Veeva beats guidance; Announces President Matt Wallach will retire

Tom Paine

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Veeva Systems, the California-based life sciences cloud company with significant roots in the Philly area, ended another quarter and fiscal year by beating guidance. Fiscal Year 2019 (ending 1/31) total revenues were $862.2M, up 25% Year-over-year; Q4 total revenues was $232.3M, up 25% Year-over-year.

For FY 2019, fully diluted net income per share was $1.47, compared to $0.98 one year ago, while non-GAAP fully diluted net income per share was $1.63, compared to $0.96 one year ago.

Looking to expand beyond life sciences, Veeva says it nearly doubled the base of Veeva QualityOne customers, deepened relationships with early adopters and expanded within its enterprise accounts. So that appears to be a go to market for Veeva.

Veeva (NYSE: VEEV) now has a $17.5 billion market cap. That means its Price / Revenue ratio is about 20x current earnings, which is rather high. (. See how Veeva compares to others in the Bessemer Emerging Cloud Index.)

Saying one is a fan of a company is one thing; saying one is a fan of its stock at any price is another. At this price, I would probably lay off for a while (but I do not have or ever had any holdings in VEEV). Of course, if a serious acquirer came along, It would probably pay more. And to an extent, Veeva's current share price may reflect some acquisition expectations.

Founder and CEO Peter Gassner says Veeva is an anomaly that's never had a "natural acquirer." But there are others who aim to get in the digital health care game in a big way. Mega vendors Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are possibilities. A life sciences giantor major insurer / heath plan combination could also have interest. Oracle (a Veeva competitor in certain areas) and Salesforce would be long shots. A major motivation for launching Veeva was to build something that wasn't Oracle. Gassner was with People Soft (now Oracle) and Salesforce prior to Veeva.

While Veeva has to do what's best for itself, its shareholders and customers, it would be great to see the Veeva story continue to develop under one roof.

Matt Wallach

Another Veeva announcement also made on Friday was the planned retirement of its President and co-founder, Matt Wallach . Walllach will stay on till mid-year and return in 2020 as a board member.

From what I could tell, while Gassner is a visionary leader and database technology expert, Wallach was the guy who made sure Veeva's product / market fit was properly aligned. Wallach, who grew up in the Swarthmore area before attending Yale and Harvard Business School, was able to do much of his work for Veeva from an east coast office in Radnor. I think the story that Wallach, after 12 years, is going to shift gears in life while returning soon to Veeva's board, makes sense.

Gassner said in a release, "Matt has built a very strong leadership team, who will assume his day-to-day responsibilities".