World Acceptance Corporation Reports Third Quarter Results

January 29, 2009

Continued Growth in Loans, Revenues and Net Income

GREENVILLE, SC – January 28, 2009 – World Acceptance Corporation (NASDAQ:WRLD) today reported an 11.0% increase in gross loan balances, a 13.2% increase in revenues, a 37.3% increase in net income and a 41.9% increase in diluted earnings per share for its third fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2008, compared with the corresponding quarter of the prior fiscal year.

Net income for the third quarter rose to $10.0 million, a 37.3% increase over the $7.3 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008. Diluted earnings per share increased 41.9% to $0.61 for the current quarter from $0.43 for the prior year quarter.

The third quarter net income benefited from the sale of the Company’s $10 million foreign exchange currency option that resulted in an after-tax gain of approximately $938,000. In addition, in December the Company repurchased and cancelled $5 million par value of its 3% convertible subordinated debt, which resulted in an after-tax gain of $1.5 million. During the quarter, the gains were offset by a $1.0 million loss (after taxes) associated with outstanding interest rate swaps. Net income per dilutive share was increased by $0.08 due to the above mentioned items.

World Acceptance’s revenues benefited from continued growth in our loan portfolio and the contribution from offices opened and acquired since last year, a gain on the sale of a foreign currency option, and a gain on the extinguishment of debt, stated Sandy McLean, CEO of World Acceptance Corporation. We continued to build market share as we added 85 net new offices during the first nine months of fiscal 2009. The new offices, combined with organic growth in existing markets, contributed to our record gross loans outstanding of $736.2 million. Loan demand continued strong in the third fiscal quarter. We added $69.1 million in gross loans despite the continued softness in the economy.

The provision for loan losses increased 27.0% to $29.5 million, up from $23.2 million in the third quarter of last year. Net charge-offs as a percentage of average net loans increased to 19.6% on an annualized basis during the most recent quarter from 16.7% in the same quarter of last fiscal year.

While loan losses for the quarter were higher than historical averages, they remain within a reasonable range in light of current economic conditions and we continue to monitor closely the loan portfolio given the current environment. Based on the forecast for the continued softness in the economy, we do not expect to see our loss ratios improve in the fourth fiscal quarter, continued Mr. McLean.

Total general and administrative expenses increased by 8.9% compared with the third quarter of last year. The increase was due to higher expenses to support 92 net new offices opened or acquired since December 31, 2007. Mr. McLean stated, We are pleased that our growth rates for new loans, revenues and net income outpaced the growth rate in our general and administrative expenses. Our cost control programs continued to have a positive effect in reducing general and administrative expenses as a percent of total revenues from 53.9% during the third quarter of the prior fiscal year to 51.9% in the current fiscal year.

Other key return ratios for the third quarter included a 7.3% return on average assets (annualized) and an annualized return on average equity of 15.5%.

Nine-Month Results
For the first nine months of the fiscal year, net income was $32.7 million, or $1.98 per diluted share, representing a 14.4% increase in net earnings and a 21.5% increase in earnings per share over the $28.6 million, or $1.63 per diluted share, for the prior year nine-month period. Total revenues for the first nine-months of fiscal 2009 were $279.8 million, a 14.4% increase over the $244.6 million during the corresponding period of the previous year. Net charge-offs increased $14.8 million compared to the prior year first nine- months. Net charge-offs as a percentage of average net loans on an annualized basis were 17.1% compared to 15.0% during the prior year nine-month period.

During the first nine months of the fiscal year, the Company opened 77 offices, acquired 11 offices and closed three offices, resulting in a total of 923 offices at December 31, 2008.

About World Acceptance Corporation
World Acceptance Corporation is one of the largest small-loan consumer finance companies, operating 923 offices in eleven states and Mexico. It is also the parent company of ParaData Financial Systems, a provider of computer software solutions for the consumer finance industry.

Third Quarter Conference Call
The senior management of World Acceptance Corporation will be discussing these results in its quarterly conference call to be held at 10:00 a.m. eastern time today. Interested parties may participate in this call by dialing 1-877-741-4245, passcode 7111294. A simulcast of the conference call is also available at or The call will be available for replay on the Internet for approximately 30 days.