Absolute Reports Fiscal 2020 Fourth Quarter and Annual Financial Results
The Company delivers record Annual Revenue, double digit growth in ARR, and 26 percent EBITDA margin in Fiscal 2020
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – August 10, 2020 –Absolute(TSX: ABT) (“Absolute” or the “Company”), the leader in Endpoint Resilience™ solutions, today announced its financial results for the three months and year ended June 30, 2020. All dollar figures are stated in U.S. dollars, unless otherwise indicated.
“The recent structural changes to enterprise and education organizations brought on by remote work and distance learning have further highlighted our market opportunity,” said Christy Wyatt, President and CEO of Absolute. “We saw a strong fourth quarter and record fiscal year, thanks to our relentless execution and focus on helping our customers. Going into fiscal 2021, as the market continues to shift and the future of work and learning remains very fluid, a new era in endpoint security is emerging. IT and Security teams cannot solely rely on traditional network-based security products to protect vulnerable devices, data and users. Rather, they need to shift their focus to endpoint strategies with an undeletable defense platform that delivers complete visibility and control over all devices, no matter where they connect from, and enables the ability to self-heal critical security controls and productivity tools dynamically.”
Key Financial Metrics
Total revenue in Q4-F2020 was $27.2 million, representing a year-over-year increase of 7%. Annual revenue in F2020 was $104.7 million, representing an increase of 6% over F2019.
Total Annual Recurring Revenue (“ARR”)(1) (refer to the “Non-IFRS Measures” section of Absolute’s Q4-F2020 MD&A for further discussion of this measure) at June 30, 2020 was $108.3 million, representing an increase of 11% over the prior year balance and a sequential increase of 7% as compared to March 31, 2020.
The Enterprise & Government portions of Total ARR(1), increased by 14% annually and by 5% as compared to the prior quarter-end. Enterprise & Government sector customers represented 68% of Total ARR at June 30, 2020.
The Education sector portion of Total ARR(1) increased by 4% annually and 11% as compared to the prior quarter-end. Education sector customers represented 32% of Total ARR at June 30, 2020.
Incremental ARR from New Customers(1) (refer to the “Non-IFRS Measures” section of Absolute’s Q4-F2020 MD&A for further discussion of this measure) was $3.5 million in Q4-F2020, compared to $2.1 million in Q4-F2019.
Net ARR Retention(1) (refer to the “Non-IFRS Measures” section of Absolute’s Q4-F2020 MD&A for further discussion of this measure) from existing customers was 103% in Q4-F2020, compared with 101% in Q4-F2019.
Adjusted EBITDA in Q4-F2020 was $8.0 million, or 29% of revenue. Adjusted EBITDA - pre-IFRS 16 in Q4-F2020 was $7.5 million, or 28% of revenue, compared to $4.9 million, or 19% of revenue, in Q4F2019. Annual Adjusted EBITDA was $27.4 million in F2020, or 26% of revenue. Annual Adjusted EBITDA - pre-IFRS 16 was $25.4 million in F2020, or 24% of revenue, compared with $19.3 million, or 20% of revenue, in F2019.
Cash generated from operating activities in Q4-F2020 was $11.6 million. Cash from operating activities - pre-IFRS 16 in Q4-F2020 was $11.1 million, compared to $3.5 million in Q4-F2019. Annual cash from operating activities was $25.0 million. Annual cash from operating activities – pre-IFRS 16 was $23.2 million, compared with $10.3 million in F2019.
Absolute paid a quarterly dividend of CAD$0.08 per common share during Q4-F2020.
Beginning in Q4-F2020, we have changed the nomenclature of the aggregate annual recurring revenue of our subscriptions under contract and generating revenue from “ACV Base” to “ARR”. Similarly, the nomenclature of “ACV from New Customers” and “Net ACV Retention” have changed to “ARR from New Customers” and “Net ARR Retention”, respectively. There has been no change in the methods by which these measures are calculated. Please refer to the “Non-IFRS Measures” section of Absolute’s Q4-F2020 MD&A for further discussion of these measures.
Q4 Fiscal 2020 Business Highlights
Absolute announced several case studies of customers who have selected Absolute’s Endpoint Resilience solutions, including Anaheim Union High School District, Duarte Unified School District, Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and the UK’s Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Absolute continued expanding its Global Resilience Ecosystem, now totalling nearly 40 independent endpoint security and productivity tool applications, to help customers ensure their mission-critical security controls remain healthy and undeletable.
Absolute delivered increased capabilities to its Absolute Resilience® platform to help protect devices and sensitive data for remote endpoints.
Absolute announced general availability of its Web Usage tool, which aims to provide K12 school administrators and educators with insights to support distance learning programs.
Absolute continued leveraging its intelligence capabilities and published two pieces of research:
The first was the Absolute “Remote Work & Distance Learning Insights Center” that is updated weekly and is designed to share insights across the Company’s install base, providing customers with a benchmark for how empowered and secure their environment is relative to the industry.
Following last year’s inaugural report, in June Absolute released the second edition of the “2020 State of Endpoint Resilience Report,” re-emphasizing the vulnerability of enterprise devices and critical endpoint controls and presented opportunities to optimize security investments.
Partner and other highlights in Q4 included:
Lenovo included Absolute in a four-year Lenovo ThinkShield bundle, expected to launch in Q1F2021.
CDW promoted our COVID-19 offers, reaching approximately 1,500 sellers.
HP featured Absolute in a consumer laptop promotion on QVC, reaching more than 110 million homes.
Absolute was only company to be selected as a finalist in two categories for the BC Tech Association 2020 “Technology Impact Awards” (TIAs): Company of the Year – Anchor Success, and Tech Culture of the Year.
Fiscal 2020 Business Highlights
Overall in F2020 Absolute continued delivering innovative and resilient capabilities and research to support our customers, including:
Multiple UI enhancements, designed to provide IT and Security teams with richer experiences: a new visually-rich Absolute Console with flexible customizable widgets, reports and alerts; the ability to detect under-utilized devices, quickly spot vulnerabilities, and take immediate action to neutralize risks; simplified security policy deployments and remote management of device fleets; easier and simplified license expiration visibility; and historical event capabilities, providing IT and security administrators with greater visibility and audit historical information on device events
A new Missing Devices feature, making it easier for Absolute’s customers to manage their deployments, including the ability to locate, track and manage missing devices
Absolute Secure Channel, delivering secure and remote access to the firmware layer across endpoint devices and strengthening the foundation of firmware-level protections
The addition of multiple new mission-critical applications to the Company’s growing Global Resilience Ecosystem – requested by customers to help ensure those applications remain healthy and deliver their intended value
Activated Absolute’s first public cloud data center in Europe
Provided capabilities to assist existing customers in the face of the global COVID-19 outbreak:
Absolute provided certain customers with premium features to ‘persist,’ or proactively repair and reinstall, their existing virtual private network (VPN) applications, ensuring uninterrupted remote access to corporate and school networks, business and education applications as well as data for remote workers.
Absolute provided certain customers with free access to a comprehensive library of automated, custom workflows, accelerating their ability to proactively pinpoint vulnerabilities and quickly take remedial action, whether a device is on or off the corporate network.
Absolute introduced its first Education research: “Cybersecurity and Education: The State of the Digital District in 2020,” focused on the state of IT security, staff and student safety, and endpoint device health in K-12 organizations.
Absolute continued building a strong bench and leadership team in F2020 reflected by the appointments of Dianne Lapierre as Chief Information Officer; William Morris as Executive Vice President, Product Development, Ameer Karim as Executive Vice President, Product Management; and Lynn Atchison to our Board of Directors.
Partner and other highlights included:
Absolute shipped and onboarded its first Persistence-as-a-Service (PaaS) licensee customer.
Absolute was again included as a key component in Dell’s F2021 global security portfolio.
Absolute was featured in Lenovo’s “Partner Stimulus Package.”
Panasonic included Absolute in its Toughbook bundle, reaching critical first responders, police, and fire agencies across multiple territories.
ServiceNow certified the Absolute ITSM Connector for ServiceNow, enabling joint customers to view Absolute’s single source of truth asset intelligence for Windows and Mac devices.
Forbes Magazine recognized Absolute as a Top 10 Cybersecurity Company to Watch in 2020, for the second year in a row.
Summary of Key Financial Metrics
Commercial recurring revenue represents revenue derived from Cloud Services (as defined in the Q4F2020 MD&A) and recurring managed professional services, both of which are included as part of Total ARR. Other revenue represents revenue derived from non-recurring professional services and ancillary product lines, including consumer products.
“Adjusted EBITDA” (as defined in the Q4-F2020 MD&A) is used as a profitability measure. Please refer to the “Non-IFRS Measures” section of the Q4-F2020 MD&A for further discussion on this and other non-IFRS measures.
The Company adopted IFRS 16, “Leases” (“IFRS 16”), effective July 1, 2019 using the modified retrospective approach (please refer to the “New Accounting Pronouncements” section of the Q4F2020 MD&A and to Note 2(e) in the notes to the F2020 Consolidated Financial Statements). Accordingly, financial information presented for fiscal 2019 has not been adjusted for the impact of the adoption of IFRS 16. Figures presented that include the title “pre-IFRS 16” represent operating results had IFRS 16 not been adopted, and provide a meaningful comparative to similar operating results for fiscal 2019.
F2021 Financial Outlook
The Company’s financial outlook for its 2021 fiscal year (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) is as follows:
Revenue is expected to be between $112 million and $118 million, representing 7% to 13% annual growth.
Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between 20% and 24% of revenue.
Cash from operating activities is expected to be between 22% and 34% of revenue.
Capital expenditures are expected to be between $3.0 million and $4.0 million.
The foregoing outlook and expectations constitute forward-looking statements and financial outlook and are qualified in their entirety by the “Forward-Looking Statements” cautionary statement below.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2020 and Consolidated Financial Statements and the notes thereto for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020 can be obtained today from Absolute’s corporate website at www.absolute.com. These documents are also available under Absolute’s profile at www.sedar.com.
Notice of Conference Call
Absolute will hold a conference call to discuss its Q4-F2020 and F2020 results on Monday, August 10, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. ET (2:00 p.m. PT). All interested parties can join the call by dialing 647-427-7450 or 1-888-2318191. Please dial in 15 minutes prior to the call to secure a line. The conference call will be archived for replay until Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at midnight ET. To access the archived conference call, please dial 416-849-0833 or 1-855-859-2056 and enter the reservation code 609 9628. A live audio webcast of the conference call will be accessible from Absolute’s Investor Relations website and here. 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.
Non-IFRS Measures and Definitions
Throughout this press release, the Company refers to a number of measures that the Company believes are meaningful in the assessment of the Company’s performance. All these metrics are nonstandard 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 Q4-F2020 MD&A.
These measures, as well as their method of calculation or reconciliation to IFRS measures, are as follows:
Total ARR, Net ARR Retention and ARR from New Customers
As the majority of the Company’s customer contracts are sold under multiyear term licenses, there is a significant lag between the timing of the billing and the associated revenue recognition. As a result, the Company focuses on the aggregate annualized value of its subscriptions under contract and generating revenue, measured by Annual Recurring Revenue (“ARR”), as an indicator of its future revenues.
Note that prior to Q4-F2020, we referred to ARR as Annual Contract Value (“ACV”); however, we have changed the nomenclature of this measure as we believe ARR is more aligned with industry norms. There has been no change in the method by which this measure (and related measures below) is calculated.
Total ARR measures the amount of recurring annual revenue Absolute will receive from its commercial customers under contract at a point in time, and therefore is an indicator of the Company’s future revenue streams. Net ARR Retention measures the percentage increase or decrease in Total ARR at the end of a period for the customers that made up Total ARR at the beginning of the same period. This metric provides insight into the effectiveness of Absolute’s customer retention and expansion functions. ARR from New Customers measures the addition to the Total ARR from sales to new commercial customers during the period.
We believe that increases in the amount of ARR from New Customers, and improvement in the Company’s Net ARR Retention, will grow Total ARR and, in turn, our future revenues.
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA – pre-IFRS 16
Management believes that analyzing operating results exclusive of significant noncash 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 property and equipment and right of use assets, foreign exchange gain or loss, share-based compensation, and restructuring and reorganization charges and post-retirement benefits. The items excluded in the determination of Adjusted EBITDA are share-based compensation, amortization of property and equipment and right of use assets, and restructuring and reorganization charges and certain postretirement benefits.
Management believes that presenting F2020 Adjusted EBITDA on a pre-IFRS 16 basis provides a meaningful comparative to F2019 Adjusted EBITDA.
Absolute Software is a leader in Endpoint Resilience solutions and the industry’s only undeletable defense platform embedded in over a half-billion devices. Enabling a permanent digital tether between the endpoint and the enterprise who distributed it, Absolute provides IT and Security organizations with complete connectivity, visibility, and control, whether a device is on or off the corporate network, and empowers them with Self-Healing Endpoint™️ security to ensure mission-critical apps remain healthy and deliver intended value.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) which relate to future events or Absolute’s future business, operations, and financial performance and condition. Forward-looking statements normally contain words like “will”, “intend”, “anticipate”, “could”, “should”, “may”, “might”, “expect”, “estimate”, “forecast”, “plan”, “potential”, “project”, “assume”, “contemplate”, “believe”, “shall”, “scheduled”, and similar terms and, within this press release, include, without limitation, the information under the heading “F2021 Financial Outlook” and any statements (express or implied) respecting: Absolute’s future plans, strategies, and objectives, including plans, strategies, and objectives arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic; the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (including, without limitation, greater/continued remote working and/or distance learning) on Absolute’s business, operations, prospects, and financial results; projected growth, revenues, margins, Adjusted EBITDA, profitability, expenses, cash from operating activities, capital expenditures, and earnings; existing and new product functionality and suitability; PC OEM and other partner activities and initiatives; and expectations for the size of the IT security industry, including as a result of COVID-19. Forward-looking statements, including the F2021 Financial Outlook, are provided for the purpose of presenting information about management’s current expectations and plans relating to the future and allowing investors and others to get a better understanding of our anticipated financial position, results of operations, and operating environment. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.
Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, actions, or developments and are based on expectations, assumptions and other factors that management currently believes are relevant, reasonable, and appropriate in the circumstances. The material expectations, assumptions, and other factors used in developing the forward-looking statements set out herein include or relate to the following, without limitation: Absolute will be able to successfully execute its plans, strategies, and objectives; Absolute will be able to successfully manage cash flow, operating expenses, interest expenses, capital expenditures, and working capital and credit, liquidity, and market risks; Absolute will be able to leverage its past, current, and planned investments to support growth and increase profitability; there will continue to be a trend toward greater/continued remote working and/or distance learning, in the short, medium, and/or long-term, and a resulting market shift in the demand for endpoint security and Absolute’s solutions; Absolute will be able to grow revenue by selling to new customers and increasing subscriptions with existing customers at or above the rates currently anticipated; Absolute will be able to renew customers’ subscriptions more efficiently and cost effectively, including through its ServiceSource partnership; the size of the IT security industry will be in line with industry experts’ and Absolute’s expectations; Absolute will maintain and enhance its competitive advantages within its industry and certain markets; Absolute will keep pace with or outpace the growth, direction, and technological advancement in its industry; industry data and projections are accurate and reliable; Absolute will be able to adapt its technology to be compatible with changes to existing, and new, operating systems such as Microsoft Windows; Absolute will be able to maintain and develop its PC OEM and other partner networks; Absolute’s current and future (if any) PC OEM partners will continue to provide embedded firmware and distribution and resale support; Absolute’s existing and new products will function as intended and will be suitable for the intended end users; Absolute will be able to design, develop, and release new products, features, and services and enhance its existing products and services; Absolute will be able to protect against the improper disclosure of data it may process, store, and/or manage; Absolute’s revenues will not become subject to increased seasonality; future financing will be available to Absolute on favourable terms if and when required; Absolute will be in a financial position to buy back some of its shares and/or issue dividends in the future; fluctuations in applicable tax rates, foreign exchange rates, and interest rates will not have a material impact on Absolute; certain tax credits will remain or become available to Absolute; Absolute will be able to attract and retain key personnel; Absolute will be successful in its brand awareness and other marketing initiatives; Absolute will be able to successfully integrate businesses, intellectual property, products, personnel, and/or technologies that it may acquire (if any); Absolute will be able to maintain and enhance its intellectual property portfolio; Absolute’s protection of its intellectual property will be sufficient and its technology does not and will not materially infringe third party intellectual property rights; Absolute will be able to obtain any necessary third party licenses on favourable terms; Absolute will not become involved in material litigation; Absolute will not face any material unexpected costs related to product liability or warranties; foreign jurisdictions will not impose unexpected risks; Absolute will maintain or enhance its accounting policies and standards and internal controls over financial reporting; and economic and market conditions (including, without limitation, as affected by the COVID-19 pandemic) will not impose unexpected risks or challenges.
Although management believes that the forward-looking statements herein are reasonable, actual results could be substantially different due to the risks and uncertainties associated with and inherent to Absolute’s business, as more particularly described in the “Risk and Uncertainties” section of Absolute’s most recently filed Management’s Discussion and Analysis, which is available at www.absolute.com and under Absolute’s profile on www.sedar.com. Additional material risks and uncertainties applicable to the forward-looking statements herein include, without limitation, unforeseen events, developments, or factors causing any of the aforesaid expectations, assumptions, and other factors ultimately being inaccurate or irrelevant. Many of these factors are beyond the control of Absolute.
All forward-looking statements included in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as at the date hereof and Absolute undertakes no obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the included forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable securities laws.