) and earnings (loss) per share, which are reported on a GAAP basis. Our management and Board of Directors review Economic Earnings (Loss) and Economic EPS to evaluate our ongoing performance, allocate resources, and review our dividend policy. We believe that these non-GAAP performance measures, while not substitutes for GAAP net income (loss) or earnings (loss) per share, are useful for management and investors when evaluating our underlying operating and financial performance and our available resources. We do not advocate that investors consider these non-GAAP measures without also considering financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP.

We define Economic Earnings (Loss) as net income (loss) plus non-cash equity-based compensation expense, impairment expense, amortization of intangible assets, currency translation adjustment reclassification and deferred taxes related to goodwill. Although depreciation on fixed assets is a non-cash expense, we do not add it back when calculating Economic Earnings (Loss) because depreciation charges represent an allocation of the decline in the value of the related assets that will ultimately require replacement. In addition, we do not adjust Economic Earnings (Loss) for tax deductions related to restricted stock expense or amortization of intangible assets. Economic EPS represents Economic Earnings (Loss) divided by diluted weighted average shares outstanding.