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TransUnion (TRU) Scores Hat Trick with Q1 Earnings Beat

TransUnion TRU scored a third successive beat with its first-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings (including stock-based compensation) of 30 cents per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 25 cents by a remarkable 20%. Robust top line growth, coupled with productivity improvement initiatives, drove the company’s profits.

The credit-reporting company’s shares rose 1.6% in after-hours trading, as it delivered stronger-than-expected first quarter results and raised its 2016 guidance as well.

Adjusted net income for the quarter came in at $58.2 million, almost doubling from the previous-year quarter’s tally of $29.6 million. Strong growth momentum across the three segments, combined with new product growth initiatives, led to the impressive bottom line performance.

Revenues for the quarter increased roughly 15% year over year to $406 million, comfortably beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $380 million. On a constant currency basis, the top line rose 17.6% year over year, driven by double-digit growth across all three segments.

Segment Details

Revenues in the USIS segment came in at $247 million, up 12.8% year over year. The segment saw solid growth in financial services, rental screening, insurance and healthcare verticals. Online Data Services revenue grew 9.7% year over year to $161 million due to higher credit report volumes.

Marketing Services revenue was $36.9 million, up 11.8% from the prior-year period, driven by higher batch activity resulting from demand for solutions such as CreditVision. Decision Services revenues grew 24.7% year over year to $49 million, driven by robust healthcare and insurance markets.

The International segment revenue rose 6.8% year over year to $67.8 million. However, on a constant currency basis, revenues grew an impressive 21.9%. While revenues from developed markets increased 10.8% (19% on a constant currency basis) to $23.2 million, that from emerging markets went up 4.8% (up 23.3% on a constant currency basis) to $44.6 million.Canada and Hong Kong stood out with solid growth, along with emerging markets like India, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Revenues in the Consumer Interactive segment came in at $106.1 million, up 25.4% year over year, driven by significant revenue growth from both direct and indirect channels.

Margins

Adjusted EBITDA came in at $141.4 million, up 23.1% from $114.8 million in the prior-year quarter.

Adjusted operating income for the reported quarter increased 24.3% year over year to $113.4 million, while adjusted operating margin for the quarter rose 210 basis points year over year. Successful productivity enhancement initiatives helped transmit the striking revenue growth to the bottom line, thus expanding margins.

The USIS segment’s adjusted operating margin expanded 20 basis points to 31.2% on a year over year basis. The increase was driven by growth in top line, partly offset by higher product costs and investments in strategic growth initiatives.

The International segment’s adjusted operating margin increased 240 basis points to 24.8% on a year over year basis, which was driven by an increase in revenues and productivity initiatives.

The Consumer Interactive segment’s adjusted operating margin rose 560 basis points to 39.8% on a year-over-year basis. The increase was driven by top line growth as well as improved productivity.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

As of Mar 31, 2016, TransUnion had cash and cash equivalents of $150.3 million compared with $133.2 million as of Dec 31, 2015. Long-term debt stood at $2,309.5 million at quarter end, compared with $2,160.7 million as of Dec 31, 2015.

For the first quarter, cash flow generated from operating activities aggregated $41.7 million compared with $16.5 million in the prior-year period, driven by higher revenues as well as lower interest expense.

Guidance

Encouraged by its robust top and bottom line growth in the first quarter, TransUnion raised its full-year 2016 guidance. Consolidated revenues are now expected to lie in the range of $1.63 billion and $1.65 billion (up from earlier expectations of $1.6 billion and $1.62 billion), reflecting year-over-year growth of about 10% to 12%.

Adjusted EBITDA is now expected to come in the range of $600 million and $610 million (compared with the previously guided range of $580 million and $590 million), up 16–18% year over year. The outlook for 2016 adjusted earnings per share was increased from $1.24–$1.28 to a range of $1.30 and $1.34, which now reflects earnings growth of 19–23% year over year.

For second-quarter 2016, consolidated revenues are expected to come in the range of $405 million and $410 million, up about 10% to 11% compared with the previous-year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter is likely to be in the range of $145–$150 million, an increase of about 11–15% from the prior-year quarter. Adjusted earnings per share are expected to be between 31–33 cents during the quarter, up 15–22% year over year.

Our Take

We expect TransUnion’s solid growth momentum to accelerate in the near future, as it continues to leverage new product growth initiatives, key strategic investments and productivity initiatives. The company stands to benefit from offerings and growth initiatives like CreditVision and digital marketing, as well as newer initiatives, like Prama.

However, adverse foreign currency translation impact will likely continue to be a formidable headwind for the company.

TransUnion currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same space include The Dun & Bradstreet Corp. DNB, FactSet Research Systems Inc. FDS and Verisk Analytics, Inc. VRSK. Each of these stocks holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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