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MRLN > SEC Filings for MRLN > Form 10-Q on 2-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings




Quarterly Report

Item 2. Management's Discussion And Analysis Of Financial Condition And Results Of Operations

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the related notes thereto in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 filed with the SEC. This discussion contains certain statements of a forward-looking nature that involve risks and uncertainties.


Certain statements in this document may include the words or phrases "can be," "expects," "plans," "may," "may affect," "may depend," "believe," "estimate," "intend," "could," "should," "would," "if" and similar words and phrases that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "1933 Act"), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "1934 Act"). Forward-looking statements are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties and the Company cautions that any forward-looking information provided by or on its behalf is not a guarantee of future performance. Statements regarding the following subjects are forward-looking by their nature: (a) our business strategy; (b) our projected operating results; (c) our ability to obtain external financing; (d) the effectiveness of our hedges; (e) our understanding of our competition; and (f) industry and market trends. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated by such forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, some of which are beyond the Company's control, including, without limitation:

availability, terms and deployment of funding and capital;

changes in our industry, interest rates, the regulatory environment or the general economy resulting in changes to our business strategy;

the degree and nature of our competition;

availability and retention of qualified personnel;

general volatility of the capital markets; and

the factors set forth in the section captioned "Risk Factors" in Item 1 of our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 filed with the SEC.

Forward-looking statements apply only as of the date made and the Company is not required to update forward-looking statements for subsequent or unanticipated events or circumstances.


We are a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions, primarily to small and mid-sized businesses. We finance over 100 categories of commercial equipment important to the typical small and mid-sized business customer, including copiers, security systems, computers and software, telecommunications equipment and certain commercial and industrial equipment. We access our end user customers through origination sources comprised of our existing network of independent equipment dealers, national account programs and, to a much lesser extent, through direct solicitation of our end user customers and through relationships with select lease brokers.

Our leases are fixed-rate transactions with terms generally ranging from 36 to 60 months. At September 30, 2012, our lease portfolio consisted of approximately 67,970 accounts with an average original term of 48 months and average original transaction size of approximately $12,000.

We were founded in 1997. At September 30, 2012, we had $579.0 million in total assets. Our assets are substantially comprised of our net investment in leases and loans which totaled $472.1 million at September 30, 2012.

We generally reach our lessees through a network of independent equipment dealers and, to a much lesser extent, lease brokers. The number of dealers and brokers with whom we conduct business depends on, among other things, the number of sales account executives we have. Sales account executive staffing levels and the activity of our origination sources are shown below.


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                                             Nine Months
                                            September 30,              As of or For the Year Ended December 31,
                                                2012            2011          2010         2009       2008        2007
Number of sales account executives                     112          93            87          38          86         118

Number of originating sources(1) 1,087 827 604 465 1,014 1,246

(1) Monthly average of origination sources generating lease volume

Our revenue consists of interest and fees from our leases and loans and, to a lesser extent, income from our property insurance program and other fee income. Our expenses consist of interest expense and operating expenses, which include salaries and benefits and other general and administrative expenses. As a credit lender, our earnings are also impacted by credit losses. For the quarter ended September 30, 2012, our annualized net credit losses were 0.89% of our average total finance receivables. We establish reserves for credit losses which require us to estimate inherent losses in our portfolio as of the reporting date.

Our leases are classified under U.S. GAAP as direct financing leases, and we recognize interest income over the term of the lease. Direct financing leases transfer substantially all of the benefits and risks of ownership to the equipment lessee. Our net investment in direct finance leases is included in our consolidated financial statements in "net investment in leases and loans." Net investment in direct financing leases consists of the sum of total minimum lease payments receivable and the estimated residual value of leased equipment, less unearned lease income. Unearned lease income consists of the excess of the total future minimum lease payments receivable plus the estimated residual value expected to be realized at the end of the lease term plus deferred net initial direct costs and fees less the cost of the related equipment. Approximately 67% of our lease portfolio at September 30, 2012 amortizes over the lease term to a $1 residual value. For the remainder of the portfolio, we must estimate end of term residual values for the leased assets. Failure to correctly estimate residual values could result in losses being realized on the disposition of the equipment at the end of the lease term.

We fund our business through the issuance of fixed-rate FDIC-insured certificates of deposit, raised nationally by MBB and through a combination of variable-rate borrowings and fixed-rate asset securitization transactions, as well as through the issuance from time to time of subordinated debt and equity securities. Our variable-rate borrowing currently consists of long-term loan facilities.

Historically, leases were funded through variable-rate warehouse facilities until they were refinanced through term note securitizations at fixed rates. All of our term note securitizations have been accounted for as on-balance sheet transactions and, therefore, we have not recognized gains or losses from these transactions.

Since its opening in 2008, MBB has served as a funding source for a portion of the Company's new originations through the issuance of FDIC-insured certificates of deposit. We anticipate that FDIC-insured certificates of deposit issued by MBB will represent our primary source of funds for the foreseeable future. As of September 30, 2012, total MBB deposits were $342.0 million. As of September 30, 2012, $5.8 million, or 17.5%, of our total long-term borrowings of $33.1 million were fixed-rate term note securitizations.

Fixed rate leases not funded with deposits are financed with variable-rate debt. Therefore, our earnings may be exposed to interest rate risk should interest rates rise. We generally benefit in times of falling and low interest rates. In contrast to previous warehouse facilities, our current long-term loan facilities do not require annual refinancing, but failure to renew the existing facilities or to obtain additional financing could restrict our growth and future financial performance.

From time to time we use derivative financial instruments to manage exposure to the effects of changes in market interest rates and to fulfill certain covenants in our borrowing arrangements. All derivatives are recorded on the Consolidated Balance Sheets at their fair value as either assets or liabilities. The Company was not a party to any active interest-rate swap agreements at September 30, 2012.

Through the issuance of FDIC-insured certificates of deposit, MBB serves as the Company's primary funding source. Over time, MBB may offer other products and services to the Company's customer base. As a Utah state-chartered Federal Reserve member bank, MBB is supervised by both the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Utah Department of Financial Institutions.


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On January 13, 2009, Marlin Business Services Corp. became a bank holding company and is subject to the Bank Holding Company Act and supervised by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. On September 15, 2010, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia confirmed the effectiveness of Marlin Business Services Corp.'s election to become a financial holding company (while remaining a bank holding company) pursuant to Sections 4(k) and (l) of the Bank Holding Company Act and Section 225.82 of the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation Y. Such election permits Marlin Business Services Corp. to engage in activities that are financial in nature or incidental to a financial activity, including the maintenance and expansion of our reinsurance activities conducted through its wholly-owned subsidiary, AssuranceOne, Ltd. ("AssuranceOne").

Critical Accounting Policies

Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses and affect related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of our financial statements. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our estimates, including credit losses, residuals, initial direct costs and fees, other fees, the fair value of financial instruments and the realization of deferred tax assets. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Critical accounting policies are defined as those that are reflective of significant judgments and uncertainties. Our consolidated financial statements are based on the selection and application of critical accounting policies, the most significant of which are described below.

Income recognition. Interest income is recognized under the effective interest method. The effective interest method of income recognition applies a constant rate of interest equal to the internal rate of return on the lease. When a lease or loan is 90 days or more delinquent, the contract is classified as being on non-accrual and we do not recognize interest income on that contract until it is less than 90 days delinquent.

Fee income consists of fees for delinquent lease and loan payments, cash collected on early termination of leases and net residual income. Net residual income includes income from lease renewals and gains and losses on the realization of residual values of leased equipment disposed at the end of a lease's term. Residual income is recognized as earned.

Fee income from delinquent lease payments is recognized on an accrual basis based on anticipated collection rates. At a minimum of every quarter, an analysis of anticipated collection rates is performed based on updates to collection experience. Adjustments in anticipated collection rate assumptions are made as needed based on this analysis. Other fees are recognized when received.

Insurance income is recognized on an accrual basis as earned over the term of a lease. Generally, insurance payments that are 120 days or more past due are charged against income. Ceding commissions, losses and loss adjustment expenses are recorded in the period incurred and netted against insurance income.

Initial direct costs and fees. We defer initial direct costs incurred and fees received to originate our leases and loans in accordance with the Receivables Topic and the Nonrefundable Fees and Other Costs Subtopic of the FASB ASC. The initial direct costs and fees we defer are part of the net investment in leases and loans and are amortized to interest income using the effective interest method. We defer third-party commission costs as well as certain internal costs directly related to the origination activity. Costs subject to deferral include evaluating each prospective customer's financial condition, evaluating and recording guarantees and other security arrangements, negotiating terms, preparing and processing documents and closing each transaction. Estimates of costs subject to deferral are updated periodically, and no less frequently than each year. The fees we defer are documentation fees collected at inception. The realization of the deferred initial direct costs, net of fees deferred, is predicated on the net future cash flows generated by our lease and loan portfolios.

Lease residual values. A direct financing lease is recorded at the aggregate future minimum lease payments plus the estimated residual value less unearned income. Residual values generally reflect the estimated amounts to be received at lease termination from lease extensions, sales or other dispositions of leased equipment. These estimates are based on industry data and on our experience.

The Company records an estimated residual value at lease inception for all fair market value and fixed purchase option leases based on a percentage of the equipment cost of the asset being leased. The percentages used depend on equipment type and term. In setting and reviewing estimated residual values, the Company focuses its analysis primarily on total historical and expected realization statistics pertaining to both lease renewals and sales of equipment.


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At the end of an original lease term, lessees may choose to purchase the equipment, renew the lease or return the equipment to the Company. The Company receives income from lease renewals when the lessee elects to retain the equipment longer than the original term of the lease. This income, net of appropriate periodic reductions in the estimated residual values of the related equipment, is included in fee income as net residual income.

When a lessee elects to return equipment at lease termination, the equipment is transferred to other assets at the lower of its basis or fair market value. The Company generally sells returned equipment to independent third parties, rather than leasing the equipment a second time. The Company does not maintain equipment in other assets for longer than 120 days. Any loss recognized on transferring equipment to other assets, and any gain or loss realized on the sale or disposal of equipment to a lessee or to others is included in fee income as net residual income.

Based on the Company's experience, the amount of ultimate realization of the residual value tends to relate more to the customer's election at the end of the lease term to enter into a renewal period, to purchase the leased equipment or to return the leased equipment than it does to the equipment type. Management performs periodic reviews of the estimated residual values and historic realization statistics no less frequently than quarterly and any impairment, if other than temporary, is recognized in the current period.

Allowance for credit losses. In accordance with the Contingencies Topic of the FASB ASC, we maintain an allowance for credit losses at an amount sufficient to absorb losses inherent in our existing lease and loan portfolios as of the reporting dates based on our projection of probable net credit losses.

We evaluate our portfolios on a pooled basis, due to their composition of small balance, homogenous accounts with similar general credit risk characteristics, diversified among a large cross-section of variables including industry, geography, equipment type, obligor and vendor. We consider both quantitative and qualitative factors in determining the allowance for credit losses. Quantitative factors considered include a migration analysis stratified by industry classification, historic delinquencies and charge-offs, and a static pool analysis of historic recoveries. A migration analysis is a technique used to estimate the likelihood that an account will progress through the various delinquency stages and ultimately charge off. Qualitative factors that may result in further adjustments to the quantitative analysis include items such as forecasting uncertainties, changes in the composition of our lease and loan portfolios, seasonality, economic or business conditions and emerging trends, business practices or policies at the reporting date that are different from the periods used in the quantitative analysis. Adjustments due to such qualitative factors increased the allowance for credit losses by approximately $0.2 million and $0.1 million at September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.

The various factors used in the analysis are reviewed periodically, and no less frequently than quarterly. We then establish an allowance for credit losses for the projected probable net credit losses inherent in the portfolio based on this analysis. A provision is charged against earnings to maintain the allowance for credit losses at the appropriate level. Our policy is to charge-off against the allowance the estimated unrecoverable portion of accounts once they reach 121 days delinquent.

Our projections of probable net credit losses are inherently uncertain, and as a result we cannot predict with certainty the amount of such losses. Changes in economic conditions, the risk characteristics and composition of the portfolios, bankruptcy laws and other factors could impact our actual and projected net credit losses and the related allowance for credit losses. To the extent we add new leases and loans to our portfolios, or to the degree credit quality is worse than expected, we record expense to increase the allowance for credit losses for the estimated net losses inherent in our portfolios. Actual losses may vary from current estimates.

Securitizations. In connection with each of the Company's term note securitization transactions, we established bankruptcy remote SPEs and issued term debt to institutional investors. These SPEs are each considered VIEs under U.S. GAAP. We are required to consolidate VIEs in which we are deemed to be the primary beneficiary through having (1) power over the significant activities of the entity and (2) an obligation to absorb losses or the right to receive benefits from the VIE which are potentially significant to the VIE. We continue to service the assets of our VIEs and retain equity and/or residual interests. Accordingly, assets and related debt of these VIEs are included in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets. Our leases and restricted interest-earning deposits with banks are assigned as collateral for these borrowings and there is no further recourse to our general credit. Collateral in excess of these borrowings represents our maximum loss exposure.


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Stock-based compensation. We issue both restricted shares and stock options to certain employees and directors as part of our overall compensation strategy. The Compensation-Stock Compensation Topic of the FASB ASC establishes fair value as the measurement objective in accounting for share-based payment arrangements and requires all entities to apply a fair-value-based measurement method in accounting for share-based payment transactions with employees, except for equity instruments held by employee share ownership plans.

The Company measures stock-based compensation cost at grant date, based on the fair value of the awards ultimately expected to vest. Stock-based compensation expense is recognized on a straight-line basis over the service period. We generally use the Black-Scholes valuation model to measure the fair value of our stock options utilizing various assumptions with respect to expected holding period, risk-free interest rates, stock price volatility and dividend yield. The assumptions are based on subjective future expectations combined with management judgment.

As required by U.S. GAAP, the Company uses its judgment in estimating the amount of awards that are expected to be forfeited, with subsequent revisions to the assumptions if actual forfeitures differ from those estimates. The vesting of certain restricted shares may be accelerated to a minimum of three years based on achievement of various individual performance measures. Acceleration of expense for awards based on individual performance factors occurs when the achievement of the performance criteria is determined.

Nonforfeitable dividends paid on shares of restricted stock are recorded to retained earnings for shares that are expected to vest and to compensation expense for shares that are not expected to vest.

Income taxes. The Income Taxes Topic of the FASB ASC requires the use of the asset and liability method under which deferred taxes are determined based on the estimated future tax effects of differences between the financial statement and tax bases of assets and liabilities, given the provisions of the enacted tax laws. In assessing the realizability of deferred tax assets, management considers whether it is more likely than not that some portion of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets is dependent upon the generation of future taxable income during the periods in which those temporary differences become deductible. Management considers the scheduled reversal of deferred tax liabilities and projected future taxable income in making this assessment. Based upon the level of historical taxable income and projections for future taxable income over the periods which the deferred tax assets are deductible, management believes it is more likely than not that the Company will realize the benefits of these deductible differences.

Significant management judgment is required in determining the provision for income taxes, deferred tax assets and liabilities and any necessary valuation allowance recorded against net deferred tax assets. The process involves summarizing temporary differences resulting from the different treatment of items such as leases for tax and accounting purposes. These differences result in deferred tax assets and liabilities, which are included within the Consolidated Balance Sheets. Our management then assesses the likelihood that deferred tax assets will be recovered from future taxable income or tax carry-back availability and, to the extent our management believes recovery is not likely, a valuation allowance is established. To the extent that we establish a valuation allowance in a period, an expense is recorded within the tax provision in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.

At September 30, 2012, there have been no material changes to the liability for uncertain tax positions and there are no significant unrecognized tax benefits. The periods subject to general examination for the Company's federal return include the 2006 tax year to the present. The Company files state income tax returns in various states which may have different statutes of limitations. Generally, state income tax returns for years 2005 through the present are subject to examination. The Company has amended its previously filed income tax returns for the years 2006 through 2009, resulting in the recognition of a net tax receivable of approximately $15.4 million as originally discussed in Note 13 to the Company's Form 10-K for December 31, 2010. These amendments are subject to review by the various jurisdictions.

The Company records penalties and accrued interest related to taxes, including penalties and interest related to uncertain tax positions, in income tax expense. Such adjustments have historically been minimal and immaterial to our financial results.


Comparison of the Three-Month Periods Ended September 30, 2012 and September 30, 2011

Net income. Net income of $3.4 million was reported for the three-month period ended September 30, 2012, resulting in diluted EPS of $0.27, compared to net income of $1.8 million and diluted EPS of $0.14 for the three-month period ended September 30, 2011.


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Return on average assets was 2.50% for the three-month period ended September 30, 2012, compared to 1.56% for the three-month period ended September 30, 2011. Return on average equity was 8.08% for the three-month period ended September 30, 2012, compared to 4.53% for the three-month period ended September 30, 2011.

Overall, our average net investment in total finance receivables for the three-month period ended September 30, 2012 increased 24.8% to $448.7 million, compared to $359.5 million for the three-month period ended September 30, 2011. This change was primarily a result of an increase in the number of sales account executives and higher application approval rates, combined with the continued seasoning and development of our sales account executives.

During the three months ended September 30, 2012, we generated 6,227 new leases with a cost of $81.6 million, compared to 4,580 new leases with a cost of $59.7 million generated for the three months ended September 30, 2011. Sales staffing levels increased from 95 sales account executives at September 30, 2011 to 112 sales account executives at September 30, 2012. Approval rates also rose from 60% for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 to 67% for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 due to the improved credit quality of the applications received and adjustments made to credit policy in light of the improved performance of recent years' lease originations.

For the three-month period ended September 30, 2012 compared to the three-month period ended September 30, 2011, net interest and fee income increased $3.7 million, or 32.2%, primarily due to the impact of the 24.8% million increase in average total finance receivables, combined with a lower cost of funds on liabilities. The provision for credit losses increased $0.6 million, or 75.0%, to $1.4 million for the three-month period ended September 30, 2012 from $0.8 million for the same period in 2011, primarily due to portfolio growth, partially offset by lower charge-offs and improved delinquencies. Other expenses increased $0.6 million, or 6.7%, for the three-month period ended September 30, 2012 compared to the three-month period ended September 30, 2011, primarily due to increased lease origination volume and increased sales compensation expense.

Average balances and net interest margin. The following table summarizes the Company's average balances, interest income, interest expense and average yields and rates on major categories of interest-earning assets and interest-bearing liabilities for the three-month periods ended September 30, 2012 and September 30, 2011.

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