QlikTech shares down over 8% today after yesterday's earnings report

Tom Paine

Radnor-based Business Intelligence software vendor QlikTech reported its results late yesterday for the fourth quarter and full year 2011.

Total revenue increased 33% to $108.1 million in the fourth quarter, and total revenue for the full year 2011 was $320.6 million, a 42% increase from 2010. GAAP net income was $15.8 million in Q4, and $9 million for the year compared to $13.5 million for the full year 2010. Revenue slightly exceeded analysts' expectations, though non-GAAP earnings per share were 3¢ below expectations. QlikTech had cash and cash equivalents of $177.4 million as of the end of 2011.

During QlikTech's earnings conference call, Chairman & CEO Lars Björk said the company continues to ramp up for what he described as the opportunity to triple the size of the addressable BI market. He estimated QlikTech's growth outlook as being for "25% or greater over the next several years". Whether he was being prudently conservative, or signaling somewhat slower growth than might have been anticipated, is unclear. Guidance for 2012 is for revenue in the range of $405.0 million to $415.0 million (meaning growth of around 25 to 30% ) , and non-GAAP operating income in the range of $53 million to $58 million.

The number of customers at year end was 24,000 versus 18,000 the prior year. Year end headcount was 1,054, and if I understood Björk correctly he said about 100 more would be "onboarding" during Q1. Revenue grew faster in Europe than in the Americas in Q4, somewhat surprisingly given the economic issues there. Qliktech said it continued to see larger deals, but was not very specific about the size of them. Björk said that its inside sales channel continues to perform better than expected, and has shown itself capable of handling larger deals. QlikTech continues to expand it partners channel, its system integrator relationships, and its technology partners program with emphasis on value added solutions.

QlikTech shares finished down more than 8% for the day. I'm not sure whether investors were more concerned about the slight EPS miss or somewhat soft Q1 2102 outlook than they were about longer term growth and profitability issues. The other issue is competition; although Qliktech never mentions competitors it is not distinctly unique and up and comers such as Tableau are doing well. Although still considerably smaller than QlikTech, it said its revenue grew 94% in 2011 and it planned to hire 300 employees in 2012.


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