SOURCE: ATA Inc.

ATA Inc.

August 11, 2016 16:05 ET

ATA Reports Fiscal 2017 First Quarter Financial Results

Company to Hold Conference Call on Friday, August 12, 2016, at 8 a.m. ET

BEIJING, CHINA--(Marketwired - Aug 11, 2016) -  ATA Inc. ("ATA" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: ATAI), a leading provider of advanced testing technologies and testing-related services in China, today announced unaudited financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30, 2016 ("First Quarter 2017").

First Quarter 2017 Financial and Operating Highlights (percentage changes and comparisons against fiscal first quarter ended June 30, 2015 ("First Quarter 2016"))

  • Net revenues of RMB96.8 million (US$14.6 million), compared to RMB 97.5 million, despite the loss of revenue contributions from the Securities Association of China ("SAC") exam
  • Gross profit of RMB48.1 million (US$7.2 million), compared to RMB54.1 million
  • Income from operations of RMB11.2 million (US$1.7 million), up 27.6%
  • Net income of RMB4.1 million (US$0.6 million), compared to RMB6.1 million, primarily as a result of increased losses incurred by the Company's joint venture and associated companies focused on the education and recruitment markets
  • Adjusted net income excluding share-based compensation expense and foreign currency exchange loss (non-GAAP) of RMB5.2 million (US$0.8 million), compared to RMB10.0 million
  • Basic and diluted earnings per ADS were both RMB0.18 (US$0.02). Basic and diluted earnings per ADS excluding share-based compensation expense and foreign currency exchange loss (non-GAAP) for First Quarter 2017 were both RMB0.22 (US$0.04)
  • Delivered approximately 2.6 million billable tests, compared to 2.5 million billable tests in First Quarter 2016
  • RMB119.5 million (US$18.0 million) in cash and cash equivalents and no long-term debt as of June 30, 2016

Fiscal Year 2017 Outlook

  • For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017 ("Fiscal Year 2017"), ATA expects net revenues of between RMB420.0 million and RMB440.0 million and non-GAAP net income (adjusted net income, which excludes share-based compensation expense and foreign currency exchange gain/loss) of between RMB27.0 million and RMB37.0 million, which takes into account the operating results of ATA's current joint venture and associated companies focused on the education and recruitment markets, all of which are at an early stage of business development.
  • The Company is exploring growth opportunities in the K-12 education assessment and recruitment sectors during Fiscal Year 2017 and plans to invest between RMB20.0 million and RMB30.0 million in such sectors, which is not included in its Fiscal Year 2017 guidance.
  • For the quarter ending September 30, 2016 ("Second Quarter 2017"), ATA expects net revenues of between RMB58.0 million and RMB68.0 million.

Mr. Kevin Ma, ATA's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "During First Quarter 2017, we successfully delivered a new exam titled the Qualification Exam for Housing and Urban-Rural Construction Field Professionals for Sichuan Province and Ningxia Autonomous Region. We worked closely with test sponsors to ensure the smooth conversion of this exam from its original paper-based format to ATA's advanced platform. This new exam contributed to our top line in First Quarter 2017, and we expect it will continue to do so over the remaining quarters of Fiscal Year 2017. We are pleased to share that ATA was recently selected by the China National Tourism Administration as the service provider for the National Tour Guide Qualification Exam, which is scheduled to be delivered in November 2016. In June, we were also selected as the service provider to deliver computer-based testing services for self-developed entrance exams of four reputable Chinese universities, including Northwest University and Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. ATA has been able to capitalize on its increased brand recognition following our subsidiary ATA Online's New Third Board listing last year, and we continue to focus on accelerating the growth of our core testing services business."

Mr. Ma continued, "We delivered approximately 2.6 million billable tests during First Quarter 2017, compared to 2.5 million billable tests delivered in First Quarter 2016. In past months, we have worked closely with the Asset Management Association of China ('AMAC'), a self-regulatory organization that represents China's mutual fund industry, to ensure the smooth administration and delivery of the Fund Practitioners Certification Exam, and we look forward to partnering with AMAC in the years to come. We continue working to build upon the positive results achieved in Fiscal Year 2016 and remain confident in ATA's ability to engage new clients with our superior service offerings and reputation for quality. We have also continued exploring ways in which ATA can partner with up-and-coming companies possessing technologies and expertise in various areas of the education industry from which ATA can benefit over the long term."

Operating Review
In First Quarter 2017, ATA delivered a total of 2.6 million billable tests, compared to 2.5 million billable tests in First Quarter 2016. The Company had a network of 3,080 authorized test centers throughout China as of June 30, 2016, which the Company believes is the largest test center network in China operated by a commercial testing service provider. ATA has delivered approximately 78.9 million billable tests since it began operations in 1999.

GAAP Results

First Quarter 2017
For First Quarter 2017, ATA's total net revenues were RMB96.8 million (US$14.6 million), compared to RMB97.5 million in First Quarter 2016, despite the loss of revenue contributions from the SAC exam.

Gross profit for First Quarter 2017 was RMB48.1 million (US$7.2 million), compared to RMB54.1 million in First Quarter 2016. Gross margin was 49.6% in First Quarter 2017, compared to 55.5% in First Quarter 2016. The decrease was primarily due to the change in revenue mix and increased expenses related to additional operations staffing.

Income from operations in First Quarter 2017 increased 27.6% to RMB11.2 million (US$1.7 million), from RMB8.8 million in First Quarter 2016.

Net income for First Quarter 2017 was RMB4.1 million (US$0.6 million), compared to RMB6.1 million in First Quarter 2016. The decrease was primarily the result of increased losses incurred by the Company's joint venture and associated companies focused on the education and recruitment markets.

For First Quarter 2017, basic and diluted earnings per common share were both RMB0.09 (US$0.01), compared to basic and diluted earnings per common share of RMB0.13 in First Quarter 2016. Basic and diluted earnings per ADS were both RMB0.18 (US$0.02) in First Quarter 2017, compared to basic and diluted earnings per ADS of RMB0.26 in First Quarter 2016.

Non-GAAP Measures
Adjusted net income for First Quarter 2017, which excludes share-based compensation expense and foreign currency exchange loss (non-GAAP), was RMB5.2 million (US$0.8 million), compared to RMB10.0 million in the prior-year period. Basic and diluted earnings per common share excluding share-based compensation expense and foreign currency exchange loss (non-GAAP) for First Quarter 2017 were both RMB0.11 (US$0.02).

Basic and diluted earnings per ADS excluding share-based compensation expense and foreign currency exchange loss (non-GAAP) for First Quarter 2017 were both RMB0.22 (US$0.04), compared to RMB0.44 in the prior-year period.

Please see the note about non-GAAP measures and the reconciliation table at the end of this press release.

Other Data
The number of weighted average ADSs used to calculate both basic and diluted earnings per ADS for First Quarter 2017 was 22.9 million. Each ADS represents two common shares.

Balance Sheet Highlights
As of June 30, 2016, ATA's cash and cash equivalents were RMB119.5 million (US$18.0 million), working capital was RMB145.3 million (US$21.9 million), and total shareholders' equity was RMB399.5 million (US$60.1 million), compared to RMB247.7 million, RMB245.8 million, and RMB394.2 million, respectively, as of March 31, 2016. The decrease in cash and cash equivalents is primarily due to the increase in long-term investments related to ATA's recent strategic investments in a number of online education companies and an RMB30.0 million (US$4.5 million) cash reserve set aside as a domestic guarantee in China that allows the Company to obtain an overseas loan for general working capital purposes in its international business.

Guidance for Fiscal Year 2017 and for Second Quarter 2017
For Second Quarter 2017, ATA expects net revenues of between RMB58.0 million and RMB68.0 million.

For Fiscal Year 2017, ATA expects net revenues of between RMB420.0 million and RMB440.0 million and non-GAAP net income of between RMB27.0 million and RMB37.0 million, which takes into account the operating results of ATA's joint venture and associated companies focused on the education and recruitment markets, all of which are at an early stage of business development.

The Company is exploring growth opportunities in the K-12 education assessment and recruitment sectors during Fiscal Year 2017 and plans to invest between RMB20.0 million and RMB30.0 million in such sectors, which is not included in its Fiscal Year 2017 guidance.

 
Estimated Financial Results
(RMB in millions)
 
    Estimated for the year ending March 31, 2017   Actual for the year ended March 31, 2016
         
Net Revenues   420.0-440.0   417.1
Non-GAAP Net Income   27.0-37.0   36.7
         
    Estimated for the quarter ending September 30, 2016   Actual for the quarter ended September 30, 2015
         
Net Revenues   58.0-68.0   53.4
         

These are ATA's current projections, which are subject to change. You are cautioned that the operating results in First Quarter 2017 are not necessarily indicative of operating results for any future periods.

Conference Call and Webcast Information (With Accompanying Presentation)
ATA will host a conference call at 8 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday, August 12, 2016, during which management will discuss the results of First Quarter 2017. To participate in the conference call, please use the following dial-in numbers about 10 minutes prior to the scheduled conference call time:

         
U.S. & Canada (Toll-Free):   +1 (888) 339-2688    
International (Toll):   +1 (617) 847-3007    
         
    Toll-Free   Local Access
China:   (800) 990 1344   (400) 881 1630
Hong Kong:   (800) 96 3844   3002 1672
         

Participant Passcode: 42602457

A live webcast of the conference call can be accessed at the investor relations section of ATA's website at www.atai.net.cn or by clicking the following link: https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/274/16444

An accompanying slide presentation in PDF format will also be made available 30 minutes prior to the conference call on the same investor relations section of ATA's website. To listen to the webcast, please visit ATA's website a few minutes prior to the start of the call to register, download, and install any necessary audio software.

A replay will be available shortly after the call on the investor relations section of ATA's website and will remain available for 90 days.

About ATA Inc.
ATA is a leading provider of advanced testing technologies in China. The Company offers comprehensive services for the creation and delivery of assessments based on its proprietary testing technologies and test delivery platform. ATA's testing technologies are used for professional licensure and certification tests in various industries, including information technology services, banking, teaching, asset management, insurance, and accounting. As of June 30, 2016, ATA's test center network comprised 3,080 authorized test centers located throughout China. The Company believes that it has the largest test center network of any commercial testing service provider in China.

ATA has delivered more than 78.9 million billable tests since ATA started operations in 1999. For more information, please visit ATA's website at www.atai.net.cn.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

These forward-looking statements can be identified by terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "future," "intend," "look forward to," "outlook," "plan," "should," "will," and similar terms and include, among other things, the Company's guidance relating to anticipated financial and operating results for the Second Quarter 2017 and Fiscal Year 2017 and statements regarding market demand and trends, the delivery of various new exams including the Qualification Exam for Housing and Urban-Rural Construction Field Professionals and National Tour Guide Qualification Exam, the anticipated benefits of listing of ATA Online on the New Third Board and the completion of its private placement transaction, the plan of investment in the K-12 education assessment and recruitment sectors and the Company's future growth and results of operations.

The factors that could cause the Company's actual financial and operating results to differ from what the Company currently anticipates can include its ability to meet challenges associated with its rapid expansion, its ability to meet the expectations of current and future clients, its ability to deploy new test titles, its ability to win new enterprise contracts, its ability to convert its existing contracts into actual revenues, the economy of China, uncertainties with respect to the China's legal and regulatory environments, and other factors stated in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC").

The financial information contained in this release should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes included in the Company's annual report on Form 20-F for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, and other filings that ATA has made with the SEC. The filings are available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov and at ATA's website at www.atai.net.cn. For additional information on the risk factors that could adversely affect the Company's business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects, please see the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

The preliminary results for First Quarter 2017 remain subject to the finalization of the Company's year-end closing and reporting processes.

The forward-looking statements in this release involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations, assumptions, estimates, and projections about ATA and the markets in which it operates. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release, to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, or to changes in its expectations, except as may be required by law. Although the Company believes that the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, the Company cannot assure you that its expectations and assumptions will turn out to be correct, and investors are cautioned that actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results.

Currency Convenience Translation
The Company's financial information is stated in Renminbi ("RMB"), the currency of the People's Republic of China. The translation of RMB amounts for First Quarter 2017 ended June 30, 2016, into U.S. dollars are included solely for the convenience of readers and have been made at the rate of RMB6.6459 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate as of June 30, 2016, in New York for cable transfers in RMB per U.S. dollar as set forth in the H.10 weekly statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board. Such translations should not be construed as representations that RMB amounts could be converted into U.S. dollars at that rate or any other rate, or to be the amounts that would have been reported under U.S. GAAP.

About Non-GAAP Financial Measures
To supplement ATA's consolidated financial information presented in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), ATA uses the following non-GAAP financial measures: net income (loss) excluding share-based compensation expense and foreign currency exchange gain or loss, and basic and diluted earnings (losses) per common share and ADS excluding share-based compensation expense and foreign currency exchange gain or loss.

The presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP. ATA believes these non-GAAP financial measures provide meaningful supplemental information about its performance by excluding share-based compensation expense and foreign currency exchange gains or losses, which may not be indicative of its operating performance.

ATA believes that both management and investors benefit from these non-GAAP financial measures in assessing its performance and when planning and forecasting future periods. These non-GAAP financial measures also facilitate management's internal comparisons to ATA's historical performance. ATA computes its non-GAAP financial measures using a consistent method from period to period. ATA believes these non-GAAP financial measures are useful to investors in allowing for greater transparency with respect to supplemental information used by management in its financial and operational decision making. A limitation of using non-GAAP net income (loss) excluding share-based compensation expense and foreign currency exchange gains or losses and basic and diluted earnings (losses) per common share and per ADS excluding share-based compensation expense and foreign currency exchange gain or loss is that share-based compensation charges and foreign currency exchange gains or losses have been, and are expected to continue to be for the foreseeable future, a significant recurring expense in ATA's business.

Management compensates for these limitations by providing specific information regarding the GAAP amounts excluded from each non-GAAP measure. The table captioned "Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Measures to the Most Comparable GAAP Measures" shown at the end this news release has more details on the reconciliations between GAAP financial measures that are most directly comparable to the non-GAAP financial measures used by ATA.

   
   
ATA INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES  
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS  
   
    March 31,     June 30,     June 30,  
    2016     2016     2016  
    RMB     RMB     USD  
ASSETS                  
Current assets:                  
  Cash and cash equivalents   247,667,737     119,475,348     17,977,301  
  Accounts receivable, net   50,552,034     76,908,661     11,572,347  
  Receivable due from shareholder   10,000,000     10,000,000     1,504,687  
  Prepaid expenses and other current assets   11,932,244     8,201,428     1,234,058  
    Total current assets   320,152,015     214,585,437     32,288,393  
                     
                     
  Long-term investments   50,685,846     124,312,944     18,705,208  
  Property and equipment, net   57,229,727     55,666,378     8,376,048  
  Goodwill   31,011,902     31,011,902     4,666,321  
  Intangible assets, net   750,895     702,677     105,731  
  Construction in progress   -     3,133,019     471,421  
  Restricted cash   -     30,000,000     4,514,061  
  Other assets   10,630,745     11,290,534     1,698,872  
    Total assets   470,461,130     470,702,891     70,826,055  
                   
                   
                   
Current liabilities:                  
  Accrued expenses and other payables   57,739,627     58,974,284     8,873,784  
  Deferred revenues   16,612,164     10,332,234     1,554,678  
    Total current liabilities   74,351,791     69,306,518     10,428,462  
                   
                   
  Deferred revenues   1,878,751     1,942,033     292,215  
    Total liabilities   76, 230,542     71,248,551     10,720,677  
                   
                   
Shareholders' equity:                  
  Common shares   3,530,704     3,533,912     531,743  
  Treasury shares   (27,737,073 )   (27,737,073 )   (4,173,562 )
  Additional paid-in capital   395,876,282     396,712,338     59,692,794  
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (25,174,129 )   (24,933,003 )   (3,751,637 )
  Retained earnings   47,734,804     51,878,166     7,806,040  
    Total shareholders' equity   394,230,588     399,454,340     60,105,378  
    Total liabilities and shareholders' equity   470,461,130     470,702,891     70,826,055  
                       
                       
                       
ATA INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES  
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME  
   
    Three-month Period Ended  
    June 30,     June 30,     June 30,  
    2015     2016     2016  
    RMB     RMB     USD  
Net revenues:                  
  Testing services   91,374,839     89,553,678     13,475,026  
  Online education services   845,420     1,062,883     159,931  
  Other revenue   5,308,394     6,227,458     937,038  
  Total net revenues   97,528,653     96,844,019     14,571,995  
Cost of revenues   43,396,826     48,767,251     7,337,945  
  Gross profit   54,131,827     48,076,768     7,234,050  
                   
Operating expenses:                  
Research and development   8,121,409     9,147,630     1,376,432  
Sales and marketing   10,457,696     11,673,930     1,756,561  
General and administrative   26,755,797     16,033,817     2,412,588  
  Total operating expenses   45,334,902     36,855,377     5,545,581  
Income from operations   8,796,925     11,221,391     1,688,469  
                   
Other income/ (loss):                  
Share of losses of equity method investment   (131,883 )   (4,129,754 )   (621,399 )
Interest income   893,386     973,776     146,523  
Foreign currency exchange loss, net   (59,205 )   (31,410 )   (4,726 )
  Total other income (loss)   702,298     (3,187,388 )   (479,602 )
Income before income taxes   9,499,223     8,034,003     1,208,867  
                   
Income tax expense   3,361,109     3,890,641     585,420  
Net income   6,138,114     4,143,362     623,447  
                   
                   
Other comprehensive income (loss):                  
Foreign currency translation adjustment, net of nil income taxes   (261,127 )   241,126     36,282  
Comprehensive income   5,876,987     4,384,488     659,729  
                   
Basic and diluted earnings per common share   0.13     0.09     0.01  
                   
Basic and diluted earnings per ADS   0.26     0.18     0.02  
                   
                   
                   
RECONCILIATIONS OF NON-GAAP MEASURES
TO THE MOST COMPARABLE GAAP MEASURES
 
         
    Three-month Period Ended
    June 30,   June 30,
    2015   2016
    RMB   RMB
         
GAAP net income   6,138,114   4,143,362
Share-based compensation expenses   3,813,996   1,039,310
Foreign currency exchange loss, net   59,205   31,410
  Non-GAAP net income   10,011,315   5,214,082
         
GAAP earnings per common share:        
    Basic and diluted   0.13   0.09
         
Non-GAAP earnings per common share:        
    Basic and diluted   0.22   0.11

Contact Information

  • For more information on our company, please contact the following individuals:

    At the Company
    ATA Inc.
    Shelly Jiang
    Interim CFO
    +86 10 6518 1122 x5500
    jiangyan@atai.net.cn

    Investor Relations
    The Equity Group Inc.
    Carolyne Y. Sohn
    Senior Associate
    415-568-2255
    +86 10 6587 6435
    csohn@equityny.com

    Adam Prior
    Senior Vice President
    212-836-9606
    aprior@equityny.com