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NewStar Reports Fourth Quarter 2010 Results

Addition of New Specialized Lending Platforms and Continued Improvement in Financial Results Cap a Successful Year

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Financial results continued to improve with adjusted net income of $10.1 million, or $0.19 per diluted share

GAAP net income was $9.4 million, or $0.18 per diluted share

New loan origination volume increased 62% to $235 million in the fourth quarter and $572 million for the year

Recognized $5.6 million pre-tax gain on the acquisition of asset-based lender and assumed a $225 million credit facility to fund related new lending activity

Launched new equipment finance business and added a new $75 million credit facility to fund new leasing activity

Increased book value per share to $10.96

BOSTON, Feb. 16, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NewStar Financial, Inc. (Nasdaq:NEWS), a specialized commercial finance company, today reported adjusted net income for the fourth quarter of 2010 of $10.1 million, or $0.19 per diluted share. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported net income of $9.4 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, which reflected $0.7 million after-tax non-cash equity compensation expense related to the 2006 IPO.

"Adjusted net income (loss)" and other non-GAAP financial measures used in this release are defined under "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" on page 5. Reconciliations between GAAP and adjusted (non-GAAP) measures can be found in the attached financial tables.

"I am very pleased with our results in the fourth quarter as our operating performance continued to improve and we executed on important strategic initiatives that broadened our capabilities and strengthened our national origination franchise," said Tim Conway, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The launch of our equipment finance business marked another important milestone for the company as we continue to execute our strategy to add specialized lending platforms in attractive market segments that are consistent with our core strengths and enhance our value proposition for customers. The value of our national direct origination platforms was evident in the gains we made in new loan origination throughout the year and our financial results in the quarter capped off what has been a very successful year for NewStar."Acquisitions and New Business Initiatives

Purchased Core Business Credit, LLC, an asset-based lender, and its wholly owned subsidiaries for a purchase price of $25.3 million. Recognized a gain of $5.6 million in connection with the acquisition.

Launched equipment finance business in January 2011 to lease essential-use equipment for mid-sized companies.Loan Credit Quality

The provision for credit losses decreased $1.9 million as the Company had an $0.8 million reversal of provision in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to provision of $1.2 million in the third quarter of 2010.

Approximately $8.0 million of additional specific reserves were established in the fourth quarter of 2010, up $4.8 million, from $3.2 million in the third quarter of 2010.

The allowance for credit losses decreased to $84.8 million, or 4.99% of loans and 63% of NPLs, at December 31, 2010, compared to $91.5 million, or 5.20% of loans, at September 30, 2010.

Three new loans totaling $22.6 million were placed on non-accrual status in the fourth quarter of 2010.

At December 31, 2010, loans with an aggregate outstanding balance, net of charge-offs, of $135.6 million were on non-accrual status compared to loans with an aggregate outstanding balance, net of charge-offs, of $128.2 million at September 30, 2010. Non-performing assets, net of charge-offs, specific reserves and other adjustments were $139.0 million, or 44% of their aggregate face amount, as of December 31, 2010.

Non-accrual loans with an outstanding balance of $106.0 million and an additional accruing loan with an outstanding balance of $8.4 million as of December 31, 2010 were also delinquent loans.

Net charge-offs were $5.9 million, or 1.38% of loans on an annualized basis, in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to $10.4 million or 2.36% of loans on an annualized basis in the third quarter of 2010.

The Company owned an interest in one property valued at $3.4 million, which was included in other real estate owned ("OREO") as of December 31, 2010.Funding and Capital

Assumed a $225 million credit facility with DZ Bank through CORE Business Credit acquisition, which is used to fund asset-based lending activity.

Added a $75 million credit facility with Wells Fargo to fund new equipment lease originations.

Approximately 89% of loans were funded by long term capital at December 31, 2010.

Approximately 74% of loans were funded by securitized term debt at attractive, locked-in spreads as of December 31, 2010. The ability to re-invest collections from repayments and amortization of certain of these loans represents a continuing source of funding.

Balance sheet leverage was 2.5x as of December 31, 2010, consistent since September 30, 2010, as repayments of advances under credit facilities and amortization of debt issued by CLO 2005-1 were offset by an increase in other borrowings.

Total cash and equivalents as of December 31, 2010 were $233 million, of which $54 million was unrestricted. Unrestricted cash increased from approximately $29 million at September 30, 2010 and restricted cash increased from approximately $155 million to $178 million.Managed and Owned Loan Portfolios

Total origination volume for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $235 million, which reflected improving demand for loans and increased M&A activity.

The composition of the owned loan portfolio continued to reflect a focus on senior debt with 97% invested in 1st lien senior secured loans at December 31, 2010.

The managed loan portfolio was $2.2 billion as of December 31, 2010 (down from $2.3 billion at September 30, 2010), reflecting the net impact of prepayments and scheduled amortization of existing loans, as well as charge-offs, which was partially offset by new loan origination.

Assets managed for the NCOF were $452 million at December 31, 2010, down 10% from September 30, 2010.

The owned loan portfolio was $1.7 billion as of December 31, 2010 down slightly from September 30, 2010.

The owned loan portfolio continued to be balanced across industry sectors and highly diversified by issuer. As of December 31, 2010, no outstanding borrowings by a single issuer represented more than 1.5% of total loans outstanding, and the ten largest issuers comprised approximately 10% of the loan portfolio.Net Interest Income / Margin

Net interest income before provision for credit losses was $19.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to $17.8 million for the third quarter of 2010.

Net interest margin increased 38 bps to 4.01% for the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to 3.63% for the third quarter of 2010 due principally to increase in net interest spread from new origination and repricings, as well as the accelerated amortization of certain deferred financing fees.

Adjusting for the impact of non-performing loans, the portfolio yield would have been 56 bps higher and net interest margin would have been 4.57%.   Non-Interest Income

Non-interest income was $6.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to $2.5 million for the third quarter of 2010. 

Non-interest income in the fourth quarter of 2010 consisted primarily of a $5.6 million gain on the acquisition of Core, $0.7 million of asset management income, $0.4 million of unused fees on revolving credit commitments and $0.4 million of structuring fees.Expenses

Operating expenses increased to $11.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to $10.0 million in the third quarter of 2010 due principally to the inclusion of expenses of CORE Business Credit which was acquired as of November 1, 2010.

The Company had 82 employees as of December 31, 2010.Income Taxes

Deferred tax asset declined to $48.1 million as of December 31, 2010 from $50.2 million as of September 30, 2010. At December 31, 2010, the deferred tax asset was driven principally by differences in the timing of when credit costs and equity compensation expenses are recognized according to GAAP and when they are deductible for income tax. 

Approximately $34 million and $12 million of the deferred tax asset as of December 31, 2010 was related to our allowance for credit losses and equity compensation, respectively.Book Value

Book value per share was $10.96 at the end of the fourth quarter up from $10.74 at the end of the prior quarter primarily due to net income for the quarter.Share Count

Average diluted shares outstanding were 52.7 million shares for the quarter compared to 50.3 million shares for the prior quarter. Total outstanding shares at December 31, 2010 were 50.6 million compared to 50.9 million at September 30, 2010.

Completed the repurchase of $10.0 million of our common stock. Repurchased 400,228 shares of common stock at an average price of $8.19 during the fourth quarter and a total of 1,372,300 shares of common stock at an average price of $7.26 for the entire stock repurchase program.Conference Call and Webcast

NewStar will host a webcast/conference call to discuss the results today at 10:00 am Eastern Time. All interested parties are invited to participate via telephone or webcast, which will be hosted through the Investor Relations section at www.newstarfin.com. Please visit the website to register for the webcast and test your connection prior to the call. You can also access the conference call by dialing 877-755-7419 approximately 5-10 minutes prior to the call. International callers should dial 973-200-3080. All callers should reference "NewStar Financial."   

For convenience, an archived replay of the call will be available through February 19, 2011 by dialing 800-642-1687. International callers should call 706-645-9291. For all replays, please use the passcode 39605367. The audio replay will also be available through the Investor Relations section at www.newstarfin.com.            About NewStar Financial

NewStar Financial (Nasdaq:NEWS) is a specialized commercial finance company focused on meeting the complex financing needs of companies and private investors in the middle market. The Company specializes in providing senior secured debt financing options to mid-sized companies to fund working capital, growth strategies, acquisition and recapitalization, as well as, equipment purchases. NewStar originates loans and leases directly through a team of experienced, senior bankers and marketing officers organized around key industry and market segments. The Company targets 'hold' positions of up to $35 million and selectively underwrites or arranges larger transactions for syndication to other lenders.

NewStar is headquartered in Boston MA and has regional offices in Darien CT, Chicago IL, Dallas TX, Houston TX, Los Angeles CA and Atlanta GA. For more detailed transaction and contact information, please visit our website at www.newstarfin.com. 

The NewStar Financial, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4044Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements give our current expectations and projections relating to our financial condition, results of operations, strategic plans, objectives, future performance, financing plans and business. As such, they are subject to material risks and uncertainties, including our limited operating history; the general state of the economy; our ability to compete effectively in a highly competitive industry; and the impact of federal, state and local laws and regulations that govern non-depository commercial lenders and businesses generally.

More detailed information about these risk factors can be found in NewStar's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including Item 1A ("Risk Factors") of our 2009 Annual Report on Form 10-K, as supplemented by the Risk Factors contained in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. NewStar is under no obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. NewStar plans to file its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 with the SEC on or before March 16, 2011 and urges its shareholders to refer to that document for more complete information concerning NewStar's financial results.Non-GAAP Financial Measures

References to "adjusted net income" and "adjusted earnings per share" mean net income or earnings per diluted share, respectively, as determined under GAAP, excluding the following items: compensation expense related to restricted stock grants made since our inception as a private company, including equity awards made in connection with the initial public offering; including the impact on our effective tax rate. GAAP requires that these items be included in net income. NewStar management uses "adjusted net income" and "adjusted earnings per share" to make operational and investment decisions, and NewStar believes that they provide useful information to investors in their evaluation of our financial performance and condition. Excluding the financial results and expenses incurred in connection with the compensation expense related to restricted stock grants made since our inception as a
private company, eliminates unique amounts that make it difficult to assess our core performance and compare our period-over-period results. A reconciliation of adjusted net income to net income is included on page 7 of this release. 

Adjusted return on average assets means adjusted net income divided by average assets for the period. Adjusted return on average equity means adjusted net income divided by average equity for the period. Adjusted efficiency ratio means operating expenses determined in accordance with GAAP less i) compensation expense related to restricted stock grants made since our inception as a private company. The adjusted ratios exclude unique expenses that make it difficult to assess our core performance and compare our period-over-period results.

A reconciliation of our adjusted financial measures to their GAAP equivalents is included on page 11 of this release. NewStar's adjusted financial measures should not be considered as alternatives to financial measures determined in accordance with GAAP and may be different from, or inconsistent with, non-GAAP financial measures used by other companies.NewStar Financial, Inc.

 

 

 Consolidated Balance Sheets

 

 

 (unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 December 31,September 30,December 31,

($ in thousands)201020102009Assets:

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

$ 54,365

$ 29,360

$ 39,848

Restricted cash

 178,364

 154,505

 136,884

Investments in debt securities, available-for-sale

 4,014

 4,036

 4,183

Loans held-for-sale, net

 41,386

 21,302

 15,736

Loans, net

 1,590,331

 1,646,891

 1,878,978

Deferred financing costs, net

 15,504

 17,683

 18,557

Interest receivable

 6,797

 6,873

 7,949

Property and equipment, net

 879

 760

 976

Deferred income taxes, net

 48,093

 50,178

 56,449

Income tax receivable

 5,435

 11,850

 7,260

Other assets

 29,798

 20,868

 33,252Total as
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