West Corporation Reports Record First Quarter Earnings

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from West Corporation

    OMAHA, Neb., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- West
 Corporation (Nasdaq:   WSTC) (or "West"), a leading provider of innovative full
 service customer relationship management solutions using the latest in voice
 and Internet technology, announced today results for the first quarter of
 2001.  Revenues expanded by 19.4% to $203.0 million during the first quarter
 and net income increased 28.2% to $21.8 million for the same period.  The
 company cites its continued ability to cross-sell its suite of services and
 deepen existing client relationships for its solid performance this quarter.
 
     Financial Summary (unaudited)
     (In millions, except per share amounts and percentages)
 
                                           Three Months Ended
                                               March 31
                                        2001            2000       Percent
                                                                    Change
      Total Revenue                   $203.0          $170.1         19.4%
      Operating Income                 $33.9           $26.4         28.3%
      Net Income                       $21.8           $17.0         28.2%
      Net Income per share (basic)     $0.34           $0.27
      Net Income per diluted share     $0.32           $0.25
 
     "Despite today's less favorable market conditions, we are very pleased
 with our first quarter results," commented Thomas B. Barker, President and
 Chief Executive Officer. "Our premium brand customer base is focused on
 attracting and retaining customers.  They turn to us as a partner to manage
 their customer relationships and transactions through our suite of integrated
 services.  We are proud of our ability to manage our cost structure and
 control expenses in anticipation of softening market conditions.  As a result,
 we are well-positioned to handle changes in the economy and remain optimistic
 in our ability to meet our stated financial objectives for the rest of the
 year."
 
     Operating Results
     First Quarter Highlights
 
     -- For the quarter ended March 31, 2001, revenues expanded 19.4% to
        $203.0 million from $170.1 million in the prior years first quarter.
     -- Operating income rose by 28.3% to $33.9 million, up from $26.4 million
        in the comparable period of 2000.  Net income increased 28.2% to
        $21.8 million from $17.0 million last year.
     -- EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization)
        rose 22.6% to $46.0 million from $37.6 million in the prior year
        comparable period.
     -- Fully diluted earnings per share for the quarter was 32 cents, versus
        25 cents in the first quarter 2000.
 
     "Our pre-tax margins reflect our ability to generate additional operating
 efficiencies and focus on cost reduction opportunities across the company.
 SG&A expense as a percentage of revenues continued to decline by approximately
 1.2% for the quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2000," commented
 Michael Micek, Chief Financial Officer of West.  "During the quarter, we
 increased our total number of workstations from 10,147 to 10,878.  The
 majority of this increase occurred at our newly opened contact center in
 Beaumont, Texas and we expect to continue to expand during the second and
 third quarters of 2001."
 
     Margins
     Operating margins rose to 16.7% in the first quarter of 2001 from 15.5% in
 the same period of last year. Operating margin gains are primarily the result
 of reductions in SG&A expense as a percentage of revenues due to more
 efficient utilization of assets across the company.  SG&A represented 32.6% of
 revenues in the current year first quarter, down from 33.8% of revenues in the
 comparable period last year.  Net margins increased to 10.8% in the first
 quarter of 2001, up from 10.0% in the same period last year.
 
     Balance Sheet
     West's balance sheet remains strong and as of March 31, 2001, the company
 had cash and cash equivalents totaling $142.1 million, an increase of 31.4%
 since year-end.  In addition, West also invested $14.7 million in capital
 expenditures related to contact center expansion that was financed entirely
 through operating cash flows. The company maintains a favorable 2.6-to-1
 current ratio, which is an improvement from the December 31, 2000 ratio of
 2.1-1.
 
     Outlook
     "Our solid performance this quarter validates our full-service model and
 demonstrates the value we continue to deliver to our clients," explained
 Barker.  "Our variable cost structure enables us to react quickly to market
 changes and is instrumental in our continued competitive performance.
 Additionally, we have entered into several substantial relationships with new
 clients in the communications, insurance, and ISP industries that we
 anticipate will impact our performance in the second half of 2001.  We remain
 cautiously optimistic in our ability to meet our annual projections," he
 concluded.
 
     About West Corporation
     West Corporation is a leading provider of innovative, full-service
 customer care solutions that help Fortune 500 companies acquire, retain and
 grow profitable customer relationships.  West has the technology and
 experience needed to create customized solutions that work for traditional
 business ventures.  West's customer relationship management solutions
 incorporate agent and automated services using the latest in voice and
 Internet technology.
     Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, West has a team of
 approximately 25,000 employees, including an IT staff of approximately 780,
 occupying 30 state-of-the-art contact centers and seven interactive automated
 voice and data processing centers across North America and in India.
     Statements which are not historical facts contained in this release are
 forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such risks
 and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: planned expansion of
 operating facilities; labor market conditions; mergers, acquisitions, or joint
 ventures, including their execution; customer concentrations; technological
 innovation; and general economic conditions. Further information regarding the
 factors that could cause actual results to differ from expected or projected
 results can be found in documents filed by the Company with the United States
 Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC").
 
                                WEST CORPORATION
                       CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
                                   Unaudited
     ($ in thousands except per share amounts and selected operating data)
 
                                       Three Months Ended
                                             31-Mar
                                      2001            2000         % change
 
     Total revenue                  $203,042        $170,059         19.4%
     Cost of services                103,034          86,198         19.5%
     Selling, general and
      administrative expense          66,091          57,427         15.1%
 
     Operating Income                 33,917          26,434         28.3%
 
     Other Income (expense)              654             466         40.3%
     Income before tax                34,571          26,900         28.5%
     Income tax expense               12,661           9,872         28.3%
     Minority Interest                    73              --
     Net income                      $21,837         $17,028         28.2%
 
     Earnings per common share
       Basic                           $0.34           $0.27
       Diluted                         $0.32           $0.25
 
     Weighted average number
      of shares outstanding:
       Basic common shares              64,580         63,892
       Diluted common share             68,434         67,495
 
     Selected operating data:
       Operating margin                  16.7%          15.5%
       Number of workstations           10,878          9,251
        (end of period)
       Number of Ports                  52,377         34,436
        (end of period)
 
     Current assets:               31-Mar-01       31-Dec-00      % change
     Cash and Cash Equivalents      $142,066        $108,113         31.4%
     Trade accounts receivable, net  116,945         129,695         -9.8%
     Other current assets             24,104          45,857        -47.4%
       Total current assets          283,115         283,665         -0.2%
     Net property and equipment      200,518         197,178          1.7%
     Goodwill                         43,206          43,627         -1.0%
     Other assets                     27,903          29,437         -5.2%
       Total assets                 $554,742        $553,907          0.2%
 
     Current liabilities            $110,142        $132,659        -17.0%
     Other liabilities
      & Minority Interest             40,204          43,123         -6.8%
     Stockholders' equity            404,396         378,125          6.9%
       Total liabilities and
        stockholders equity         $554,742        $553,907          0.2%
 
 
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SOURCE West Corporation
    OMAHA, Neb., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- West
 Corporation (Nasdaq:   WSTC) (or "West"), a leading provider of innovative full
 service customer relationship management solutions using the latest in voice
 and Internet technology, announced today results for the first quarter of
 2001.  Revenues expanded by 19.4% to $203.0 million during the first quarter
 and net income increased 28.2% to $21.8 million for the same period.  The
 company cites its continued ability to cross-sell its suite of services and
 deepen existing client relationships for its solid performance this quarter.
 
     Financial Summary (unaudited)
     (In millions, except per share amounts and percentages)
 
                                           Three Months Ended
                                               March 31
                                        2001            2000       Percent
                                                                    Change
      Total Revenue                   $203.0          $170.1         19.4%
      Operating Income                 $33.9           $26.4         28.3%
      Net Income                       $21.8           $17.0         28.2%
      Net Income per share (basic)     $0.34           $0.27
      Net Income per diluted share     $0.32           $0.25
 
     "Despite today's less favorable market conditions, we are very pleased
 with our first quarter results," commented Thomas B. Barker, President and
 Chief Executive Officer. "Our premium brand customer base is focused on
 attracting and retaining customers.  They turn to us as a partner to manage
 their customer relationships and transactions through our suite of integrated
 services.  We are proud of our ability to manage our cost structure and
 control expenses in anticipation of softening market conditions.  As a result,
 we are well-positioned to handle changes in the economy and remain optimistic
 in our ability to meet our stated financial objectives for the rest of the
 year."
 
     Operating Results
     First Quarter Highlights
 
     -- For the quarter ended March 31, 2001, revenues expanded 19.4% to
        $203.0 million from $170.1 million in the prior years first quarter.
     -- Operating income rose by 28.3% to $33.9 million, up from $26.4 million
        in the comparable period of 2000.  Net income increased 28.2% to
        $21.8 million from $17.0 million last year.
     -- EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization)
        rose 22.6% to $46.0 million from $37.6 million in the prior year
        comparable period.
     -- Fully diluted earnings per share for the quarter was 32 cents, versus
        25 cents in the first quarter 2000.
 
     "Our pre-tax margins reflect our ability to generate additional operating
 efficiencies and focus on cost reduction opportunities across the company.
 SG&A expense as a percentage of revenues continued to decline by approximately
 1.2% for the quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2000," commented
 Michael Micek, Chief Financial Officer of West.  "During the quarter, we
 increased our total number of workstations from 10,147 to 10,878.  The
 majority of this increase occurred at our newly opened contact center in
 Beaumont, Texas and we expect to continue to expand during the second and
 third quarters of 2001."
 
     Margins
     Operating margins rose to 16.7% in the first quarter of 2001 from 15.5% in
 the same period of last year. Operating margin gains are primarily the result
 of reductions in SG&A expense as a percentage of revenues due to more
 efficient utilization of assets across the company.  SG&A represented 32.6% of
 revenues in the current year first quarter, down from 33.8% of revenues in the
 comparable period last year.  Net margins increased to 10.8% in the first
 quarter of 2001, up from 10.0% in the same period last year.
 
     Balance Sheet
     West's balance sheet remains strong and as of March 31, 2001, the company
 had cash and cash equivalents totaling $142.1 million, an increase of 31.4%
 since year-end.  In addition, West also invested $14.7 million in capital
 expenditures related to contact center expansion that was financed entirely
 through operating cash flows. The company maintains a favorable 2.6-to-1
 current ratio, which is an improvement from the December 31, 2000 ratio of
 2.1-1.
 
     Outlook
     "Our solid performance this quarter validates our full-service model and
 demonstrates the value we continue to deliver to our clients," explained
 Barker.  "Our variable cost structure enables us to react quickly to market
 changes and is instrumental in our continued competitive performance.
 Additionally, we have entered into several substantial relationships with new
 clients in the communications, insurance, and ISP industries that we
 anticipate will impact our performance in the second half of 2001.  We remain
 cautiously optimistic in our ability to meet our annual projections," he
 concluded.
 
     About West Corporation
     West Corporation is a leading provider of innovative, full-service
 customer care solutions that help Fortune 500 companies acquire, retain and
 grow profitable customer relationships.  West has the technology and
 experience needed to create customized solutions that work for traditional
 business ventures.  West's customer relationship management solutions
 incorporate agent and automated services using the latest in voice and
 Internet technology.
     Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, West has a team of
 approximately 25,000 employees, including an IT staff of approximately 780,
 occupying 30 state-of-the-art contact centers and seven interactive automated
 voice and data processing centers across North America and in India.
     Statements which are not historical facts contained in this release are
 forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such risks
 and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: planned expansion of
 operating facilities; labor market conditions; mergers, acquisitions, or joint
 ventures, including their execution; customer concentrations; technological
 innovation; and general economic conditions. Further information regarding the
 factors that could cause actual results to differ from expected or projected
 results can be found in documents filed by the Company with the United States
 Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC").
 
                                WEST CORPORATION
                       CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
                                   Unaudited
     ($ in thousands except per share amounts and selected operating data)
 
                                       Three Months Ended
                                             31-Mar
                                      2001            2000         % change
 
     Total revenue                  $203,042        $170,059         19.4%
     Cost of services                103,034          86,198         19.5%
     Selling, general and
      administrative expense          66,091          57,427         15.1%
 
     Operating Income                 33,917          26,434         28.3%
 
     Other Income (expense)              654             466         40.3%
     Income before tax                34,571          26,900         28.5%
     Income tax expense               12,661           9,872         28.3%
     Minority Interest                    73              --
     Net income                      $21,837         $17,028         28.2%
 
     Earnings per common share
       Basic                           $0.34           $0.27
       Diluted                         $0.32           $0.25
 
     Weighted average number
      of shares outstanding:
       Basic common shares              64,580         63,892
       Diluted common share             68,434         67,495
 
     Selected operating data:
       Operating margin                  16.7%          15.5%
       Number of workstations           10,878          9,251
        (end of period)
       Number of Ports                  52,377         34,436
        (end of period)
 
     Current assets:               31-Mar-01       31-Dec-00      % change
     Cash and Cash Equivalents      $142,066        $108,113         31.4%
     Trade accounts receivable, net  116,945         129,695         -9.8%
     Other current assets             24,104          45,857        -47.4%
       Total current assets          283,115         283,665         -0.2%
     Net property and equipment      200,518         197,178          1.7%
     Goodwill                         43,206          43,627         -1.0%
     Other assets                     27,903          29,437         -5.2%
       Total assets                 $554,742        $553,907          0.2%
 
     Current liabilities            $110,142        $132,659        -17.0%
     Other liabilities
      & Minority Interest             40,204          43,123         -6.8%
     Stockholders' equity            404,396         378,125          6.9%
       Total liabilities and
        stockholders equity         $554,742        $553,907          0.2%
 
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X55818267
 
 SOURCE  West Corporation