JG Wentworth Co (NYSE:JGW) Receives Average Recommendation of "Hold" from Brokerages

Shares of JG Wentworth Co (NYSE:JGW) have received a consensus recommendation of Hold from the six analysts that are currently covering the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have assigned a hold recommendation and two have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year target price among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $2.80.

Shares of JG Wentworth (NYSE:JGW) remained flat at $0.45 during midday trading on Wednesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $0.69 and a 200-day moving average of $1.17. JG Wentworth has a 1-year low of $0.39 and a 1-year high of $10.41.

Separately, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $1.00 price target on shares of JG Wentworth in a research note on Wednesday, May 11th.

The JG Wentworth Company is a diversified financial services company. The Company focuses on providing solutions to consumers in need of cash. The Company conducts its operations through two segments: Structured Settlements and Annuity Purchasing (Structured Settlements), and Home Lending. The Structured Settlements segment provides liquidity to individuals with various financial assets, such as structured settlements, annuities, and lottery winnings, by either purchasing these financial assets for a lump-sum payment, issuing installment obligations payable over time, or serving as a broker to other purchasers of those financial assets.

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Asta Funding Announces Results for Three and Nine Months Ended June 30, 2016

  • $18.8 million in revenue for the three months ended June 30 th, an increase of 87% over the prior year
  • $3.2 million in net income attributable to Asta Funding for the three months ended June 30 th
  • Diluted EPS rose to $0.26 for the three months ended June 30 th
  • $79.9 million investment in Structured Settlements and $43.7 million investment in Personal Injury Claims
  • $73.9 million cash amp; securities as of June 30th

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ, Aug. 09, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Asta Funding, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASFI) (the “Company”), a diversified financial services company, today announced results for the three and nine months ended June 30, 2016.

Gary Stern, Asta chairman, president and CEO said, “Investments made over the last few years in each of our business segments are gaining traction. Results in the third quarter were driven by the strong performances of those investments.

Mr. Stern continued, “Looking forward, we are committed to investing in our areas of focus for growth, including personal injury claims, structured settlements and international distressed consumer assets, while remaining focused on cost savings, balanced growth and value creation for shareholders.”

Fiscal Third Quarter 2016 Results

For the three months ended June 30, 2016, net income attributable to Asta Funding, Inc. was $3.2 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, as compared to net income attributable to Asta Funding, Inc. of $0.2 million, or $0.01 per diluted share for the three months ended June 30, 2015.

For the three months ended June 30, 2016, net income was $4.7million as compared to net income of $0.3 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015.

Total income for the three months ended June 30, 2016 increased $8.8 million to $19.0 million, compared to $10.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015. Total revenue included in the three months ended June 30, 2016 is approximately $3.2 million in revenue from CBC Settlement Funding, LLC on structured settlements, as compared to $2.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015. Also included in total revenues for the three months ended June 30, 2016 is approximately $9.8 million from Pegasus Funding, LLC, the joint venture in the personal injury finance industry, as compared to $1.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015. Disability fee income for the three months ended June 30, 2016 was up by $0.6 million to $1.2 million as compared to $0.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015.

Finance income from the distressed receivable business was down by approximately $0.6 million to $4.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016, as compared to $5.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015.

General and administrative expenses were $10.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016, as compared to $9.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015. The increase for the three months ended June 30, 2016 was primarily attributable to an increase in legal fees, as well as increased operating costs for GAR Disability Advocates relative to the growth in the segment.

Interest expense was $0.8 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016 as compared to $0.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015.

Year-to-Date Results

For the nine months ended June 30, 2016, net income attributable to Asta Funding, Inc. was $3.2 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, as compared to net income attributable to Asta Funding, Inc. of $0.9 million, or $0.07 per diluted share for the nine months ended June 30, 2015.

For the nine months ended June 30, 2016, net income was $5.3million as compared to $1.1 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015.

Total income for the nine months ended June 30, 2016 was $42.3 million, as compared to $31.5 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015. Total revenue included for the nine months ended June 30, 2016 is approximately $9.1 million in revenue from CBC Settlement Funding, LLC on structured settlements, as compared to $7.6 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2016. Also included in total revenues for the nine months ended June 30, 2016 is approximately $14.8 million from Pegasus Funding, LLC, as compared to $6.1 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015. Disability fee income for the nine months ended June 30, 2016 was up by $1.8 million to $2.7 million, as compared to $0.9 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015.

Finance income from the distressed receivable business was down by approximately $1.0 million to $14.7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 from $15.7 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015.

General and administrative expenses were $32.0 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2016, as compared to $27.8 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015. The increase for the nine months ended June 30, 2016 was primarily attributable to expected settlement costs of $2.0 million in connection with an expected legal settlement and a $1.0 million loss reserve related to a reduction in the carrying value of one of the Company’s investments, as well as increased operating costs for GAR Disability Advocates relative to the growth in the segment.

Interest expense was $2.3 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2016, as compared to $1.7 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015. The increase in interest expense is related to the growth in our structured settlement business segment, CBC Settlement Funding, LLC. As of June 30, 2016, CBCs invested balance in structured settlements has increased 23% and 90% since September 30, 2015, and 2014, respectively.

Balance Sheet Review

As of June 30, 2016 the Company had approximately $73.9 million in cash and cash equivalents, $176.5 million in stockholders equity, and a net book value per share of $14.91. At June 30, 2016, the Company had an invested balance of $79.9 million in structured settlements and $43.7 million in personal injury claims.

As part of its tender offer, on May 12, 2016, the Company repurchased 274,284 shares of its common stock at a price of $10.25 per share. Total shares repurchased by the Company as a part of its previously terminated Shares Repurchase Plan and tender offer during the nine months ended June 30, 2016 was 1,258,484 at an average price of $8.86.

Investor Call Information

A conference call for investors to hear and discuss results for the three and nine months ended June 30, 2016 will be held on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 10:00 am EDT.

Toll-free dial-in number (US and Canada):
(800) 668-4132

International dial-in number:
(224) 357-2196

Conference ID:
60869283

Phone Replay:
Toll-Free #: (800) 585-8367
Toll #: (404) 537-3406
Conference ID # 60869283
Recording will be available for replay two hours after the calls completion through 11:59 pm, EDT on 8/15/16.

About Asta

Asta Funding, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASFI), headquartered inEnglewood Cliffs, New Jersey, is a diversified financial services company that assists consumers and serves investors through the strategic management of four complementary business segments: Personal Injury Claims, Structured Settlements, International Consumer Debt and Disability Advocacy.

Founded in 1994 as a sub-prime auto lender, Asta now manages business units that include funding of personal injury claimsthrough an 80percent owned subsidiary,Pegasus Funding LLC;structured settlements through its wholly owned subsidiary,CBC Settlement Funding LLC; acquiring andmanaging international distressed consumer receivables through its wholly owned subsidiary,Palisades Acquisitions LLC;andbenefits advocacythrough its wholly owned subsidiary,GAR Disability Advocates, LLC.For additional information, please visit our website athttp://www.astafunding.com.

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 objectives 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 debtors 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, 2015 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.

Big Mistake: Waiting for “The Big One” to Start Planning Wealth Accumulation

Trial Lawyer Myth:
“I have to get a big fee in order to make deferral and accumulation actually work.”

Fact:
Waiting for the big fee to come along – and not already having it spoken for when it arrives – is a significant reason why wealth accumulation doesnt happen for so many attorneys.

In truth, trial lawyers should start planning person wealth now if they haven’t already begun – and that goes for equity partners and associates as well as those brand new to the trial bar. Self-confidence and tireless legal work do not automatically correlate to financial success at home. In addition to putting your nose to the grindstone, it’s crucial to have an overall personal financial plan in place – for both building wealth and managing cash flow at your law firm.

Now more than ever, the ability to build wealth starts right out of the gate. Younger trial attorneys are serving in a variety of leadership capacities in lawsuits and in the legal community. Female lawyers are fiercely closing the gender gap. More opportunities are on the horizon. That’s why it’s critical to start planning for financial success now, so it can grow alongside your professional success.

One strong (but not absolute) suggestion is structuring attorneys’ fees, which can be one effective part to that overall plan for financial success. Wherever you are in the timeline of your practice, consider the following factors about deferred compensation and structured fees:

  1. Deferred compensation is essentially an extension to your savings plan. Once you begin, you flip the switch to becoming a saver versus someone who is just perpetually generating revenue.
  2. The IRS limits how much anyone can defer in any one tax year–unless you are a trial lawyer working on contingency. Then it’s unlimited. Take advantage of it!
  3. Not all partners in a firm have to participate.
  4. Structured fees operate outside of 409A. Therefore, they don’t have minimums or maximums, are not census tested, don’t require a commitment on an annual basis, and are completely flexible in design.
  5. Attorney tax payers are taxed in the year of distribution; it’s recommended that the plans are put in the individual name of the lawyer, not the firm. So no tax is due on earned fees in the year the case settled. Control when you recognize income.
  6. Fees deferred and not recognized by the firm are accounted for in the same manner as cash distributions amongst partners for equity of distribution. Associates and newer attorneys to a firm can be rewarded with additional deferred comp as a tool for retention.
  7. Referring attorneys would be grateful to know you are thinking about their bottom line and not just sending them a check, but rather you are negotiating settlements that provide options for your firm and theirs.
  8. The growth of the assets can be based upon broad equity markets, so it’s not just your three percent annuity anymore.

When considering these factors, it’s important to remember that long-term financial security comes from continuous efforts and small wins. It’s the accumulation game. A consistent approach to deferral and accumulation can really make the difference over a decade. We have clients who have consistently done this on three to five cases a year for the past decade, and they have over $1 million pretax dollars working for them. It’s as simple as getting base hits.

Indeed, a trial attorney and his or her practice has to be financially ready to put a plan in place and stick to it. Consider your options carefully. The structured fee could be in your arsenal of long-term financial planning. Find your own expert and plan to incorporate this strategy into your planning and goals.

Three Movers to Watch for: CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF), MetLife, Inc. (MET), Pfizer Inc. (PFE)

CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF) retreated with the stock falling -12.6% or $-3.09 to close at $21.43 on light trading volume of 25.85M compared its three months average trading volume of 4.96M. The Deerfield Illinois 60015 based company operating under the Agricultural Chemicals industry has been trending down for the last 52 weeks, with the shares price now -64.09% down for the period and down by -46.4% so far this year. With price target of $29.5 and a -5.8% rebound from 52-week low, CF Industries Holdings, Inc. has plenty of upside potential, making it a hold with a view buy.

CF Industries Holdings, Inc. manufactures and distributes nitrogen fertilizers and other nitrogen products worldwide. The company operates through Ammonia, Granular Urea, UAN, AN, Other, and Phosphate segments. Its primary nitrogen fertilizer products include ammonia, granular urea, urea ammonium nitrate, and ammonium nitrate. The company also provides diesel exhaust fluid, urea liquor, nitric acid, and aqua ammonia as well as compound fertilizer product, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizer. It offers products primarily to cooperatives, independent fertilizer distributors, farmers, and industrial users. CF Industries Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1946 and is based in Deerfield, Illinois.

MetLife, Inc. (MET) dropped $-4.16 to close the day at a new closing price of $39.54, a -9.52% decrease in value from its previous closing price that moved the stock 14.01% above its 52 week low of $35. A total of 25.45M shares exchanged hands during the day compared with its three month average trading volume of 7.3M. The stock, which fluctuated between $38.87 and $41.32 during the day, currently situated -28.32% below its 52 week high. The stock is up by 3.1% in the past one month and down by -7.64% over the past three months. With a one year target estimate of $49.42 and RSI of 36.98, the stock still has upside potential, making it a hold for now.

MetLife, Inc. provides life insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and asset management products in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. It operates in six segments: Retail; Group, Voluntary amp; Worksite Benefits; Corporate Benefit Funding; Latin America; Asia; and Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company provides variable, universal, term, and whole life products; individual disability income products; personal lines property and casualty insurance, including private passenger automobile, homeowners, and personal excess liability insurance; and variable and fixed annuities for asset accumulation and distribution needs, as well as mutual funds and other securities products. It also offers group insurance products, such as variable, universal, and term life products; dental, group short- and long-term disability, and accidental death and dismemberment coverages; and voluntary and worksite products consisting of personal lines property and casualty insurance, as well as LTC, prepaid legal plans, and critical illness products. In addition, the company provides annuity and investment products comprising guaranteed interest products and other stable value products, income annuities, and separate account contracts for the investment management of defined benefit and defined contribution plan assets; and structured settlements and products to fund postretirement benefits and company-, bank- or trust-owned life insurance, as well as health insurance, group medical, credit insurance, endowment, retirement, and savings products. It serves individuals and corporations, as well as other institutions and their employees. The company sells its products through sales forces, third-party organizations, independent agents, and property and casualty specialists, as well as through career agency, bancassurance, direct marketing, brokerage, and e-commerce channels. MetLife, Inc. was founded in 1863 and is based in New York, New York.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) shares were down in last trading by -0.4% to $35.15. It experienced higher than average volume on day. The stock decreased in value by almost -3.35% over the past week and fell -1.17% in the past month. It is currently trading -0.14% below its 50 day moving average and 9.31% above its 200 day moving average. Following the recent decrease in price, the stock’s new closing price represents a -5.21% decrease in value from its one year high of $37.39. The RSI indicator value of 39.57, lead us to believe that it is a hold for now.

Pfizer Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products worldwide. The company operates through Global Innovative Pharmaceutical (GIP); Global Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare (VOC); and Global Established Pharmaceutical (GEP) segments. The GIP segment develops and commercializes medicines for various therapeutic areas, including inflammation/immunology, cardiovascular/metabolic, neuroscience/pain, and rare diseases. The VOC segment develops and commercializes vaccines, as well as products for oncology and consumer healthcare. It provides over-the-counter products comprising dietary supplements under the Centrum, Caltrate, and Emergen-C brands; pain management products under the Advil and ThermaCare brands; gastrointestinal products under the Nexium 24HR/Nexium Control and Preparation H brands; and respiratory and personal care products under the brand names of Robitussin, Advil Cold amp; Sinus, Advil Sinus Congestion Relief amp; Pain, Dimetapp, and ChapStick. The GEP segment offers products that have lost marketing exclusivity in various markets; and branded generics, generic sterile injectable products, biosimilars, infusion systems, and other products. The company serves wholesalers, retailers, hospitals, clinics, government agencies, pharmacies, and individual provider offices, as well as centers for disease control and prevention. It has licensing agreements with Cellectis SA and AstraZeneca PLC; and collaborative agreements with Eli Lilly amp; Company, OPKO Health, Inc., BioRap Technologies LTD., and Merck KGaA. Pfizer Inc. was founded in 1849 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Trend Analysis Report: Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET)

$7 million, $0.02 per diluted share, in restructuring costs counting employee severance; and

$5 million, $0.01 per diluted share, in discrete tax expense.

After consideration of these net favorable items, second quarter 2016 adjusted net income was $64 million, or $0.17 per diluted share.

For the three months ended June 30, 2015, the company stated a net income attributable to controlling interest of $342 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. The second quarter of 2015 included net unfavorable items of $66 million, $0.18 per diluted share, associated with losses on the impairment of the midwater floater asset group and other assets classified as held for sale, partially offset by Macondo-related settlements and insurance recoveries. After consideration of these net unfavorable items, adjusted net income was $408 million, or $1.11 per diluted share.

Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) lost -2.74% and closed in the last trading session at $40.15. MET stock’s price is now -26.54% down from its 52-week high and 16.84% up from its 52-week low. Beta factor of the stock stands at 1.88. Beta factor is used to measure the volatility of the stock. The stock remained 3.16% volatile for the week and 2.11% for the month. MetLife, Inc. provides life insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and asset administration products in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. It operates in six segments: Retail; Group, Voluntary amp; Worksite Benefits; Corporate Benefit Funding; Latin America; Asia; and Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company provides variable, universal, term, and whole life products; individual disability income products; personal lines property and casualty insurance, counting private passenger automobile, homeowners, and personal excess liability insurance; and variable and fixed annuities for asset accumulation and distribution needs, in addition to mutual funds and other securities products. It also offers group insurance products, such as variable, universal, and term life products; dental, group short- and long-term disability, and accidental death and dismemberment coverages; and voluntary and worksite products consisting of personal lines property and casualty insurance, in addition to LTC, prepaid legal plans, and critical illness products. In addition, the company provides annuity and investment products comprising guaranteed interest products and other stable value products, income annuities, and separate account contracts for the investment administration of defined benefit and defined contribution plan assets; and structured settlements and products to fund postretirement benefits and company-, bank- or trust-owned life insurance, in addition to health insurance, group medical, credit insurance, endowment, retirement, and savings products