Asta Funding, Inc. Announces Earnings for First Quarter Fiscal Year 2013

Asta Funding, Inc. Announces Earnings for First Quarter Fiscal Year 2013

            Net Income of $2.6 Million, or $0.20 Per Diluted Share

  Strong Balance Sheet, No Impairments, Strong Liquidity Position Continues

                      $106 Million in Cash & Securities

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., Feb. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Asta Funding, Inc.
(Nasdaq:ASFI) (the "Company"), a receivable asset management and liquidation
company, today announced earnings for the first quarter of the 2013 fiscal
year, the three-month period ended December 31, 2012.

For the three months ended December 31, 2012, the Company reported net income
of $2,588,000, or $0.20 per diluted share, as compared to net income of
$2,977,000, or $0.20 per diluted share for the comparable period of fiscal
year 2012. Total revenue was $10,552,000 for the quarter ended December 31,
2012, an increase as compared to $10,439,000 for the three month period ended
December 31, 2011. For the three month period ended December 31, 2012, finance
income from fully amortized portfolios (zero basis revenue) was $8,146,000 as
compared to $8,583,000 for the same three month period of the prior year.

General and administrative expenses were $5,593,000 for the three month period
ended December 31, 2012, as compared to general and administrative expenses of
$4,766,000 for the same period in the prior year. General and administrative
expenses increased primarily due to the inclusion of Pegasus Funding, LLC in
this year's results.

There were no impairments in the three month periods ended December 31, 2012
or 2011.

Net cash collections of consumer receivables acquired for liquidation for the
quarter ended December 31, 2012 totaled $13,609,000, including $10,000 from
collections represented by account sales. This compares to the prior year's
total net cash collections of $16,970,000, including $31,000 from collections
represented by account sales. Net cash collections on the Great Seneca
portfolio were $2,653,000 in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 as compared
to $2,720,000 in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012. The carrying value of
the Great Seneca portfolio at December 31, 2012 was $62.8 million, as compared
to $75.6 million at December 31, 2011. The Company invested approximately $7.6
million in personal injury cases during the first quarter of fiscal year 2013
as compared to $4.4 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012.

The Company has $106 million in cash and securities and no senior or
subordinated debt as of December 31, 2012. The balance of the non-recourse
debt to the Bank of Montreal was $58.8 million at December 31, 2012 as
compared to $69.2 million at December 31, 2011.

Gary Stern, Chairman, President and CEO of the Company commented, "We are
pleased by the results of first quarter of fiscal year 2013 with continued
strong liquidity and a solid balance sheet. Total revenues increased in the
first quarter of fiscal year 2013 over the prior year with the revenue coming
from the investments made by Pegasus Funding, LLC in personal injury claims.
The performance in the core business continues as zero basis revenue was $8.1
million in the first quarter, down slightly from $8.6 million in the first
quarter of fiscal year 2012. In addition, investment results and contributions
from the personal injury unit, Pegasus Funding, LLC also contributed to the
improvement in total revenues in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, as we
reported $1.2 million in personal injury fee income." Mr. Stern continued, "At
December 31, 2012 our cash and cash equivalents and investments totaled $106
million. During the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 we invested over $7
million in personal injury claims and repurchased approximately $1.4 million
of Asta Funding, Inc. shares. As of today, total cash and securities are
almost $107 million. Our strong balance sheet puts us in an excellent position
for funding our investment opportunities without the immediate need for
external financing. We are not abandoning our core business as we continue to
review all of our investment options in the distressed receivables market.
However, in this challenging pricing and collection environment, we are
continuing to explore other financing markets that we can effectively service,
and maximize returns to our shareholders."

A conference call to discuss the results of the first quarter of fiscal year
2013 will be held on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 4:00PM, EST.

Conference Call Details

Toll-free dial-in number (U.S. and Canada):
(800) 668-4132
International dial-in number:
(224) 357-2196

Conference ID
98532822

Phone Replay:
Toll-Free #: (800) 585-8367
Toll #: (404) 537-3406
Conference ID # 98532822
Recording will be available from: 02/11/2013 7:00 PM EST to 02/19/2013 11:59
PM EST

About Asta Funding

Based in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Asta Funding, Inc., is a consumer receivable
asset management company that specializes in the purchase, management and
liquidation of performing and non-performing consumer receivables. For
additional information, please visit our website at
http://www.astafunding.com.

The Asta Funding, Inc. logo is available at
http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=8464

Important Information about Forward-Looking Statements:

All statements in this new release other than statements of historical facts,
including without limitation, statements regarding our future financial
position, business strategy, budgets, projected revenues, projected costs, and
plans and objective of management for future operations, are forward-looking
statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of
forward-looking terminology such as "may," "will," "expects," "intends,"
"plans," "projects," "estimates," "anticipates," or "believes" or the negative
thereof, or any variation thereon, or similar terminology or expressions.We
have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and
projections about future events.These forward-looking statements are not
guarantees and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and
assumptions about us that may cause our actual results, levels of activity,
performance or achievements to be materially different from any future
results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied
by such forward-looking statements.Important factors which could materially
affect our results and our future performance include, without limitation, our
ability to purchase defaulted consumer receivables at appropriate prices,
changes in government regulations that affect our ability to collect
sufficient amounts on our defaulted consumer receivables, our ability to
employ and retain qualified employees, changes in the credit or capital
markets, changes in interest rates, deterioration in economic conditions,
negative press regarding the debt collection industry which may have a
negative impact on a debtor's willingness to pay the debt we acquire, and
statements of assumption underlying any of the foregoing, as well as other
factors set forth under "Item 1A.Risk Factors" in our annual report on Form
10-K for the year ended September 30,2012 and other filings with the SEC.All
subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us, or
persons acting on our behalf, are expressly qualified in their entirety by the
foregoing.Except as required by law, we assume no duty to update or revise
any forward-looking statements.


ASTA FUNDING, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(Unaudited)
                                                                
                                                    Three Months Three Months
                                                    Ended        Ended
                                                    December 31, December 31,
                                                     2012         2011
Revenues                                                         
Finance income, net                                  $ 8,490,000  $ 9,790,000
Other income                                         2,062,000    649,000
                                                    10,552,000   10,439,000
Expenses                                                         
General and administrative                           5,593,000    4,766,000
Interest expense                                     569,000      674,000
                                                    6,162,000    5,440,000
                                                                
Income before income taxes                           4,390,000    4,999,000
Income tax expense                                   1,757,000    2,022,000
Net income                                           2,633,000    2,977,000
Less: income attributable to non-controlling         45,000       --
interest
Net income attributable to Asta Funding, Inc.        $ 2,588,000  $ 2,977,000
Net income per share attributable to Asta Funding,               
Inc.:
Net income per share — Basic                         $0.20       $ 0.20
Net income per share — Diluted                       $0.20       $ 0.20
Weighted average number of shares outstanding:                   
Basic                                                12,941,242   14,639,456
                                                                
Diluted                                              13,200,116   14,880,979
                                                                


ASTA FUNDING, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
                                                               
                                                  December 31,  September 30,
                                                  2012          2012
                                                  (Unaudited)   
ASSETS                                                          
Cash and cash equivalents                          $ 18,317,000  $ 4,953,000
Investments:                                                    
Available-for-sale                                 58,815,000    58,712,000
Certificates of deposit                            28,782,000    42,682,000
Restricted cash                                    727,000       1,088,000
Consumer receivables acquired for liquidation (at  81,768,000    86,887,000
net realizable value)
Other investments                                  23,000,000    18,596,000
Due from third party collection agencies and       1,083,000     2,042,000
attorneys
Prepaid and income taxes receivable                708,000       2,057,000
Furniture and equipment, net                       1,345,000     821,000
Deferred income taxes                              10,248,000    10,410,000
Other assets                                       5,391,000     4,916,000
                                                               
Total assets                                       $ 230,184,000 $ 233,164,000
                                                               
LIABILITIES                                                     
Non recourse debt                                  $ 58,843,000  $ 61,463,000
Other liabilities                                  2,474,000     2,920,000
Dividends payable                                  --            260,000
                                                               
Total liabilities                                  61,317,000    64,643,000
Commitments and contingencies                                   
STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                                            
Preferred stock, $.01 par value; authorized        --            --
5,000,000 shares; issued and outstanding — none
Common stock, $.01 par value; authorized
30,000,000 shares; issued and outstanding —        149,000       148,000
14,882,877 shares at December31, 2012 and
14,778,956 at September30, 2012
Additional paid-in capital                         77,473,000    77,024,000
Retained earnings                                  108,861,000   107,303,000
Accumulated other comprehensive income             (80,000)      241,000
Treasury stock (at cost), 1,923,238 shares at
December 31, 2012 and 1,772,038 shares at          (17,612,000)  (16,226,000)
September 30, 2012.
                                                               
Total stockholders' equity                         168,791,000   168,490,000
Non-controlling interest                           76,000        31,000
Total equity                                       168,867,000   168,521,000
                                                               
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity         $ 230,184,000 $ 233,164,000
                                                               

CONTACT: Robert J. Michel, CFO
         Asta Funding, Inc.
         (201) 567-5648

Asta Funding, Inc. Logo
 
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