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Balancing our Stakeholders
Teams across the company continue to perform at a very high level to fulfill our mission of making educational dreams possible, effectively balancing our four primary stakeholders: customers, associates, shareholders, and the communities in which we live and work.
We have found that we thrive when we make decisions that balance the interests of each of these groups, and we will continue using this philosophy in our day-to-day business.
As we experienced great triumphs and challenges in the last couple of years, several key opportunities for improvement and growth emerged. We will continue to capitalize on those opportunities in 2012.
In 2012, we are focused on the following objectives:
- Renew our focus on keeping our customers #1
- Enhance culture—make Nelnet a great place to work
- Grow and extend our core
- Operate with financial discipline
- Focus on security and risk management
A message from Mike Dunlap, Nelnet Chairman and CEO
I have included my perspective on fundamental value in all of our annual reports as a public company. As I hope you know, I feel strongly about these concepts, and I reiterate them below:
We believe in conservative and transparent accounting policies. We have never used gain-on-sale accounting. Rather, we have always recorded all assets and liabilities on our balance sheet. This is both transparent and conservative because it does not result in the front-loading of revenues. We recognize income as it is generated, and thus, there is no residual risk associated with the figures reported on our income statement or residuals included in our equity on our balance sheet.
It is our goal for each Nelnet shareholder to record a gain or loss in market value proportional to the gain or loss in per-share fundamental value recorded by the company. To achieve this goal, we will strive to maintain a one-to-one relationship between the company’s fundamental value and the market price. As that implies, we would rather see Nelnet’s stock price at a fair level than at an inflated level. Our fair value approach may not be preferred by all investors, but we believe it aligns with our long-term approach to both our business model and market value.
We will communicate our value measurements in several ways, including through the annual report, quarterly reports, and our annual shareholders’ meeting. We will also issue press releases or other forms of communication regarding business developments as appropriate throughout the year.
We will not lose sight of our fundamental value. Fundamental value is the concept by which we encourage our shareholders to evaluate their investment in Nelnet over the long term. It is the estimated value of cash that can be taken out of a business during its remaining life. Due to the subjective nature of deriving fundamental value, we will not force our estimates on investors through quarterly guidance, but we will supply, as noted above, the information we believe is critical to our value calculation.
Our approach is conservative and very much focused on long-term, sustainable success.