Reports Continued Acceleration in Revenue Growth
Vancouver, Canada: August 19, 2016 – Absolute® (TSX: ABT), the industry standard for persistent endpoint security and data risk management, today announced its financial results for the three months and full year ended June 30, 2016. All dollar figures are unaudited and stated in U.S. dollars, unless otherwise indicated.
Key Financial Metrics
- Absolute Data & Device Security (DDS) segment revenue of $22.0 million, representing a year-over-year increase of 7% compared to $20.6 million in Q4-F2015. Recurring revenue increased 5% year-over-year and represented 97% of Q4-F2016 revenue
- The DDS commercial ACV Base increased by 3% globally and 2% in North America
- Net ACV Retention from existing DDS customers was 100% while incremental ACV from new DDS customers was $1.8 million, with corporate and healthcare customers representing $1 million of the new customer ACV
- Adjusted EBITDA was $1.9 million, representing 9% of revenue
- DDS segment Billings were $30.1 million, representing a year-over-year increase of 19% compared to $25.4 million in Q4-F2015
- Cash used in operating activities was negative $1.6 million
Technology and Products
- Launched Persistence® Services by Absolute, a new service that enables customers to persistently reinstall software agents from third party software applications such as security or IT management software
- Released Endpoint Data Discovery (EDD), a new feature within Absolute DDS that allows organizations to identify and protect sensitive data stored on endpoints throughout the enterprise
- Released Absolute for Chromebooks for Education customers
- Announced Microsoft® will enable Persistence technology in Microsoft Surface 3 devices
Key Financial Metrics
- DDS segment revenue was $86.0 million, representing a year-over-year increase of 4% compared to $82.4 million for F2015. Recurring revenue increased 3% year-over-year and represented 97% of F2016 revenue
- The DDS commercial ACV Base increased by 5% globally and 6% in North America
- Net ACV Retention from existing DDS customers was 100% while incremental ACV from new customers was $4.3 million, with corporate and healthcare customers representing $2.6 million of new customer ACV
- Adjusted EBITDA was $11.1 million, representing 12% of revenue. Adjusted EBITDA includes $1.0 million contributed from the Endpoint and Service Management business unit in Q1-F2016
- DDS segment Billings of $88.6 million, representing a year-over-year decrease of 1% compared to $89.4 million for F2015
- Cash from operating activities, prior to $1.3 million of transaction fees related to the sale of the Endpoint and Service Management business unit, was $6.2 million
Operations and Corporate
- Appointed technology industry veteran Sean Maxwell as Chief Commercial Officer. Mr. Maxwell previously held executive leadership roles at Symantec, Virtual Instruments and EMC
- Entered into an agreement with Lenovo Asia Pacific to enable automated factory installation and activation of Absolute DDS for Lenovo Asia Pacific customers
- Expanded partnership with Getac to embed Persistence by Absolute into European rugged mobile devices
- Launched Absolute’s new corporate brand identity which reinforces Absolute’s commitment to data and device security
- Completed the sale of the Absolute Manage and Absolute Service business unit to HEAT Software in October 2015 for gross proceeds of $11.0 million
- Completed a Substantial Issuer Bid for CAD$50 million in October 2015 with the repurchase of 6,250,000 common shares, or approximately 14% of the Company’s outstanding common shares, and repurchased an additional 901,500 shares under the Company’s Normal Course Issuer Bid
- Announced the appointment of Steve Munford, non-executive chairman and former chief executive officer of Sophos to Absolute’s advisory board. Mr. Munford joins Art Coviello, former chairman of RSA and executive vice president of EMC, in helping to refine Absolute’s information security strategy
- Strengthened the product leadership team with the additions of Eric Aarrestad as Senior Vice President of Product Management and Todd Wakerley as Senior Vice President of Product Development
Technology and Products
- Introduced new Absolute DDS security functionality that automatically repairs the Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager (“SCCM”) client installed on an endpoint. This builds on previously released DDS capabilities that monitor and alert on SCCM status
- Achieved RSA Ready Technical Partner Certification, enabling joint customers to use the Absolute Security Incident Event Management (“SIEM”) connector to feed critical Absolute DDS security alert data directly into the RSA Security Analytics platform
- Announced zero-day Persistence® by Absolute support for Microsoft Windows 10
- Announced an agreement with Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (“AMD”) to incorporate Persistence® by Absolute into AMD chip designs
- Announced the release of a new healthcare industry offering. Absolute DDS for Healthcare that provides an additional layer of control to secure healthcare data and devices for more stringent healthcare compliance and regulatory control in the event of a security incident
- Announced an agreement with Aava Mobile Oy, a leading European mobile device manufacturer, to embed Persistence® technology by Absolute in the firmware of Aava Mobile devices
- Announced an agreement with Lenovo EMEA to introduce European factory activation of Absolute DDS, enabling customers to load and activate DDS prior to shipment
- Announced embedded firmware support for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book devices
“Fiscal 2016 was a breakthrough year for Absolute. Revenue and customer growth were propelled by aggressive product innovation, new go-to-market initiatives, and growing market demand from organizations seeking to protect critical data from external and insider threats,” stated Mr. Geoff Haydon, Chief Executive Officer, Absolute. “We finished Q4 strongly, reflected by a 7% increase in revenue and a 19% increase in billings, as larger enterprises took advantage of our innovative and entirely unique endpoint security and data risk management solutions. In fiscal 2017, we will continue to drive towards our long term objective of 20% revenue growth and 20% Adjusted EBITDA margins. This will involve accelerating investment in R&D, elevating the productivity of our global field investments, and expanding enterprise and third party ISV adoption of our Absolute Persistence-enabled endpoint security solutions.”
Q4-F2016 and F2016 Financial Review
Total revenue in Q4-F2016 was $22.0 million, representing a 6% decrease from total revenue of $23.3 million in Q4-F2015, with the decrease being attributable to the divestiture of the Endpoint and Service Management segment on October 5, 2015. Absolute DDS and Consumer revenue in Q4-F2016 was $22.0 million, compared to $20.5 million in Q4-F2015, representing a 7% year-over-year increase.
DDS segment revenue from recurring licenses was 97% in Q4-F2016 compared to 99% in Q4-F2015 and was 97% for F2016 compared to 98% in the prior year.
For F2016, total revenue was $88.8 million, representing a decrease of 5% compared to $93.6 million in the prior year. Absolute DDS and Consumer revenue for F2016 was $86.0 million, representing a 4% increase over $82.4 million in the prior year.
Annual Contract Value(1)
The DDS Commercial ACV Base increased by 3% in Q4-F2016 and increased by 5% in F2016.
For North America, the DDS ACV Base increased by 2% in Q4-F2016 and increased by 6% in F2016. Internationally, the DDS ACV Base increased by 6% in Q4-F2016 and decreased by 2% in F2016. At June 30, 2016 the DDS ACV Base was represented 89% by North American customers and 11% by international customers.
From a vertical perspective, the combined corporate and healthcare DDS ACV Base increased by 3% in Q4-F2016 and increased by 10% in F2016. The combined education and government DDS ACV Base increased by 2% in Q4-F2016 and increased by 1% in F2016. At June 30, 2016 the DDS ACV Base was represented 47% by corporate and healthcare customers and 53% by education and government customers.
Net ACV Retention(1) from existing DDS commercial customers was 100% in both Q4-F2016 and full-year F2016.
Incremental ACV from new DDS commercial customers in Q4-F2016 was $1.8 million and was $4.3 million for F2016. Corporate and healthcare customers represented more than $1 million of the Q4-F2016 new customer ACV and $2.6 million of the F2016 new customer ACV.
Absolute DDS and Consumer Billings were $30.1 million in Q4-F2016, representing a 19% increase compared to $25.4 million in Q4-F2015. For F2016, Absolute DDS and Consumer Billings were $88.6 million, down 1% from $89.4 million in the prior year. Billings to commercial customers represented 97% of Q4-F2016 total Billings and 96% of F2016 total Billings.
Adjusted Operating Expenses(3)
Adjusted Operating Expenses for Q4-F2016 were $20.1 million, which represented a decrease of 5% compared to $21.2 million in Q4-F2015. The year-over-year decrease reflected foreign exchange-related savings on Canadian-based activities, lower sales consulting expenses, and a $0.5 million positive adjustment to recorded estimates of Canadian Scientific Research and Experimental Development Investment Tax Credits.
For F2016, Adjusted Operating Expenses were $77.7 million compared to $76.5 million in the prior year, representing a 2% increase. Total headcount was 445 at June 30, 2016 compared to 444 at June 30, 2015.
Adjusted EBITDA(2) & Net Income
Absolute generated Adjusted EBITDA of $1.9 million in Q4-F2016 and $11.1 million in F2016, down from $2.1 million and $17.1 million in the respective prior year periods. Adjusted EBITDA represented 9% of Q4-F2016 revenue and 12% of F2016 revenue compared to 10% and 18% for the comparable prior year periods. F2016 adjusted EBITDA includes a positive contribution of $1.0 million from the divestiture of Absolute Manage and Service.
The Company recorded a net loss of $1.2 million, or $0.03 per basic share, in Q4-F2016, compared to a net loss of $0.7 million, or $0.02 per basic share, in Q4-F2015. For F2016 the Company recorded net income of $9.7 million, or $0.24 per basic share, compared to $4.6 million, or $0.10 per basic share, in the prior year.
F2017 Corporate Outlook
Based on its success of delivering targeted product enhancements that directly contributed to sales results in F2016, the Company intends to expand its research and development capabilities to accelerate delivery of new DDS features and functions that are in demand in key vertical markets. These research and development initiatives, combined with the Company’s restructured and strengthened go-to-market capabilities, will support the Company’s objective of delivering on its long term growth and profitability objectives.
The Company expects total revenue of $92.0 million to $94.6 million, representing 7% to 10% annual DDS segment revenue growth. Revenue is expected to grow at an accelerating rate as we move through the year, driven by increasing new customer acquisition and continuing sales productivity improvements.
The Company expects Adjusted EBITDA margins of 5% to 8%, reflecting relatively stable spending across most departments and increased investment in its research and development capacity.
Investment in research and development will accelerate product innovation, as well as the migration of all product offerings to Absolute’s next-generation service platform. This will facilitate greater scalability and operating efficiency, support the rapid deployment of new services across Absolute’s customer base and liberate resources currently required to support two platforms.
Cash from Operations
The Company expects cash from operations, prior to payments for income taxes and restructuring charges, as a percentage of revenue to be 8% to 12%, reflecting a double-digit year-over-year increase in Billings. Capital expenditures are expected to be between $3.9 million and $4.4 million, with the spending largely related to upgrades and expansion of the Company’s hosted data centres, office expansion and ongoing hardware refresh cycles.
On July 20, 2016, Absolute declared a quarterly dividend of CAD$0.08 per share on the Company’s common shares. The dividend is payable in cash on August 26, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 5, 2016.
Management’s discussion and analysis (“MD&A”) and consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto for the year ended June 30, 2016 can be obtained today from Absolute’s corporate website at www.absolute.com. The documents will also be available at www.sedar.com.
Notice of Conference Call
Absolute will hold a conference call to discuss the Company’s Q4-F2016 results on Friday, August 19, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. ET. All interested parties can join the call by dialing 647-427-7450, or 1-888-231-8191. Please dial-in 15 minutes prior to the call to secure a line. The conference call will be archived for replay until Friday, August 26, 2016 at midnight.
To access the archived conference call, please dial 416-849-0833, or 1-855-859-2056 and enter the reservation code 43130519.
A live audio webcast of the conference call will be available at www.absolute.com and http://bit.ly/2aHScxI. Please connect at least 15 minutes prior to the conference call to ensure adequate time for any software download that may be required to join the webcast. An archived replay of the webcast will be available on the Company’s website for 90 days.
Non-IFRS Measures and Definitions
Throughout this press release, we refer to a number of measures which we believe are meaningful in the assessment of the Company’s performance. All these metrics are non-standard measures under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), and are unlikely to be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Readers are cautioned that the disclosure of these items is meant to add to, and not replace, the discussion of financial results or cash flows from operations as determined in accordance with IFRS. For a discussion of the purpose of these non-IFRS measures, please refer to the Company’s Fiscal F2016 MD&A on SEDAR at www.SEDAR.com.
These measures, as well as their method of calculation or reconciliation to IFRS measures, are as follows:
- Commercial ACV Base and Net ACV Retention
As the majority of our customer contracts are sold under multi-year term licenses, there is a significant lag between the timing of the Billing and the associated revenue recognition. As a result, we focus on the aggregate annualized value of our subscriptions under contract, measured by Annual Contract Value (“ACV”), as an indicator of our future revenues. Commercial ACV Base measures the amount of recurring annual revenue we will receive from our commercial customers under contract at a point in time, and therefore is an indicator of our future revenue streams. Net ACV Retention measures the percentage increase or decrease in the Commercial ACV Base at the end of a period for the customers that comprised the Commercial ACV Base at the beginning of the same period. This metric provides insight into the effectiveness of our customer retention and expansion functions. As a result, we believe that increases in the amount of ACV under contract from new customers, and improvement in our Net ACV Retention, will grow our Commercial ACV Base and, in turn, our future revenues.
- Adjusted EBITDA
Management believes that analyzing operating results exclusive of significant non-cash items or items not controllable in the period provides a useful measure of the Company’s performance. The term Adjusted EBITDA refers to earnings before deducting interest and investment gains (losses), income taxes, amortization of acquired intangible assets and property and equipment, foreign exchange gain or loss, share-based compensation, and restructuring charges and post-retirement benefits. The items excluded in the determination of Adjusted EBITDA are share-based compensation, amortization of acquired intangibles, amortization of property and equipment, and restructuring and reorganization charges and certain post-retirement benefits.
- Adjusted Operating Expenses
A number of significant non-cash or non-recurring expenses are reported in our Cost of Revenue and Operating Expenses. Management believes that analyzing these expenses exclusive of these non-cash or non-recurring items provides a useful measure of the cash invested in the operations of its business. The items excluded in the determination of Adjusted Operating Expenses are share-based compensation, amortization of acquired intangible assets, amortization of property and equipment, and restructuring and reorganization charges and certain post-retirement benefits. For a description of the reasons these items are adjusted, please refer to the “Non-IFRS Measures” section of the June 30, 2016 MD&A.
See the “Subscription Billings” section of the June 30, 2016 MD&A for a detailed discussion of why the Company believes Billings (formerly referred to as “Sales Contracts”) provide a meaningful performance metric. Billings are included in deferred revenue (see Note 10 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements), and result from invoiced sales of our products and services.