Moelis & Company’s (MC - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of 38 cents per share easily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 25 cents. However, the figure decreased 51% year over year.
Results reflect higher other income and solid liquidity position. However, rise in operating expenses and lower revenues acted as headwinds.
Net income (GAAP basis) was $27.2 million or 38 cents per share, down from $56 million or 72 cents recorded in the prior-year quarter.
In 2019, adjusted earnings of $1.96 per share beat the consensus estimate of $1.83. However, it declined 35% year over year. Net income (GAAP basis) was $135.7 million or $1.89 per share, down from $208 million or $2.78 per share in 2018.
Revenues Decline, Costs Rise
Total revenues in the quarter fell 6% year over year to $223.5 million. The decline was primarily due to lower number of completed transactions, partially offset by higher average fees earned per completed transaction. Nonetheless, the top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $204.5 million.
In 2019, net revenues were $746.5 million, down 16%. However, the figure outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $733.1 million.
Total operating expenses (adjusted basis) were $201.6 million, up 16% year over year. Increase in both compensation and benefits costs led to this rise.
Other income (adjusted basis) was $6.4 million, up 32% from the year-ago quarter.
As of Dec 31, 2019, the company had cash and liquid investments of $341.8 million.
During 2019, Moelis & Company repurchased nearly 1.3 million shares for $51.2 million.
Moelis & Company announced a special dividend of 75 cents per share, and hiked quarterly dividend by 2% to 51 cents per share. Both these dividends will be paid out on Mar 27 to shareholders of record as on Feb 18.
Moelis & Company’s global expansion initiatives, along with strategic partnerships in Japan and Mexico, are likely to support revenues. However, its hiring trend is likely to lead to a persistent increase in overall costs. Thus, higher expenses might hamper bottom-line growth to an extent.
Currently, Moelis & Company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Performance of Other Investment Banks
LPL Financial’s (LPLA - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $1.68 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.62. The figure reflects an increase of 13% from the prior-year quarter.
Interactive Brokers Group (IBKR - Free Report) recorded fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings per share of 58 cents. The figure matched the prior-year quarter’s earnings.
Evercore’s (EVR - Free Report) fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $2.72 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.14. However, the bottom line declined 31% from the prior-year quarter.
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