Pre-Paid Legal Announces 2009 First Quarter Results



    
    2009 First Quarter Net Income Up 7%; EPS Up 18%

    
    ADA, Okla., April 27 /CNW/ -- Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (NYSE:   PPD)
announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009. Net income for
the first quarter of 2009 increased 7% to $17.1 million from $15.9 million for
the prior year's first quarter. Diluted earnings per share increased 18% to
$1.52 per share from $1.29 per share for the prior year's comparable quarter
due to an increase in net income of 7% and a 9% decrease in the weighted
average outstanding shares. Membership fees in the first quarter of 2009
decreased 2% to $106.9 million from $109.1 million for the same period last
year.
    

    
    Net cash provided from operating activities increased 42% to $29.7
million for the first quarter of 2009 from $20.8 million for 2008 primarily
due to higher cash taxes paid during the 2008 period. During the 2009 first
quarter, we returned $13.5 million to shareholders through the repurchase of
422,505 shares of common stock, at an average per share price of $32.05. Since
April 1999, we have returned $420.7 million to shareholders through the
purchase of 14.2 million shares, average price of $29.69 per share, and $17.1
million in dividends for a combined total of $437.8 million representing more
than 110% of our net earnings during the same timeframe. At March 31, 2009, we
had $52.6 million of debt outstanding and $68.5 million in cash and cash
equivalents and unpledged investments.
    

    
    First quarter 2009 membership fees decreased $2.1 million to $106.9
million from $109.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2008. Associate services
revenues increased during the 2009 first quarter by approximately $330,000 to
$5.3 million from $5.0 million for the 2008 fourth quarter and associate
services and direct marketing expenses increased by $1.2 million during the
same period. Membership benefits totaled $36.2 million in the first quarter of
2009 compared to $37.6 million for the 2008 fourth quarter and represented 34%
of membership fees for the first quarter and 35% for the 2008 fourth quarter.
Commissions to associates totaled $27.0 million in the 2009 first quarter
compared to $31.1 million for the 2008 fourth quarter and represented 25% and
28%, respectively, of membership fees for the two periods. General and
administrative expenses decreased $772,000 during the 2009 first quarter to
$13.4 million compared to $14.2 million for the 2008 fourth quarter and
represented 13% of membership fees for both periods. The $772,000 decrease in
general and administrative expenses included decreases in employee cost,
telecommunications and bank service charges which were partially offset by
increases in postage, legal expenses and accounting fees.
    

    
    We will conduct a conference call to present the first quarter results on
Wednesday, April 29, 2009, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The conference call will
be webcast on the investor relations' page of www.prepaidlegal.com or may be
accessed by dialing (719) 325-2164. Audio replay will be available beginning
at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time on April 29, 2009 and will run through midnight
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 by dialing (719) 457-0820; pass code for the replay is
6892748. The presentation will be available on the web site indefinitely by
selecting "Earnings Calls" under the "Investor Relations" section. Questions
may be submitted prior to the call via email to investor@pplsi.com.
    

    
    After our earnings conference call later this week, we expect to continue
our open market share purchases as we have remaining authorization from the
Board to purchase 831,755 shares and funds immediately available for share
purchases of approximately $22.8 million.
    

    About Us
    
    We believe our products are one of a kind, life events legal service
plans. Our plans provide for legal service benefits provided through a network
of more than 50 independent law firms across the U.S. and Canada, and include
unlimited attorney consultation, will preparation, traffic violation defense,
automobile-related criminal charges defense, letter writing, document
preparation and review and a general trial defense benefit. We have an
identity theft restoration product we think is also one of a kind due to the
combination of our identity theft restoration partner and our provider law
firms. More information about us and our products can be found at our homepage
at http://www.prepaidlegal.com.
    

    Forward-Looking Statements
    
    Statements in this press release, other than purely historical
information, regarding our future plans and objectives and expected operating
results, dividends and share repurchases and statements of the assumptions
underlying such statements, constitute forward-looking statements within the
meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The
forward-looking statements contained herein are based on certain assumptions
that may not be correct. They are subject to risks and uncertainties incident
to our business that could cause actual results to differ materially from
those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks and
uncertainties are described in the reports and statements filed by us with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, including (among others) those listed in
our Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K, and include the risks that our
membership persistency or renewal rates may decline, that we may not be able
to continue to grow our memberships and earnings, that we are dependent on the
continued active participation of our principal executive officer, that
pending or future litigation may have a material adverse effect on us if
resolved unfavorably to us, that we may have compromises of our information
security, that during an economic downturn in the economy consumer purchases
of discretionary items may be affected which could materially harm our sales,
retention rates, profitability and financial condition, that we could be
adversely affected by regulatory developments, that competition could
adversely affect us, that we are substantially dependent on our marketing
force, that our stock price may be affected by short sellers, that we have
been unable to increase our employee group membership sales and that our
active premium in force is not indicative of future revenue as a result of
changes in active memberships from cancellations and additional membership
sales. Please refer to pages 15 - 17 of our 2008 Form 10-K for a more complete
description of these risks. We undertake no duty to update any of the
forward-looking statements in this release.
    


    

    
                            PRE-PAID LEGAL SERVICES, INC.
                           Financial Highlights (Unaudited)
    

    
              (Dollars and shares in 000s, except per share amounts)
    

    
                                                      Three Months Ended
                                                      ------------------
                                                     March 31,       Dec. 31,
                                                 2009       2008      2008
                                                 ----       ----      ----
     Revenues:
      Membership fees                         $106,905   $109,060   $108,994
      Associate services                         5,282      6,043      4,952
      Other                                        933      1,100        962
                                                   ---      -----        ---
                                               113,120    116,203    114,908
                                               -------    -------    -------
     Costs and expenses:
      Membership benefits                       36,205     37,262     37,619
      Commissions                               27,012     30,824     31,060
      Associate services and direct
       marketing                                 6,803      5,604      5,591
      General and administrative                13,383     12,574     14,155
      Other, net                                 2,289      4,166      3,277
                                                 -----      -----      -----
                                                85,692     90,430     91,702
                                                ------     ------     ------
    

    
     Income before income taxes                 27,428     25,773     23,206
     Provision for income taxes                 10,327      9,831      8,474
                                                ------      -----      -----
     Net income                                $17,101    $15,942    $14,732
                                               =======    =======    =======
    

    
     Basic earnings per common share             $1.53      $1.29      $1.28
                                                 =====      =====      =====
     Diluted earnings per common share           $1.52      $1.29      $1.27
                                                 =====      =====      =====
     Weighted average number of shares, as
      adjusted:
      Primary                                   11,207     12,361     11,547
                                                ======     ======     ======
      Diluted                                   11,218     12,382     11,561
                                                ======     ======     ======
    

    
     Net cash provided by operating
      activities                               $29,661    $20,825    $19,999
                                              ========   ========   ========
     Net cash used in investing activities     $(3,559)  $(10,408)     $(156)
                                              ========  =========     ======
     Net cash used in financing activities    $(20,483)  $(17,269)  $(14,765)
                                             =========  =========  =========




    




For further information:

For further information: Steve Williamson of Pre-Paid Legal Services,
Inc., +1-580-436-1234 Web Site: http://www.prepaidlegal.com

Organization Profile

PRE-PAID LEGAL SERVICES, INC.

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890