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Rating:Three Things to Know From Eaton Vance's Q3 2013 Earnings Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, August 22, 2013

Three Things to Know From Eaton Vance's Q3 2013 Earnings

News summary by MFWire's editors

Eaton Vance [profile] reported fiscal third quarter earnings recently, posting $0.52 in the third quarter compared to $0.43 in the third fiscal quarter of 2012. The firm's revenue rose 17.25 percent to $350.3 million from the year earlier. Eaton Vance missed both earnings per share and revenue expectations according to Wall Street Cheat Sheet, as analysts expected $0.54 a share and $353.97 million in revenue.

MFWire found three important points to note from Seeking Alpha's transcript of the Eaton Vance earnings call.

POINT 1: Eaton Vance's leaders don't think they have tapped out cross-selling opportunities yet.

POINT 2: Eaton Vance is counting on Richard Bernstein's equity strategy to become a big seller.

POINT 3: Eaton Vance has been doing acquisitions and making infrastructure improvements.

Here's a deeper dive into each of those points:

POINT 1: Eaton Vance's leaders don't think they have tapped out cross-selling opportunities yet.
Michael Kim of Sandler O'Neill: First question. As your investment management capabilities continue to broaden out across Parametric, Hexavest, Clifton and kind of the legacy Eaton Vance equity fixed income and alternatives strategies, just curious to what extent do you think you've sort of tapped cross-selling opportunities at this point? Because it just seems like there's a fair amount of potential business opportunities looking across the franchise?

Thomas Faust, chairman, CEO and president [of Eaton Vance]: So we think by splitting that into a Parametric sales team focused on what they do and an Eaton Vance sales team focused on Eaton Vance strategies, plus Hexavest, and that's an important addition to their representation, that we enhance the potential for cross-selling. I think everyone that is close to that business within Eaton Vance, both institutional and retail, will tell us that we've got lots of opportunities to do more of that than we have been doing. And that the strength we are seeing, for example, in bank loans, that we have seen in global macro, that we have seen in Parametric, that we can leverage that much more effectively to sell other capabilities.

Of course, cross-selling is always a sensitive topic with the client, and it has to be done in a measured way. No client really wants to be cross-sold, at least, in an active way. But doing it right means making the client aware of what your capabilities are and being smart about matching those capabilities with the needs of the client, which is something that always comes up in a good conversation in a client's service sense. What you're seeing in the market? What's new? What are you feeling like you need? We've got a big enough bag and a broad enough bag that we feel like that there are just a whole host of solutions that we can offer, and that this new sales arrangement will help us better realize those opportunities.
POINT 2: Eaton Vance is counting on Richard Bernstein's equity strategy to become a big seller.
William Katz of Citigroup: Okay. Great. And I just want to get your view on some industry commentary around a great rotation from people moving towards equity. Just where you're seeing that, are you seeing that within your product set?

Daniel Cataldo, treasurer: So our flows and equities were negative for the quarter. But putting aside Implementation, and that has a strong equity bias to that business. So I'll -- but leaving that aside, we may be an anomaly. We're a relatively small player, 1% market share. We don't tend to be driven. Our flows don't tend to be driven so much by what's happening in the market broadly but really what's happening in our -- relatively small number of niche strategies. So if there's a great rotation to equity, we participate in it in some ways and that we've got a strong franchise in emerging market equity. We've got a strong franchise in our Atlantic Capital SMID-Cap.

We think Richard Bernstein's equity strategy is poised to be a quite big seller for us. I think as you probably are aware, Eaton Vance Management equities have struggled with performance. We have seen outflows from Large-Cap Value over the last couple of years. While those have not gone away, the rate of outflows has also gone down. Hexavest, as we've talked about, joined our family about a year ago, has seen significant growth and very broad interest -- institutional investors, literally, around the world, are interested in the kinds of top-down global equity investing that they do.
POINT 3: Eaton Vance has been doing acquisitions and making infrastructure improvements.
Michael Kim of Sandler O'Neill: So margins have remained relatively flat over the last couple of years, even as the asset base has grown substantially, and I understand a big chunk of that growth has come from acquisitions of lower-fee assets. But just wondering how much leverage is in the model at this point? I know you gave some guidance earlier, but what's really going to drive the margins meaningfully higher from here?

Laurie Greenwald Hylton, chief financial officer and vice president: Well, I think just in terms of, obviously, we've seen some improvement in margins over the course of the year, and we're pretty hopeful that in the fourth quarter, we would see margins that look more like the third quarter than previous quarters. That said obviously, we've got a lot of growth, we have been doing acquisitions. And we're trying to make sure that we continue to make the infrastructure investments necessary to support those businesses. So we have been doing some IT spending. I think you've seen that in the numbers this year.

And we would anticipate that as we are thinking about this new ETMF initiative, while we haven't had a lot of costs going out the door relating to that initiative to date, we would anticipate we will see a ramp-up that will be coming in advance of revenue associated with that initiative. So in terms of the pressures going forward, I think we've got those things that we're looking at, obviously, to the extent that we get some help from the market and we are able to continue to grow some of the franchises that has been not necessarily contributing as largely as they may have in the past going forward.
See the transcript of Eaton Vance's earnings call and the earnings release for more on how Eaton Vance is doing.  

Edited by: Casey Quinlan

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