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ISC churning out the cash in low growth climate

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 9:01
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(Before It's News)

Information Services Corp (TSE:ISV), better known as ISC, notched up its fourteenth consecutive quarter of profitability in the final three months of 2016.

The Saskatchewan-based business services provider reported underlying earnings (EBITDA) of C$6.98mln in the final quarter of 2016 on revenue of C$21.2mln.

That took the full-year totals to C$29.53mln, up from EBITDA the previous year of C$28.86mln, and C$88.4mln, up from revenue of C$78.3mln in 2015.

Revenue for the registries segment for 2016 was C$74.0-million, a decrease of 1.4% compared with 2015.

Within that, revenue for the land registry business eased 3.4% to C$54.9mln, while revenue from the personal property registry was down just a shade at C$9.9mln.

Revenue for the corporate registry activities rose 11.7% year-on-year from 2015’s level.

In 2016, the group got a full year’s contribution from ESC, the company it bought in October 2015, which contributed to a C$10.5mln increase in revenue to C$13.6mln.

Depreciation and amortization costs were C$8.4mln in 2016, compared with C$5.7mln the year before.

The increase was mainly due to the additional depreciation from capital assets of the services segment and the acceleration of depreciation of certain assets replaced by the new technology system for the Saskatchewan corporate registry, due to a reassessment of their useful lives.

ISC ended 2016 with C$33.7mln in cash, down slightly from C$36.6mln a year earlier. At the end of the year it had C$23.4mln of long-term debt.

It has declared a quarterly dividend of 20 cents.

In its outlook statement the company made its now traditional observation about how the company’s fortunes on the Registries side are more than somewhat tied to the activity levels in the economies of Saskatchewan and, to a lesser extent, in Ontario and Quebec.

At present, the company expects the 2017 Saskatchewan economy to be comparable with 2016, which drives its registries segment results, with stability or some softening of growth anticipated for the central Canadian markets, affecting the services segment.

ISC said it expects an EBITDA margin of between 31 per cent and 33 per cent in 2017.

Management expects capital expenditure in 2017 to be in the range of C$5.0mln to $6.0mln, financed from operating cash flow.

This expenditure is expected to continue to focus on the maintenance, enhancement and upgrade of core technology components and enterprise systems in both the registries and services segments.

On the Services side, the company’s is expecting a slowing economy to deliver modest growth across most of the services business, with some 2016 new business contributing to improving margins and growing revenue in particular segments of the business.

ISC expects some increases in its overall expenses as it continues to invest in additional sales and information technology support.

“Despite flat economic conditions, our continued focus on our customers and our costs has shown that we can generate strong free cash flow in a challenging environment. Looking forward into 2017, you can continue to expect much the same from ISC. We intend to stay the course with our focus on our existing business while looking for opportunities which will position our company for the future,” said Jeff Stusek, president and chief executive officer of ISC.

Shares in ISC were down 55 cents at C$18.55 in mid-morning trading.

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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