Veeva Systems, coming off strong quarter, announces several growth initiatives

Tom Paine

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Many analysts and would-be analysts have had little idea of what Veeva Systems (NASDAQ: VEEV) actually does, often comparing it with healthcare IT firms such as Cerner, Epic and AthenaHeath that provide hospital IT and EHR systems. But Veeva"s latest quarterly results (Q3 2015) released on November 25 gave investors more reason to take notice. Earnings were 9 cents per share, up 50% from the year-earlier quarter and beating consensus by one cent. Revenue rose 52% to $83.8 million, about $5 million above the average estimate.

Veeva also raised its revenue guidance for the full year by 3%, now from $310.7 million to $311.7 million, up from $210 million last year.

Veeva has been highly valued in some eyes (high P/E and Price to Sales ratios) and its stock has been under pressure from skeptics and shorts because of that. But the latest results were reassuring and the stock took an upward bounce.

California-based Veeva started with a CRM for Life Sciences sales & marketing built on top of Saleforce's SaaS platform, and succeeded in replacing many legacy installations from Oracle's Siebel Systems and Cegedim (whose CRM business has since been acquired by IMS Health in October). It then expanded into the R&D regulatory content management function within Life Sciences with Veeva Vault, a proprietary multi-tenant SaaS platform. Also, it introduced Veeva Network, a healthcare provider data-oriented offering.
Veeva Vault and Network combined have grown to 15% of total revenue in Q3 2015, up from slightly more than 10% in Q1. Veeva watchers see this as a key indicator of the company's long-term growth potential. Vault and Network are designed to work with Veeva CRM in an integrated manner, not as separate silos.

Veeva is of interest to people in the Philadelphia area for three reasons: Its eastern office, based in Radnor, is home to its US marketing & sales operations, serving its many life sciences customers in the Mid-Atlantic region; It also was a home base for building Veeva Network, which was facilitated by the acquisition of Fort Washington-based AdvantageMS in 2013; It is big on partnerships, and it has partnered with several of the leading Life Sciences technology companies in the area, thus becoming central to the ecosystem in the area. Its President and co-founder, Matt Wallach, is a native of the area and is based here, and Veeva has over 100 employees in the area shown on LinkedIn.

The pace of change is accelerating at Veeva, as reflected by several recent announcements by the company:

Veeva opened its first two European data centers, in Germany and in the UK. These will support growth, and make it easier to comply with local regulatory issues and lessen any concerns raised by US data security policies. In addition to supporting Veeva Vault and Network, the new data centers will also run Veeva CRM on the platform.

Veeva introduced its Veeva Network Healthcare Professional and Healthcare Organization data offering into the European market. Previously, this had been available only in the US. Veeva is delivering the Network Provider Database for the U.K. today; France, Germany, Italy, and Spain in the first half of 2015; and other markets to follow.
Tim Slevin
To lead Veeva’s rapidly expanding global data business, the company has recently appointed a team of renowned industry veterans. Tim Slevin was bought in to Run Veeva Systems’ Global Data Solutions Business. Slevin had been founder of Healthcare Data Solutions (HDS), a company with some Philadelphia connections, which was named to the INC 5000 three consecutive years, and ranking among Deloitte’s Fast 500. Guillaume Roussel and Francesca D’Angelo took the helm at the Network Data team in Europe early Q4 2014.

In addition, Vital Therapies became the latest significant Veeva Vault customer.

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