Nelnet Reports Fourth Quarter 2014 Results

- GAAP net income $1.59 per share, $1.60 per share excluding adjustments

- Servicing $133.6 billion student loans for 5.9 million borrowers under government contract

- 30 percent increase in payment processing revenue driven by RenWeb acquisition

- Purchased $6.1 billion of loans during 2014

26 Feb, 2015, 17:39 ET from Nelnet

LINCOLN, Neb., Feb. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Nelnet (NYSE: NNI) today reported GAAP net income of $73.6 million, or $1.59 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with GAAP net income of $70.5 million, or $1.52 per share, for the same period a year ago.

Excluding derivative market value and foreign currency adjustments, net income was $74.3 million, or $1.60 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with $70.1 million, or $1.51 per share, for the same period in 2013.  The company reported an expense from derivative market value and foreign currency adjustments of $0.7 million after tax, or $0.01 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with income of $0.5 million after tax, or $0.01 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2013.

"We achieved record earnings in 2014 and are positioned well for success this year," said Jeff Noordhoek, chief executive officer of Nelnet.  "Our focus continues to be on enhancing our customer experiences, growing in and around our servicing and payment processing businesses, and deploying capital effectively. In 2015, we expect to be able to make investments in diversification and private education loan partnerships, as well as continuing to find federal student loan portfolios to acquire."

Nelnet operates three primary business segments, earning interest income on student loans in its Asset Generation and Management operating segment, and fee-based revenue in its Student Loan and Guaranty Servicing and Tuition Payment Processing and Campus Commerce operating segments.

The increase in earnings for the fourth quarter of 2014 compared with the same period in 2013 was due to an increase in net interest income earned from the company's student loan portfolio and an increase in income from repurchases of the company's debt.  This increase was partially offset by the expected decrease in net income from the company's Student Loan and Guaranty Servicing operating segment and a decrease in income from gains on investments and investment advisory fees.

Asset Generation and Management

Historically low interest rates continue to provide the opportunity for the company to generate substantial near-term value and cash flow from its student loan portfolio.  For the fourth quarter of 2014, Nelnet reported net interest income of $112.5 million, compared with $108.7 million for the same period a year ago.  Net interest income included $49.2 million and $38.8 million of fixed rate floor income, net of settlements on derivatives, in the fourth quarters of 2014 and 2013, respectively.

In 2014, Nelnet purchased $6.1 billion of student loans, bringing its total student loan portfolio to $28.0 billion as of December 31, 2014.

The company intends to use its strong liquidity position to capitalize on market opportunities to acquire additional legacy Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and private education loans.

On January 29, 2015, the company acquired a $582.8 million portfolio of FFELP loans.  In addition, Nelnet has entered into agreements to purchase private education loans originated from certain forward-flow loan partners.

Student Loan and Guaranty Servicing

Under the company's servicing contract with the U.S. Department of Education (Department), the volume of student loans serviced and the number of borrowers serviced increased 21 percent and 11 percent, respectively, as of December 31, 2014, when compared with the end of 2013. The company was servicing $133.6 billion of loans for 5.9 million borrowers on behalf of the Department as of December 31, 2014, compared with $110.5 billion of loans for 5.3 million borrowers as of December 31, 2013. Revenue from this contract increased 12 percent to $32.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, up from $28.9 million for the same period a year ago.

The growth in government servicing revenue partially offset the continued expected run off of the company's commercial servicing portfolio and the impact of federal legislative changes that reduced the revenue earned by guaranty agencies for collections. As a result of these changes and run-off, total revenue from the company's Student Loan and Guaranty Servicing segment decreased 10 percent, or $6.6 million, to $56.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, from $63.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2013. As the volume of loans serviced under the Department servicing contract continues to grow and loans serviced under the legacy commercial programs continue to run off, the company expects the operating margins to tighten.

Tuition Payment Processing and Campus Commerce

For the fourth quarter of 2014, revenue from the company's Tuition Payment Processing and Campus Commerce segment was $24.7 million, an increase of $5.7 million, or 30 percent, from the same period in 2013.  The increase in revenue was the result of the acquisition of RenWeb in June 2014, in addition to growth in managed tuition payment plans, campus commerce transaction volume, and new school customers.  Operating margin for this segment decreased in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with the same period in 2013, due to lower margins on new services and the amortization of intangible assets from the acquisition of RenWeb.  Amortization of intangible assets in this segment was $2.1 million and $0.8 million for the fourth quarters of 2014 and 2013, respectively.

Operating Expenses

The company reported consolidated operating expenses of $114.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with $111.6 million for the same period in 2013.

Year End Results

GAAP net income for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $307.6 million, or $6.62 per share, compared with GAAP net income of $302.7 million or $6.50 per share, for 2013.  Excluding derivative market value and foreign currency adjustments, net income in 2014 was $284.2 million, or $6.12 per share, compared with $272.5 million, or $5.85 per share, for 2013.  The derivative market value and foreign currency adjustments were income of $23.4 million, or $0.50 per share, during 2014, compared with income of $30.1 million, or $0.65 per share, for 2013.

Non-GAAP Performance Measures

The company provides additional non-GAAP financial information related to specific items management believes to be important in the evaluation of its operating results, including specifically, the impact of unrealized gains and losses resulting from changes in fair values of derivative instruments which do not qualify for "hedge treatment" under GAAP and foreign currency transaction gains or losses resulting from the re-measurement of the company's Euro-denominated bonds to U.S. dollars.  The company believes these point in time estimates of asset and liability values related to financial instruments that are subject to interest and currency rate fluctuations, and items whose timing and/or amount cannot be reasonably estimated in advance, affect the period to period comparability of the results of the company's fundamental business operations on a recurring basis.  Accordingly, the company provides operating results excluding these items for comparability purposes.

Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws.  These statements are based on management's current expectations as of the date of this release and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks include, among others, risks related to the company's student loan portfolio such as interest rate basis and repricing risk, the use of derivatives to manage exposure to interest rate fluctuations, and the uncertain nature of expected benefits from recent FFELP loan purchases and initiatives to purchase additional FFELP and private education loans; the company's funding requirements to satisfy asset financing needs; risks related to the company's ability to maintain and increase volumes under the company's loan servicing contract with the Department to service federally owned student loans; changes in the educational credit and services marketplace resulting from changes in applicable laws, regulations, and government programs and budgets; risks related to the recent reduction in government payments to guaranty agencies to rehabilitate defaulted FFELP loans and services in support of those activities; and changes in general economic and credit market conditions. For more information, see the "Risk Factors" sections and other cautionary discussions of risks and uncertainties included in documents filed or furnished by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the cautionary information about forward-looking statements contained in the company's supplemental financial information for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2014.  All forward-looking statements in this release are as of the date of this release. Although the company may from time to time voluntarily update or revise its forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or changes in the company's expectations, the company disclaims any commitment to do so except as required by securities laws.

 

Consolidated Statements of Income

(Dollars in thousands, except share data)

(unaudited)

Three months ended

Year ended

December 31,  2014

September 30,  2014

December 31,  2013

December 31, 2014

December 31, 2013

Interest income:

Loan interest

$

182,783

187,862

165,865

703,007

638,142

Investment interest

1,770

1,562

2,006

6,793

6,668

Total interest income

184,553

189,424

167,871

709,800

644,810

Interest expense:

Interest on bonds and notes payable

72,061

71,937

59,135

273,237

230,935

Net interest income

112,492

117,487

108,736

436,563

413,875

Less provision for loan losses

3,500

2,000

3,500

9,500

18,500

Net interest income after provision for loan losses

108,992

115,487

105,236

427,063

395,375

Other income (expense):

Loan and guaranty servicing revenue

56,538

52,659

63,167

240,414

243,428

Tuition payment processing, school information, and campus commerce revenue

24,688

26,399

18,988

98,156

80,682

Enrollment services revenue

17,791

22,936

21,735

82,883

98,078

Other income

12,906

7,650

15,981

54,002

46,298

Gain on sale of loans and debt repurchases, net

3,594

799

3,651

11,699

Derivative settlements, net

(4,566)

(4,834)

(6,407)

(21,843)

(29,636)

Derivative market value and foreign currency adjustments, net

(1,082)

29,037

752

37,703

48,593

Total other income

109,869

133,847

115,015

494,966

499,142

Operating expenses:

Salaries and benefits

60,609

61,098

52,120

228,079

196,169

Cost to provide enrollment services

11,343

14,178

13,864

53,307

64,961

Depreciation and amortization

5,644

5,493

5,274

21,134

18,311

Other

37,310

36,676

40,349

149,990

149,542

Total operating expenses

114,906

117,445

111,607

452,510

428,983

Income before income taxes

103,955

131,889

108,644

469,519

465,534

Income tax expense

30,036

46,513

37,556

160,238

161,193

Net income

73,919

85,376

71,088

309,281

304,341

Net income attributable to noncontrolling interest

308

157

568

1,671

1,669

Net income attributable to Nelnet, Inc.

$

73,611

85,219

70,520

307,610

302,672

Earnings per common share:

Net income attributable to Nelnet, Inc. shareholders - basic and diluted

$

1.59

1.84

1.52

6.62

6.50

Weighted average common shares outstanding -    basic and diluted

46,390,402

46,432,680

46,502,028

46,469,615

46,570,314

 

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets

(Dollars in thousands)

(unaudited)

As of

As of

As of

December 31, 2014

September 30, 2014

December 31, 2013

Assets:

Student loans receivable, net

$

28,005,195

28,701,344

25,907,589

Cash, cash equivalents, and investments

279,604

222,359

255,307

Restricted cash and investments

968,928

940,343

902,699

Goodwill and intangible assets, net

168,782

169,076

123,250

Other assets

675,634

665,527

582,004

Total assets

$

30,098,143

30,698,649

27,770,849

Liabilities:

Bonds and notes payable

$

28,027,350

28,737,456

25,955,289

Other liabilities

345,115

303,636

371,570

Total liabilities

28,372,465

29,041,092

26,326,859

Equity:

Total Nelnet, Inc. shareholders' equity

1,725,448

1,657,289

1,443,662

Noncontrolling interest

230

268

328

Total equity

1,725,678

1,657,557

1,443,990

Total liabilities and equity

$

30,098,143

30,698,649

27,770,849

 

(code #: nnif)

SOURCE Nelnet



RELATED LINKS

http://www.nelnet.com