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U.S. Middle Market Sees Double Digit Revenue Growth in Q1/18 , Report

April 18, 2018, 08:02 AM
Filed Under: Economic Commentary

Middle market private companies in the Golub Capital Altman Index experienced year-over-year revenue growth of 10.96% and earnings growth of 6.22% during the first two months of the first quarter of 2018. This compares to year-over-year revenue growth of 11.51% and earnings growth of 12.77% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Lawrence E. Golub, CEO of Golub Capital, said, "Middle market companies had a strong start to 2018, with double-digit revenue growth in the Consumer, Industrials and Technology sectors. Overall, this was the strongest first quarter for year-over-year revenue growth since inception of the Golub Capital Altman Index. Aggregate earnings growth was solid, led once again by the Technology sector. With tax reform giving many households additional spending power and a weak dollar boosting export competitiveness, the U.S. economy appears well positioned for growth in 2018."

Dr. Edward I. Altman said, "The Consumer sector continued the turnaround we first identified in the second quarter of 2017. The Consumer companies in our sample have made real progress in controlling costs despite the tight labor market. On the other hand, the Healthcare companies in our sample have found it more difficult to maintain profit margins."

The Golub Capital Altman Index (GCA), which is produced by Golub Capital in collaboration with renowned credit expert Dr. Edward I. Altman, is the first and only index based on actual revenue and earnings (defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or "EBITDA") for middle market companies. It measures the median revenue and earnings growth of more than 150 private U.S. companies in the loan portfolio of Golub Capital, a leading middle market lender. Reported shortly before public company quarterly earnings season, the GCAI has served as a reliable indicator of the overall growth rates in revenue and earnings of public companies in market indexes such as the S&P 500 and S&P SmallCap 600 ("S&P 600"), as well as quarterly Gross Domestic Product ("GDP"), according to statistical back-testing dating back to 2012, when data began to be tracked.

The size and diversity of the Golub Capital loan portfolio ensure that the confidentiality of all company-specific information used in the index is maintained in both the aggregate and industry segment data.

We believe the results (1) are representative of the general performance of middle market companies, which are a major contributor to U.S. private sector employment; (2) can be easily compared to the performance of the public companies that make up major stock indexes; (3) are relevant to the aggregate economic performance of the U.S. economy and (4) provide timely information for the investment community.

The companies in the GCAI operate in a wide range of industries. Results are provided for the total universe of GCAI constituents and by industry segment. Given the index's limited exposure to Financials, Utilities, Energy and Materials, comparisons are made to the S&P 500 and S&P 600 as well as to "adjusted" versions of those indexes that exclude the aforementioned sectors.

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