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Rating:AUM Falls 24 Percent Year-Over-Year at Eaton Vance Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, November 26, 2008

AUM Falls 24 Percent Year-Over-Year at Eaton Vance

News summary by MFWire's editors

Eaton Vance's latest earnings report provides of glimpse of how fund firms are faring in the wake of 'Red October'. The Boston-based closed-end specialist saw earnings per diluted share drop to $0.28 for the quarter ended October 31, 2008, down from $0.47 a year ago. That drop accompanied a 24 percent drop in assets under management, from $161.7 billion on October 31, 2007 to $123.1 billion on October 31, 2008.

And Eaton Vance is already reducing expenses somewhat while assets fall. The asset manager's operating expenses dropped eight percent ($14.6 million) in the most recent quarter, thanks to a 17 percent drop in compensation from moves like bonus reductions. CEO Thomas Faust doesn't want to cut staff though.

"We had organic growth of about 9 percent over the last year," Faust told Reuters, "and so it shouldn't be a surprise that we don't see a lot of opportunity for cutting staff."

Despite the AUM drop, Eaton Vance still managed to maintain positive inflows of $14.7 billion for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2008.


Company Press Release

BOSTON, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Eaton Vance (NASDAQ:EV) reported earnings per diluted share of $0.28 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 compared to earnings per diluted share of $0.47 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Fourth quarter fiscal 2008 earnings were reduced approximately $0.13 per diluted share by net realized and unrealized investment losses, including impairment losses. Fourth quarter fiscal 2007 earnings were reduced approximately $0.05 per diluted share by costs associated with a reorganization of Eaton Vance Distributors, Inc. and a loss realized on an interest rate lock.

Net inflows of $0.3 billion into long-term funds and separate accounts in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 consisted of gross sales and other inflows of $10.6 billion, client withdrawals of $9.0 billion and reductions in leverage of $1.3 billion. Before the effects of deleveraging, the Company's annualized internal growth rate for the quarter was 4 percent. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 the Company had gross sales and other inflows of $8.2 billion, net inflows of $2.2 billion and an annualized internal growth rate of 6 percent.

"In the midst of extremely challenging market conditions, Eaton Vance remains solidly profitable and financially strong," said Thomas E. Faust Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Our ability to maintain positive net sales in this environment speaks to the strength of our investment teams and our powerful distribution capabilities. We believe we are positioned to emerge from the current downturn with a competitive standing that is stronger than ever."

For the fiscal year, the Company earned $1.57 per diluted share compared to earnings of $1.06 per diluted share in fiscal 2007. In addition to the fourth quarter items described above, earnings in fiscal 2007 were reduced approximately $0.65 per diluted share by closed-end fund-related expenses. Assets under management decreased $38.6 billion, or 24 percent, to $123.1 billion on October 31, 2008 from $161.7 billion on October 31, 2007, a period in which the S&P 500 Index was down 37 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 33 percent. The decrease in assets under management for the fiscal year reflects long-term fund and separate account net inflows of $14.7 billion offset by net price declines of managed assets of $52.5 billion. The net inflows of $14.7 billion in fiscal 2008 compare to net inflows of $22.9 billion, or $12.9 billion excluding closed-end fund flows, in fiscal 2007. Gross sales and other inflows into long-term funds and separate accounts were $45.7 billion in fiscal 2008 and $46.4 billion in fiscal 2007. Excluding closed-end fund flows, the Company achieved record flows on both a gross and net basis in fiscal 2008.

Fourth Quarter Highlights

Retail managed account net inflows increased 38 percent to $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 from $0.8 billion in the same period last fiscal year. The increase reflects continued strong net sales of Parametric Portfolio Associates' overlay and tax-efficient core equity products and Eaton Vance Management's large-cap value product. Long-term fund net outflows of $0.4 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 consisted of $6.7 billion of fund sales and other inflows, $5.8 billion of fund redemptions and a $1.3 billion reduction in fund leverage. Net inflows into long-term funds were $0.9 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Institutional and high- net-worth separate account net outflows were $0.3 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 compared to net inflows of $0.6 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, primarily reflecting outflows from Parametric Portfolio Associates and Atlanta Capital Management. Tables 1-4 on page 7 summarize the Company's assets under management and asset flows by investment category.

In evaluating operating performance, the Company considers operating income and net income, which are calculated on a basis consistent with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"), as well as adjusted operating income, a non-GAAP performance measure. Adjusted operating income is defined as operating income excluding the results of consolidated funds and adding back closed-end fund structuring fees and one-time payments, stock-based compensation and the write-off of any intangible assets associated with the Company's acquisitions. The Company believes that adjusted operating income is a key indicator of the Company's ongoing profitability and therefore uses this measure as the basis for calculating performance-based management incentives. Adjusted operating income is not, and should not be construed to be, a substitute for operating income computed in accordance with GAAP. However, in assessing the performance of the business, management and the Board of Directors look at adjusted operating income as a measure of underlying performance, since operating results of consolidated funds and amounts resulting from one-time events do not necessarily represent normal results of operations. In addition, when assessing performance, management and the Board look at performance both with and without stock-based compensation.

Adjusted operating income decreased 20 percent to $92.6 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 from $115.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.

Revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 decreased $44.0 million, or 15 percent, to $249.8 million from revenue of $293.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Investment advisory and administration fees decreased 10 percent to $192.0 million, reflecting primarily a 7 percent decrease in average assets under management. Distribution and underwriter fees decreased 25 percent due to a decrease in average fund assets that pay these fees. Service fee revenue decreased 12 percent due to a decrease in average fund assets subject to service fees. Other revenue declined in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 due to $7.7 million of net realized and unrealized losses on investments of consolidated funds.

Operating expenses in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 decreased $14.6 million, or 8 percent, to $173.4 million compared to operating expenses of $188.0 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Compensation expense decreased 17 percent, as increases in employee headcount and base salary and benefit costs were offset by reduced bonus accruals and lower sales-based incentives and stock-based compensation. Distribution expense decreased 11 percent due primarily to a decrease in commissions paid on certain sales of Class A shares, a decrease in Class C distribution fees and a decrease in payments made under certain closed-end fund compensation agreements. Service fee expense decreased 8 percent, in line with the decrease in assets subject to service fees. Fund expenses remained flat in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Other expenses increased 38 percent, primarily due to increases in facilities expenses related to the Company's pending move to a new headquarters in downtown Boston and increased information technology spending.

Interest income in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 decreased 54 percent from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 due to lower average cash and short- term investment balances coupled with a lower effective interest rate earned on those balances. Interest expense increased $5.6 million from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 due to higher average debt levels as a result of the Company's senior note offering in October 2007. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 the Company recognized $13.2 million of impairment losses on investments in collateralized debt obligation entities and $4.2 million of net realized and unrealized losses on separate account investments. For comparison, the Company recognized $4.7 million of net losses on investments in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. The Company's effective tax rate, calculated as a percentage of income before minority interest and equity in net income of affiliates, was 37.7 percent and 39.7 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2007, respectively.

Net income in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 was $35.0 million compared to $61.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.

Annual Highlights

The Company's revenue increased one percent to $1.1 billion in fiscal 2008. Investment advisory and administration fees increased 5 percent to $815.7 million, reflecting a 5 percent increase in average assets under management. Distribution and underwriter fees decreased 13 percent due to a decrease in average fund assets that pay these fees. Service fee revenue was flat due to average fund assets that pay service fees remaining consistent with the prior year. Other revenue decreased $11.3 million due primarily to $9.6 million of net realized and unrealized losses on investments of consolidated funds in fiscal 2008.

Operating expenses in fiscal 2008 decreased 14 percent to $732.0 million compared to operating expenses in fiscal 2007 of $851.2 million. In fiscal 2007, the Company incurred structuring fee payments of $76.0 million and sales-based compensation of $14.8 million in connection with $9.9 billion of closed-end fund sales during the fiscal year and payments of $52.2 million to terminate dealer compensation agreements related to certain previously offered closed-end funds. Excluding these one-time closed-end fund-related expenses, operating expenses increased 3 percent in fiscal 2008 compared to fiscal 2007.

Compensation expense in fiscal 2008 decreased 5 percent compared to fiscal 2007, as increases in employee headcount, base salaries and benefits were offset by reduced bonus accruals, lower sales-based incentives and lower stock-based compensation. Distribution expense decreased 52 percent in fiscal 2008, reflecting the closed-end fund structuring fees and dealer compensation agreement termination payments in fiscal 2007 described in the previous paragraph. Excluding these payments, distribution expense decreased 4 percent in fiscal 2008. Service fee expense increased 6 percent, in line with the increase in assets subject to service fees. Fund expenses increased 24 percent due to growth in fund assets for which the Company employs a subadvisor. Other expenses increased 27 percent, primarily due to increases in information technology and facilities expenses related to the Company's pending move to a new headquarters in downtown Boston.

Interest income in fiscal 2008 increased 6 percent from fiscal 2007 due to an increase in average cash and short-term investment balances. Interest expense in fiscal 2008 increased $30.7 million from fiscal 2007 due to higher average debt balances as a result of the Company's senior note offering in October 2007. In fiscal 2008 the Company recognized $13.2 million of impairment losses on investments in collateralized debt obligation entities and $5.0 million of net realized and unrealized losses on separate account investments. For comparison, the Company recognized $1.9 million of net losses on investments in fiscal 2007. The Company's effective tax rate, calculated as a percentage of income before minority interest and equity in net income of affiliates, was 38.8 percent and 39.1 percent in fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2007, respectively.

Net income in fiscal 2008 was $195.7 million compared to $142.8 million in fiscal 2007.

Cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments decreased to $366.9 million on October 31, 2008 from $485.1 million on October 31, 2007. The Company's strong operating cash flows, combined with the proceeds of the October 2007 senior note offering, enabled it to fund $185.3 million in share repurchases and $69.9 million in dividends to shareholders in fiscal 2008. There were no outstanding borrowings against the Company's $200.0 million credit facility on October 31, 2008.

During fiscal 2008, the Company repurchased and retired 4.5 million shares of its non-voting common stock. Approximately 2.7 million shares remain of the current 8.0 million share repurchase authorization.

Eaton Vance Corp., a Boston-based investment management firm, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EV. Through its subsidiaries, Eaton Vance Corp. manages funds and separate accounts for individual and institutional clients.

This news release contains statements that are not historical facts, referred to as "forward-looking statements." The Company's actual future results may differ significantly from those stated in any forward-looking statements, depending on factors such as changes in securities or financial markets or general economic conditions, client sales and redemption activity, the continuation of investment advisory, administration, distribution and service contracts, and other risks discussed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor


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