As far as Encore Capital Group is concerned, this is the perfect storm — credit card originations and charge-offs are both rising faster than the company can keep up, leading to a huge supply of portfolios to purchase and more debts to collect, which is why the company is spending more money than it ever has to purchase portfolios, the company’s CEO said during a call earlier this week to discuss it’s third quarter earnings report.
By The Numbers: The company reported net income of $19.3 million for the third quarter, down 39% from the same period last year. Total revenue, though, was $309 million, up from $308 million during the third quarter of last year. Overall, the company collected $465 million, up from $458 million last year.
More Numbers: Encore’s subsidiary, Midland Credit Management, has spent $775 million in the last four quarters on debt portfolios, noted Ashish Masih, Encore’s chief executive, during a conference call with investors to discuss the company’s earnings. The record for a calendar year that Encore has spent on portfolios was $682 million back in 2019. Midland is expected to spend more than $200 million during the fourth quarter, which would set a new annual record for the company.
Hiring Spree: Midland has hired 350 new account managers since the start of 2023, Masih said during the call with analysts. The intention is to increase the company’s internal collections capacity. When asked about the new hires, Masih said:
- “So this is not a one-time sudden hiring and sudden closing of call centers and whatnot. We’ve been adding staff for the last six months in a very steady fashion in our US business. Doing it across US, Costa Rica, India, and therefore we are able to train them and it’s on a large base of account managers already. So it’s not like – this increase will impact our efficiency much. It’s a very steady measured way to add capacity and we continue to do that. And we plan to continue doing that, for the rest of the year for sure, as we plan for increased purchasing. So, we’re very confident operationally how these will perform, and have baked in that into our expectations again back to the forecast of the best possible ability that we can.”