Fifth Street Finance Corp.(FSC) may be an ideal name for aggressive income investors. This is one of the top business development companies. The consensus price target is $11.50. Investors receive a 10.47% dividend with monthly distributions. First Call consensus has a buy recommendation with a 2.5 rating.
Fifth Street reported net investment income of $0.27 (excluding gains on convert repurchase, diluted), in line with prior quarter and our estimate. This was a result of lower interest income earned on a larger average portfolio. Book value increased by $0.02 following a net $2.5 million unrealized appreciation on investments.
Liquidity: As of this week, FSC increased its available liquidity to $738 million following the post quarter end note issuance, capital raise, and credit facility expansion. FSC is well positioned for the acquisition of Healthcare Financial Group as management works toward its target leverage.
Valuation: Fifth Street is trading 12% premium, 1% above the peer group average, and yielding 10.47%, above the peer group average of 9.1%.
Estimates: Analyst lowered the 2013 estimate to $1.08 (from $1.10) to reflect a larger liquidity drag than previously expected. The 2014 and 2015 estimates remain unchanged at $1.15 and $1.20.
Maintain Buy: FSC is well positioned from a liquidity and capital standpoint to continue to take advantage of a strong pipeline of growth. The next step for the stock is to translate that into higher ROEs by achieving and maintaining higher levels of leverage.
In May, FSC announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase a specialty lender, Healthcare Finance Group, that provides lending to healthcare companies. FSC will be investing $100 million, financed by cash and liquidity mentioned above.
OnMay 6, 2013, upon expiration of our existing stock repurchase program, the Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program to acquire up to$50 millionof outstanding common stock. Stock repurchases under this program would be made through the open market at times and in such amounts as management deems appropriate, provided they are below the most recently published net asset value per share.