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Atlanticus Holdings Corp  (ATLC)
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Atlanticus Holdings Corp

Business Description


We are a Georgia corporation formed in 2009, as successor to an entity that commenced operations in 1996. We provide various credit and related financial services and products primarily to or associated with the financially underserved consumer credit market. We utilize proprietary analytics and a flexible technology platform to provide various credit and related financial services and products to or associated with the financially underserved consumer credit market. Currently, within our Credit and Other Investments segment, we are applying the experiences gained and infrastructure built from funding over $25 billion in consumer loans over our 19-year operating history to originate a range of consumer loan products through our primary consumer brand, Fortiva.

As part of this brand, we market Fortiva Retail Credit, Fortiva Personal Loans and Fortiva Credit Cards through multiple channels, including retail point-of-sale, direct mail solicitation, Internet-based marketing and partnerships with third parties who have relationships with our core customers. In our point-of-sale channel, we partner with retailers and service providers in various industries across the U.S. to offer Fortiva Retail Credit to their customers for the purchase of a variety of goods and services including consumer electronics, furniture, elective medical procedures, educational services and home-improvements. Our flexible technology platform allows us to integrate our paperless process and instant decision-making capabilities with our partners' technology infrastructure.

These products are often extended to customers who may have been declined under traditional financing options. We specialize in providing this "second-look" credit service. Additionally, we are able to market our general purpose Fortiva Personal Loans and Fortiva Credit Cards directly to consumers through additional channels, which enables us to reach consumers through a diverse origination platform that includes direct mail, Internet-based marketing and through partnerships. Our technology platform and proprietary analytics enable us to make instant credit decisions utilizing hundreds of inputs, from multiple sources and thereby offer credit to consumers overlooked by traditional providers of credit. By offering a range of products through a multitude of channels, we seek to provide the right type of credit, whenever and wherever the consumer has a need.

Using our infrastructure and technology platform, we also provide loan servicing, including underwriting, marketing, customer service and collections operations for third parties. Also through our Credit and Other Investments segment, we engage in testing and limited investment in consumer finance technology platforms as we seek to capitalize on our expertise and infrastructure.

Beyond these activities within our Credit and Other Investments segment, we continue to collect on portfolios of credit card receivables. These receivables include both receivables we originated through third-party financial institutions and portfolios of receivables we purchased from third-party financial institutions. One of our portfolios of credit card receivables is encumbered by non-recourse structured financing, and for this portfolio our principal remaining economic interest is the servicing compensation we receive as an offset against our servicing costs given that the likely future collections on the portfolio are insufficient to allow for full repayment of the financing.


Additionally, we report within our Credit and Other Investments segment the income earned from an investment in an equity-method investee that holds credit card receivables for which we are the servicer.

Lastly, we report within our Credit and Other Investments segment, gains associated with investments previously made in consumer finance technology platforms. These include investments in companies engaged in mobile technologies, marketplace lending and other financial technologies. Some of these investees have raised, and continue to seek, capital at valuations substantially in excess of our associated book value. However, none of these companies are publicly-traded, there are no pending liquidity events, and ascribing value to these investments at this time would be speculative. Based on the performance and/or marketability of these investments in future periods, we could have material gains for our remaining ownership in these or other investment assets.

The recurring cash flows we receive within our Credit and Other Investments segment principally include those associated with (1) our point-of-sale and direct-to-consumer finance activities, (2) servicing compensation and (3) credit card receivables portfolios that are unencumbered or where we own a portion of the underlying structured financing facility.

We historically financed most of our credit card receivables through the asset-backed securitization markets. These markets deteriorated significantly in 2008, and the level of “advance rates,” or leverage against credit card receivable assets, in the current asset-backed securitization markets is below pre-2008 levels. We do believe, however, that our point-of-sale and direct-to-consumer finance activities are generating and will continue to generate attractive returns on assets, thereby allowing us to secure debt financing under terms and conditions (including advance rates and pricing) that will allow us to achieve our desired returns on equity, and we continue to pursue growth in this area.

Within our Auto Finance segment, our CAR subsidiary operations principally purchase and/or service loans secured by automobiles from or for, and also provide floor plan financing for, a pre-qualified network of independent automotive dealers and automotive finance companies in the buy-here, pay-here, used car business. We purchase auto loans at a discount and with dealer retentions or holdbacks that provide risk protection. Also within our Auto Finance segment, we are providing certain installment lending products in addition to our traditional loans secured by automobiles.
We closely monitor and manage our expenses based on current product offerings (and in recent years have significantly reduced our overhead infrastructure which was built to accommodate higher account originations and managed receivables levels). As such, we are maintaining our infrastructure and incurring increased overhead and other costs in order to expand point-of-sale and direct-to-consumer finance solutions and new product offerings that we believe have the potential to grow into our infrastructure and allow for long-term shareholder returns.

Subject to the availability of capital at attractive terms and pricing, we plan to continue to evaluate and pursue a variety of activities, including: (1) the expansion of our point-of-sale and direct-to-consumer finance products; (2) the acquisition of additional financial assets associated with our point-of-sale finance activities as well as the acquisition of receivables portfolios; (3) investments in other assets or businesses that are not necessarily financial services assets or businesses; (4) the repurchase of our convertible senior notes and other debt or our outstanding common stock; and (5) the servicing of receivables and related financial assets for third parties (and in which we have limited or no equity interests) to allow us to leverage our expertise and infrastructure.

   

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