Net Element Reports Third Quarter 2017 Results

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MIAMI, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 11/14/17 -- Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) ("Net Element" or the "Company"), a global financial technology and value-added solutions group that supports electronic payments acceptance in an omni-channel environment spanning across point-of-sale (POS), e-commerce and mobile devices, today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017 and provided an update on recent strategic and operational initiatives.

Third Quarter 2017 Results:

Recent Highlights:

"Third quarter was an important period for the Company as we streamlined international operations to build a more profitable and less capital intensive Mobile and Online Solutions business. Additionally, we regained compliance with the Nasdaq continued listing requirements," commented Oleg Firer, CEO of Net Element. "In the United States we continue to grow organically with the focus on value-added solutions."

Conference Call:

The Company will host a conference call to discuss Third Quarter 2017 financial results and business highlights on November 15, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. ET. The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing +1 (877) 303-9858, or for international callers +1 (408) 337-0139, and referencing conference code 4797319. It is recommended that participants dial in approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the 8:30 a.m. Eastern call.

The call will also be webcast live from https://edge.media-server.com/m6/p/mn6s3mja. Following completion of the call, a recorded replay of the webcast will be available on the www.netelement.com/en/ir website.

Results of Operations for the Three Months Ended September 30, 2017 Compared to the Three Months Ended September 30, 2016

We reported a net loss attributable to our stockholders of $1,702,536, or $0.90 per share, for the three months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to a net loss attributable to our stockholders of $3,469,540, or $2.47 per share, for the three months ended September 30, 2016. This resulted in a decrease in net loss attributable to stockholders of $1,767,004 primarily due to an increase in revenues, decreases in non-cash compensation and interest expenses, partially offset by an increase in other expenses. Net loss attributable to stockholders for the three months ended September 30, 2016 was also negatively affected by an expense for loss from stock value guarantee related to the PayOnline acquisition.

Eliminating the effects of non-cash compensation and a 2016 stock value guarantee, we reported an adjusted non-GAAP, Net loss attributable to Net Element, Inc. stockholders of $1,591,259 or $0.84 per share for the three months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to an adjusted non-GAAP, Net loss attributable to Net Element, Inc. stockholders of $2,736,839 or $1.95 per share for the three months ended September 30, 2016.

Net revenues consist primarily of payment processing fees. Net revenues were $14,901,131 for the three months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $14,009,652 for the three months ended September 30, 2016. The increase in net revenue is primarily due to an increase to North American Transaction Solutions segment revenue of $1,936,917 (or 17% increase) for the three months ended September 30, 2017 versus the three months ended September 30, 2016. Increases in our North American Transaction Solutions segment revenue were primarily due to continued organic growth of merchants with emphasis on value-added offerings partially offset by some loss of processing revenues resulting from storms primarily affecting merchants processing in Florida and Texas. Our Online Solutions segment revenue increased $180,803 (or 11%), from $1,597,124 for the three months ended September 30, 2016 to $1,777,927 for the three months ended September 30, 2017. Net revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2017 was also negatively affected by a $1,226,241 (or 100%) decrease in revenue in our Mobile Solutions segment, as we experience increased competition, decreased margins and reorganizing assignments of the Mobile Solutions segment to employees at PayOnline and TOT Group Russia.

The following table sets forth our sources of revenues, cost of revenues and gross margins for the three months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016:

Cost of revenues represents direct costs of generating revenues, including commissions, mobile operator fees, purchases of short numbers, interchange expense and processing fees. Cost of revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2017 were $12,756,627 as compared to $11,695,168 for the three months ended September 30, 2016. The $1,061,459 increase in cost of revenues was primarily due to a $1,693,145 increase in our North American Transaction Solutions segment due to the corresponding increase in sales volume. There also was a $414,149 increase in cost of revenues resulting from our Online Solutions segment operations primarily due the costs associated with onboarding additional merchants. This was partially offset by a $1,045,836 decrease in our Mobile Solutions segment cost of revenues, which resulted from the corresponding decrease in revenues for our Mobile Solutions segment for the three months ended September 30, 2017.

Gross margin or the three months ended September 30, 2017 was $2,144,504, or 14% of net revenue, as compared to $2,314,484, or 17% of net revenue, for the three months ended September 30, 2016. The $169,980 decrease in gross margin was primarily due to a decrease of $180,405 in Mobile Solutions margin caused by a decrease in business and a $233,346 decrease in Online Solutions offset by $243,771 increase in gross margin in North American Transaction Solutions caused by continued growth of merchants with emphasis on value-added offerings.

Total operating expenses were $3,418,716 for the three months ended September 30, 2017, which consisted of general and administrative expenses of $2,357,729, non-cash compensation expenses of $111,277, provision for bad debts of $319,690, and depreciation and amortization of $630,020. Total operating expenses were $4,083,494 for the three months ended September 30, 2016, which consisted of general and administrative expenses of $2,284,737, non-cash compensation expenses of $732,701, provision for bad debts of $301,170, and depreciation and amortization of $764,886.

The components of our general and administrative expenses are discussed below.

General and administrative expenses for the three months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016 consisted of operating expenses not otherwise delineated in our Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss and include salaries and benefits, professional fees, rent, business development, travel expense, filing fees, transaction gains or losses, office expenses, communication expenses, insurance expenses, and other expenses required to run our business, as follows:

Salaries, benefits, taxes and contractor payments were $1,256,498 for the three months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $1,132,268 for the three months ended September 30, 2016.

The increase in salaries of $124,230 was due to the North American Transaction Solutions segment and corporate salaries increasing $44,743 and $96,505, respectively, due to an increase in headcount and sales incentives for key employees as the business grows. In addition, an increase in our Online Solutions segment of $45,549 was primarily due to the Ruble exchange rate. These increases were offset by a decrease of $62,577 in our Mobile Solutions segment due to the elimination of headcount as we assigned the current workloads to existing employees of PayOnline and TOT Group Russia.

Professional fees were $661,438 for the three months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $672,480 for the three months ended September 30, 2016.

Professional fees decreased by $11,042 mainly due to a decrease in general legal fees because of decreases in litigation and tax compliance fees partially offset by an increases in SEC compliance and consulting fees due to increased public market transactions.

Non-cash compensation expense from share-based compensation was $111,277 for the three months ended September 30, 2017, compared to $732,701 for the three months ended September 30, 2016. The majority of these expenses were for employee and consultant equity incentives for both periods.

We recorded bad debt expense of $319,690 for the three months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $301,170 for the three months ended September 30, 2016. For the three months ended September 30, 2017, we recorded a loss which was primarily comprised of $227,281 in ACH rejects and a $92,409 provision from our Russian operations. Of the $678,143 of gross ACH rejects, $111,174 were passed through to independent sales organizations via a reduction in commissions. For the three months ended September 30, 2016, we recorded a loss which was primarily comprised of $301,132 in net ACH rejects. Of the $301,132 of net ACH rejects, $117,794 were passed through to independent sales organizations via a reduction in commissions.

Depreciation and amortization expense consists primarily of the amortization of merchant portfolios plus depreciation expense on fixed assets, client acquisition costs, capitalized software expenses, trademarks, domain names and employee non-compete agreements. Depreciation and amortization expense was $630,020 for the three months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $764,886 for the three months ended September 30, 2016. The decrease was due to the full amortization of certain software and merchant portfolio assets during 2016.

Interest expense was $302,813 for the three months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $608,716 for three months ended September 30, 2016, representing a decrease of $305,904 due to lower balances as follows:

Other interest expense for the three months ended September 30, 2017 consisted of $10,407 resulting from the promissory note entered into on March 1, 2017 with Star Equities, LLC (See Note 12. Related Party Transactions) and $17,762 related to the PayOnline acquisition. During the three months ended September 30, 2016, other interest expense primarily consisted of $76,289 related to the PayOnline acquisition. The primary reason for the decrease was due to less Crede stock exchange paydowns on RBL debt during the three months ended September 30, 2017, which resulted in increased RBL interest expense during 2016.

Other expenses for the three months ended September 30, 2017 consists primarily of a $94,267 of expenses attributed to our Mobile Solutions division.

The net income attributable to non-controlling interests amounted to $32,607 for three months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to the net loss of $33,683 for the three months ended September 30, 2016. The $66,290 decrease was caused by an adjustment to commission expense for prior quarters recorded during the three months ended September 30, 2017.

Results of Operations for the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2017 Compared to the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2016

We reported a net loss attributable to stockholders of $5,830,373, or $3.29 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to a net loss attributable to stockholders of $10,663,708, or $8.65 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. This resulted in a decrease in net loss attributable to stockholders of $4,833,335 primarily due to an increase in revenues and a decrease in the loss from stock value guarantee, a decrease in noncash compensation expense, and a decrease in other income offset by an increase in general and administrative expenses.

Eliminating the effects of non-cash compensation in both years and a 2016 stock value guarantee, we reported an adjusted non-GAAP, Net loss attributable to Net Element, Inc. stockholders of $4,994,154 or $2.82 per share for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to an adjusted non-GAAP, Net loss attributable to Net Element, Inc. stockholders of $5,392,573 or $4.73 per share for the nine months ended September 30, 2016.

Net revenues consist primarily of payment processing fees. Net revenues were $44,604,113 for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $38,963,559 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. The increase in net revenue is primarily due to organic growth of merchants in our North American Transaction Solutions segment which resulted in an increase to North American Transaction Solutions segment revenue of $8,258,268 (or 28% increase) for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 versus the nine months ended September 30, 2016. Increases in our North American Transaction Solutions segment revenue were primarily due to continued growth of merchants with emphasis on value-added offerings. Our Online Solutions segment revenue increased $1,006,578 (or 22%), from $4,521,239 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 to $5,527,817 for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, primarily due to the onboarding of additional merchants. The increases in North American Transaction Solutions and Online Solutions segments were offset by a $3,624,292 (or 72%) decrease in our Mobile Solutions segment, as we have eliminated staff and assigned current responsibilities to team members at PayOnline and TOT Group Russia.

The following table sets forth our sources of revenues, cost of revenues and gross margins for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016:

Cost of revenues represents direct costs of generating revenues, including commissions, mobile operator fees, purchases of short numbers, interchange expense and processing fees. Cost of revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 were $37,535,011 as compared to $32,565,202 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. The increase in cost of revenues was primarily due to a $7,006,287 increase in our North American Transaction Solutions segment due to the corresponding increase in sales volume. There was also a $1,070,861 increase in cost of revenues resulting from our Online Solutions segment operations also primarily due to with boarding additional merchants. This was offset by a $3,107,339 decrease in our Mobile Solutions segment cost of revenues, which resulted from the corresponding decrease in sales for our Mobile Solutions segment for the nine months ended September 30, 2017.

Gross margin for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 was $7,069,102, or 16% of net revenue, as compared to $6,398,357, or 16% of net revenue, for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. The $670,745 increase in gross margin was primarily due to the increased sales volume of processing and business mix in our North American Transaction Solutions offset by a decrease of $516,953 in our Mobile Solutions margin caused from a decrease in business.

Total operating expenses were $11,949,998 for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, which consisted of general and administrative expenses of $7,788,068, non-cash compensation expenses of $836,218, provision for bad debts of $1,465,311, and depreciation and amortization of $1,860,401. Total operating expenses were $12,656,323 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016, which consisted of general and administrative expenses of $6,372,361, non-cash compensation expenses of $3,108,274, provision for bad debts of $678,150, and depreciation and amortization of $2,497,538.

The components of our general and administrative expenses are discussed below.

General and administrative expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016 consisted of operating expenses not otherwise delineated in our Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss and include salaries and benefits, professional fees, rent, business development, travel expense, filing fees, transaction gains, office expenses, communication expense, insurance expense, and other expenses required to run our business, as follows:

Salaries, benefits, taxes and contractor payments were $4,297,027 for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $3,488,266 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016.

The increase in salaries of $808,761 was due primarily to the increase of corporate expenses for a $300,000 discretionary bonus payable to our CEO and approved by the Board of directors. The bonus is payable when cash flow of the business can support the payment. Additionally, North American Transaction Solutions segment salaries increased $180,922 due to an increase in headcount and sales incentives for key employees. There was also an increase of $246,818 in our Online Solutions segment which were primarily due to increasing payroll and consulting on PayOnline and the Ruble exchange rate. This was offset by a decrease in Mobile Solutions segment of $48,179 due to reducing headcount in response to the continued decrease in sales and reorganizing the business and responsibilities.

Professional fees were $1,995,855 for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $1,874,191 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016.

Professional fees increased by $121,664 primarily due to an increase in Online Solutions segment's consulting fees of $239,933 and $60,099 in corporate's SEC compliance fees primarily offset by a decrease in general legal corporate expenses of $105,506 and a $85,457 decrease in corporate consulting expenses.

Non-cash compensation expense from share-based compensation was $836,218 for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, compared to $3,108,274 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. The majority of these expenses were for employee and consultant incentives in both periods.

We recorded bad debt expense of $1,465,311 for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $678,150 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, we recorded a loss which was primarily comprised of $1,185,804 in net ACH rejects and a $279,508 provision from our Russian operations. Of the $1,185,804 of net ACH rejects, $781,923 were passed through to independent sales organizations that board their merchants with us. For the nine months ended September 30, 2016, we recorded a loss which was primarily comprised of $710,508 in net ACH rejects offset by a $32,358 recovery from our Russian operations. Of the $678,150 of net ACH rejects, $286,128 were passed through as a reduction to commissions to independent sales organizations that board their merchants with us.

Depreciation and amortization expense consists primarily of the amortization of merchant portfolios plus depreciation expense on fixed assets, client acquisition costs, capitalized software expenses, trademarks, domain names and employee non-compete agreements. Depreciation and amortization expense was $1,860,401 for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $2,497,538 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016.

Interest expense was $894,553 for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $1,186,207 for nine months ended September 30, 2016, representing a decrease of $291,655 as follows:

Other interest expense primarily consisted of $84,199 resulting from the promissory note entered into on March 1, 2017 with Star Equities, LLC (see Note 12. Related Party Transactions) and $98,139 related to the PayOnline acquisition. During the nine months ended September 30, 2016, other interest consisted primarily of $76,289 related to the PayOnline acquisition. The primary reason for the decrease was due to less Crede stock paydowns on RBL debt during nine months ended 2017, which resulted in increased RBL interest expense during 2016.

Other expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, consisted of $98,721 attributed to our Mobile Solutions Division, by $48,481 in from our North American Transaction Solutions segment and $9,128 of expenses from corporate, offset by $5,359 in other income from our Online Solutions segment.

The net income attributable to non-controlling interests amounted to $93,175 for nine months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $110,350 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. The decrease was caused by an adjustment to commission expense for prior quarters recorded during the three months ended September 30, 2017.

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Regulation G Disclosure

To supplement its consolidated financial statements presented in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), the Company provides additional measures of its operating results by disclosing its adjusted net loss. Adjusted net loss is calculated as net loss excluding non-cash share based compensation and other non-operating, non-recurring items. Net Element discloses this amount on an aggregate and per share basis. These measures meet the definition of non-GAAP financial measures. The Company believes that application of these non-GAAP financial measures is appropriate to enhance the understanding of its historical performance through use of a metric that seeks to normalize period-to-period earnings.

This press release contains non-GAAP financial measures within the meaning of Regulation G promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Pursuant to Regulation G, a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures with the comparable financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016 is presented in the following Non-GAAP Financial Measures Table.

Additional information regarding Net Element's results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2017 may be found in Net Element's quarterly report on Form 10-Q, which was filed with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 14, 2017 and may be obtained from the SEC's Internet website at http://www.sec.gov.

About Net Element
Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) operates a payments-as-a-service transactional and value-added services platform for small to medium enterprise ("SME") in the U.S. and selected emerging markets. In the U.S. it aims to grow transactional revenue by innovating SME productivity services such as its cloud based, restaurant and retail point-of-sale solution Aptito. Internationally, Net Element's strategy is to leverage its omni-channel platform to deliver flexible offerings to emerging markets with diverse banking, regulatory and demographic conditions. Net Element was ranked as one of the fastest growing companies in North America on Deloitte's 2017 Technology Fast 500™ and South Florida Business Journal's 2016 fastest growing technology companies. Further information is available at www.netelement.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release 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. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Words such as "continue," "will," "may," "could," "should," "expect," "expected," "plans," "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, many of which are generally outside the control of Net Element and are difficult to predict. Examples of such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: (i) Net Element's ability (or inability) to obtain additional financing in sufficient amounts or on acceptable terms when needed; (ii) Net Element's ability to maintain existing, and secure additional, contracts with users of its payment processing services; (iii) Net Element's ability to successfully expand in existing markets and enter new markets; (iv) Net Element's ability to successfully manage and integrate any acquisitions of businesses, solutions or technologies; (v) unanticipated operating costs, transaction costs and actual or contingent liabilities; (vi) the ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel; (vii) adverse effects of increased competition on Net Element's business; (viii) changes in government licensing and regulation that may adversely affect Net Element's business; (ix) the risk that changes in consumer behavior could adversely affect Net Element's business; (x) Net Element's ability to protect its intellectual property; (xi) local, industry and general business and economic conditions; (xii) adverse effects of potentially deteriorating U.S.-Russia relations, including, without limitation, over a conflict related to Ukraine, including a risk of further U.S. government sanctions or other legal restrictions on U.S. businesses doing business in Russia. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements can be found in the most recent annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed by Net Element with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Net Element anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause its plans, intentions and expectations to change. Net Element assumes no obligation, and it specifically disclaims any intention or obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by law.

More news and information about Net Element, Inc.

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Marketwire: 21:31 GMT Tuesday 14th November 2017

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