Debt buyer Asta Funding Inc. on Monday reported net income for the first quarter of the 2013 fiscal year, a three-month period ended December 31, fell to $2.59 million compared with $2.98 million for the year-ago period. Total revenue rose to $10.6 million in the quarter compared with $10.44 million a year ago.

The Englewood Cliffs, N.J. firm reported net cash collections of consumer receivables acquired for liquidation totaled $13.6 million in the quarter, including $10,000 from collections represented by account sales. This compares to the prior year's total net cash collections of $16.9 million, including $31,000 from collections represented by account sales.

Net cash collections on the firm's Great Seneca portfolio totaled $2.6 million in the quarter compared with $2.7 million a year ago. In February 20007, the company bought a $6.9 billion delinquent credit card portfolio from Great Seneca.

Asta Funding has $106 million in cash and securities and no senior or subordinated debt as of December 31.

Gary Stern, Asta Funding's chairman, president and CEO, said, "[As of December 31] our cash and cash equivalents and investments totaled $106 million. During the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 we invested over $7 million in personal injury claims and repurchased approximately $1.4 million of Asta Funding Inc. shares.

"Our strong balance sheet puts us in an excellent position for funding our investment opportunities without the immediate need for external financing. We are not abandoning our core business as we continue to review all of our investment options in the distressed receivables market. However, in this challenging pricing and collection environment, we are continuing to explore other financing markets that we can effectively service and maximize returns to our shareholders."

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