Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2021 Results

Positive net flows exceed $500 million

Sales momentum continues in second quarter

Dividend of $0.10 per share declared

DALLAS, April 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. (NYSE: WHG) today reported first quarter 2021 earnings. Significant items include:

  • Revenues of $18.3 million compared with $17.1 million in the fourth quarter and $16.7 million a year ago.
  • Net income of $4.1 million rose from $2.8 million in the fourth quarter and $1.1 million in last year's first quarter.
  • Income Opportunity, Total Return, High Income and Alternative Income strategies beat their primary benchmarks for the quarter.
  • Income Opportunity and High Income won top quartile peer rankings and our SmallCap Value strategy made the top 40% in peer rankings.
  • We realized a significant gain of $8.3 million on our original InvestCloud investment, of which $5.6 million was recorded in this quarter, and we reinvested $4.4 million in the newly-capitalized InvestCloud entity.
  • Westwood held $86.9 million in cash and short-term investments as of March 31, 2021, up $4.3 million from year end.
  • Stockholders' equity as of March 31, 2021 was $133.4 million and we continued to have no debt.
  • Non-GAAP economic earnings of $6.3 million compared with $4.6 million in the fourth quarter and $4.2 million a year ago.
  • We repurchased 92,491 shares of our common stock for an aggregate purchase price of $1.4 million.

Brian Casey, Westwood’s President and CEO, commented, "We were very pleased with positive net flows exceeding $500 million and we anticipate significant additional funding from new client mandates in the second quarter. Our pipeline for new business opportunities remains strong and we are seeing larger searches compared with the past few years. We remain laser-focused on reducing expenses and made further progress by subleasing a portion of our excess Dallas office space. Our hard work over the past few years along with the investments we made in technology and other strategic initiatives are paying off for our shareholders as Westwood enters a more reliable path to growth."

Revenues exceeded the fourth quarter and last year's first quarter principally as a result of higher average assets under management ("AUM") and higher performance-based fees.

AUM of $14.5 billion rose from $13.0 billion at December 31, 2020, reflecting market appreciation and net inflows, mainly in our SmallCap strategy.

First quarter net income of $4.1 million exceeded the $2.8 million reported for the fourth quarter primarily on higher revenues and realized gains from private investments, partially offset by higher operating expenses and income taxes. Diluted earnings per share ("EPS") of $0.52 compared with $0.36 for the fourth quarter. Non-GAAP economic earnings of $6.3 million, or $0.79 per share, compared with earnings of $4.6 million, or $0.58 per share, in the fourth quarter.

First quarter net income of $4.1 million outperformed 2020's first quarter net income of $1.1 million primarily on higher revenues plus realized and unrealized gains on private investments, partially offset by higher operating expenses and income taxes. Diluted EPS of $0.52 compared with $0.13 for last year's first quarter. Non-GAAP economic earnings were $6.3 million, or $0.79 per share, compared with $4.2 million, or $0.50 per share for the first quarter of 2020.

Economic earnings 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 first quarter 2021 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 May 5, 2021 by dialing 855-859-2056 (U.S. and Canada) or 404-537-3406 (international) and entering the passcode 9883074.


Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. is an 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 the following distinct investment capabilities: U.S. Value Equity, Multi-Asset, 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 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, 2020 and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2021. 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
 March 31, 2021 December 31, 2020 March 31, 2020
Advisory fees:     
Asset-based$10,450   $8,751   $11,102  
Performance-based1,959   1,400     
Trust fees6,065   6,168   5,951  
Trust performance-based fees   289     
Other, net(155)  505   (384) 
Total revenues18,319   17,113   16,669  
Employee compensation and benefits11,548   9,171   12,668  
Sales and marketing230   248   478  
Westwood mutual funds391   311   515  
Information technology1,992   1,892   2,031  
Professional services1,317   1,054   1,193  
General and administrative2,072   2,111   2,306  
(Gain) loss on foreign currency transactions—    12   (2,938) 
Total expenses17,550    14,799   16,253  
Net operating income769   2,314   416  
Realized gains on private investments8,325      —   
Net change in unrealized appreciation (depreciation) on private investments(2,326)  198   (995) 
Investment income196   (21)  544  
Other income50   33   34  
Foreign currency translation adjustments to net income (loss) upon liquidation of a foreign subsidiary   24     
Income (loss) before income taxes7,014   2,548   (1) 
Income tax expense (benefit)2,913   (267)  (1,103) 
Net income$4,101   $2,815   $1,102  
Other comprehensive income (loss):     
Foreign currency translation adjustments   24   (3,242) 
Reclassification of cumulative foreign currency translation adjustments to net income upon liquidation of a foreign subsidiary   (24)    
Total comprehensive income (loss)$4,101   $2,815   $(2,140) 
Earnings per share:     
Basic$0.52   $0.36   $0.13  
Diluted$0.52   $0.36   $0.13  
Weighted average shares outstanding:     
Basic7,887,044   7,830,115   8,414,393  
Diluted7,917,390   7,838,504   8,458,473  
Economic Earnings$6,288   $4,571   $4,200  
Economic EPS$0.79   $0.58   $0.50  
Dividends declared per share$0.10   $0.00   $0.43  

(in thousands, except par value and share amounts)

 March 31, 2021 December 31, 2020
Current Assets:   
Cash and cash equivalents$12,989   $13,016  
Accounts receivable11,744   9,450  
Investments, at fair value73,880   69,542  
Prepaid income taxes336   1,700  
Other current assets2,588   2,606  
Total current assets101,537   96,314  
Investments4,455   8,154  
Noncurrent investments at fair value3,981   3,527  
Goodwill16,401   16,401  
Deferred income taxes1,418   1,468  
Operating lease right-of-use assets5,796   6,103  
Intangible assets, net13,129   13,535  
Property and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation of $8,099 and $8,0562,488   3,186  
Other long-term assets459   464  
Total long-term assets48,127   52,838  
Total assets$149,664   $149,152  
Current Liabilities:   
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities$2,431   $1,627  
Dividends payable1,109   810  
Compensation and benefits payable2,426   7,448  
Operating lease liabilities1,420   1,718  
Accrued stock repurchases359     
Income taxes payable2,450   191  
Total current liabilities10,195   11,794  
Accrued dividends230   526  
Noncurrent operating lease liabilities5,794   6,121  
Total long-term liabilities6,024   6,647  
Total liabilities16,219   18,441  
Stockholders’ Equity:   
Common stock, $0.01 par value, authorized 25,000,000 shares, issued 10,630,452 and outstanding 8,313,003 shares at March 31, 2021; issued 10,500,549 and outstanding 8,326,948 shares at December 31, 2020107   105  
Additional paid-in capital211,988   210,268  
Treasury stock, at cost - 2,317,449 shares at March 31, 2021; 2,173,559 shares at December 31, 2020(80,255)  (77,967) 
Retained earnings (accumulated deficit)1,605   (1,695) 
Total stockholders’ equity133,445   130,711  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$149,664   $149,152  

(in thousands)

 Three Months Ended March 31,
 2021 2020
Net income$4,101   $1,102  
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash (used in) provided by operating activities:   
Depreciation207   233  
Amortization of intangible assets406   423  
Net change in unrealized (appreciation) depreciation on investments2,432   1,133  
Realized gains on private investments(8,325)    
Stock-based compensation expense1,722   2,616  
Deferred income taxes40   (1,643) 
Non-cash lease expense307   305  
Gain on asset disposition(148)    
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:   
Net (purchases) sales of trading securities(4,444)  12,916  
Accounts receivable(2,295)  1,844  
Other current assets23   326  
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities803   (469) 
Compensation and benefits payable(5,026)  (7,356) 
Income taxes payable3,630   475  
Other liabilities(478)  (383) 
     Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities(7,045)  11,522  
Sale of investments9,258     
Sale of property and equipment501     
Purchases of property and equipment(9)  (16) 
Purchases of investments(15)    
     Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities9,735    (16) 
Purchases of treasury stock(1,045)  (3,947) 
Purchases of treasury stock for employee stock plans   (697) 
Restricted stock returned for payment of taxes(884)  (1,120) 
Cash dividends(801)  (7,324) 
     Net cash used in financing activities(2,730)  (13,088) 
Effect of currency rate changes on cash13   (3,068) 
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period13,016   49,766  
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period$12,989   $45,116  
Supplemental cash flow information:   
Cash paid during the period for income taxes$769   $64  
Accrued dividends$1,339   $5,245  
Accrued purchases of treasury stock$359   $920  

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

 Three Months Ended
 March 31, 2021 December 31, 2020 March 31, 2020
Net income$4,101  $2,815   $1,102 
Add: Stock-based compensation expense1,722  1,292   2,616 
Add: Intangible amortization406  428   423 
Add: Currency translation adjustment reclassification  (24)   
Add: Tax benefit from goodwill amortization59  60   59 
Economic Earnings$6,288  $4,571   $4,200 
Diluted weighted average shares7,917,390  7,838,504   8,458,473 
Economic EPS$0.79  $0.58   $0.50 

As supplemental information, we are providing non-GAAP performance measures that we refer to as Economic Earnings and Economic EPS. We provide these measures in addition to, not as a substitute for, net income and earnings per share, which are reported on a GAAP basis. Our management and Board of Directors review Economic Earnings 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 or earnings 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 as net income plus non-cash equity-based compensation expense, amortization of intangible assets, 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 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 for tax deductions related to restricted stock expense or amortization of intangible assets. Economic EPS represents Economic Earnings divided by diluted weighted average shares outstanding.