Ladenburg Thalmann (AMEX: LTS) said its fourth quarter revenue nearly doubled, growing 96 percent to $107.3 million from the year-ago quarter at $54.6 million. The spike was primarily due to the company’s acquisition of Securities America, adding $57.1 million to Ladenburg’s 2011 revenue. Net income for the quarter was $6.4 million, compared to a net loss of $1.1 million for the fourth quarter 2010.
“In 2011, we benefited from the late-year addition of Securities America, which significantly increased our revenue, number of advisors and client assets,” said Richard Lampen, president and CEO of Ladenburg.
The company’s fourth quarter earnings release factored in Securities America for the first time since the deal closed in early November. Ameriprise Financial, SAI’s former parent, decided to sell Securities America last year after the IBD was pounded by litigation over its sale of allegedly fraudulent private placements from Medical Capital Holdings and Provident Royalties. Ameriprise announced its intent to sell to Ladenburg last August.
With the acquisition, it brings Ladenburg’s total advisor count to 2,700 and client assets to $70 billion, the company said. As of January, SAI said it had 1,604 client-facing advisors, while the firm had about 1,700 when the acquisition was announced. In addition to SAI, Ladenburg is also the parent company of IBDs Triad Advisors and Investacorp.
But the earnings report said the firm has been recruiting higher producing advisors throughout its independent advisory platform. In February, SAI added Great Plains Financial Group in Fargo, N.D., a branch office with 11 advisors and $350 million in AUM. The group produces $3.8 million in annual revenue.
But it will take time for the firm to digest the acquisition and see the full impact on its long term growth, says Greg Cherry, senior analyst with Aite Group. It will depend on the markets, product movement among its advisors, and whether Ladenburg can retain SAI advisors.
“It’s kind of a time-will-tell story.”
The fourth quarter results also included $17.1 million in income tax benefits related to the acquisition. In 2011, Ladenburg paid out $4.6 million in retention loans to Securities America.