In This Online Lender’s Earnings Report, Profits, MCAs and Term Loans

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Enova (NYSE:ENVA) shows that an online lending business can be profitable

Limited details were offered when Enova, a publicly traded company, acquired The Business Backer (TBB) in June 2015. For one, the Cincinnati Business Courier had the exclusive, which one might not describe as the typical go-to source for online finance news. But TBB was not typical. Based in Blue Ash, Ohio as opposed to New York City or San Francisco, the company had originally focused on offering merchant cash advances before eventually expanding their suite of solutions to include other products.

According to Enova’s earnings report, TBB had been purchased for $26.4 million with an estimated contingent $5.7 million of that being based on future earn-out opportunities. There was a caveat though. If future operating results exceeded expectations, that contingent amount could increase over time, but not beyond where the total consideration paid for the company exceeded $71 million. As of 2016’s year-end, that contingent amount had increased by $3.3 million.

Enova’s report makes several mentions of their merchant cash advance business or as they call them, receivable purchase agreements (RPAs). For the most part, they obscure the financial metrics of this aspect by lumping it in with installment loans. These installment loans are described as “multi-payment unsecured consumer installment loan products in 17 states in the United States and in the United Kingdom and Brazil” with repayment periods of two to sixty months, so yeah, they’re pretty different.

Their RPA customers, however, “average approximately $1.5 million in annual sales and 10 years of operating history while those who obtain an open line of credit account average approximately $450 thousand in annual sales and 7 years of operating history,” the report says. These lines of credit are primarily offered through a business lending subsidiary called Headway Capital.

While companies like Lending Club and OnDeck grab all the headlines, Enova describes itself as a “leading technology and analytics company focused on providing online financial services.” And in 2016, they extended nearly $2.1 billion in credit to borrowers and had a net income of $34.6 million.

On the company’s Q4 earnings call in February, Company CEO David Fisher said, “There currently seems to be a bit of a shakeout occurring in the non-bank small business lending and financing industry. A number of our competitors have either ceased funding or completely shut down over the past several months. From the intelligence we were able to gather, this is largely due to credit issues and their portfolios. As we mentioned last quarter, we have taken a more methodical approach than some to growth for our small business products. And we’re now seeing the benefits of that approach. Recent advantages of our small business book are performing well and the unit economics continue to improve especially as acquisition costs have dropped following the shakeout I just mentioned.”

Enova’s small business financing portfolio only constituted 12% of their loan portfolio at the end of last year. And at $13.70 a share, the company’s current market cap is larger than OnDeck’s.

Last modified: March 22, 2017
Sean Murray


Category: Loans

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