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Fair Isaac Corp (FICO) Q1 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

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FICO earnings call for the period ending December 31, 2020.

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Fair Isaac Corp (FICO 4.41%)
Q1 2021 Earnings Call
Jan 28, 2021, 5:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Greetings and welcome to the Fair Isaac Corporation Quarterly Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] And now, I'd like to turn the conference over to Steve Weber. Please go ahead.

Steven P. Weber -- Vice President, Treasurer and Investor Relations

Thank you. Good afternoon and thank you for joining FICO's first quarter earnings call. I'm Steve Weber, Vice President of Investor Relations and I'm joined today by our CEO, Will Lansing; and our CFO, Mike McLaughlin. Today we issued a press release that describes financial results compared to the prior year. On this call, Management will also discuss results in comparison to the prior quarter, in order to facilitate understanding of the run rate of our business. Certain statements made in this presentation may be characterized as forward-looking under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Those statements involve many uncertainties including the impact of COVID-19 on macroeconomic conditions and the company's business, operations, and personnel that could cause actual results to differ materially. Information concerning these uncertainties is contained in the company's filings with the SEC, in particular in the Risk Factors and Forward-Looking Statements portions of such filings. Copies are available from the SEC, from the FICO website, or from our Investor Relations team.

This call will also include statements regarding certain non-GAAP financial measures. Please refer to the company's earnings release and Regulation G schedule issued today for a reconciliation of each of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable GAAP measure. The earnings release and Regulation G schedule are available on the Investor Relations page of the company's website at fico.com or on the SEC's website at sec.gov. A replay of this webcast will be available through January 28, 2022.

And now, I'll turn the call over to Will Lansing.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Steve. And thank you everyone for joining our first quarter earnings call. As we continue to deal with the effects of the pandemic, we remain focused on the health and safety of our employees. We're still primarily working from home and most of our offices remain closed. I'm grateful to our dedicated employees, who everyday show their commitment to FICO and to our customers. On the Investor Relations section of our website, we posted some slides that offer financial highlights of our first quarter. I'm pleased to say we started 2021 well, as we continue to make progress on our strategic initiatives. We reported revenues of $312 million, an increase of 5% over the same period last year. We're pleased with that result, because we knew we would have headwinds on the software side, as we transition toward more ratable recognition of our subscription software license revenues. And our first fiscal quarter is typically our slowest software, new business quarter. We delivered $86 million of GAAP net income and GAAP earnings of $2.90 cents per share of 57% and 59% respectively.

On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $82 million, up 51% and earnings per share of $2.74 was up 52% from last year, as we reap the benefits of the cost reductions we put in place last year. As we discussed last quarter, so those savings will be reinvested as we identify opportunities and hire additional individuals in key strategic areas. We continue to deliver free cash flow growth as well. Q1 free cash flow was $75 million, up 39% from last year.

I am encouraged by the progress we're making across the business. The decisioning market continues to grow and we are well positioned to serve it. In fact, in December, Forrester issued a digital decisioning platform report and named FICO as a leader in the space. The FICO Decision Management Platform was recognized for providing all the tools necessary to manage and deploy digital decisions, which will stand up to the highest standards of regulatory rigor. We've been helping financial institutions make lending decisions for decades. We now bring that same level of automated analyst decisioning to the broader market to help businesses respond quickly to customers' needs and anticipate their future demands.

As we migrate more of our business toward a subscription-based model, including SaaS software subscriptions and term license subscriptions for on-prem software, we will see less upfront license revenue than we would have in the past, as the revenue spread over the term of the deal. Last quarter, we talked about how we would recognize less revenue upfront for on-premise licenses and that change pushed about $9 million of revenue this quarter out to future quarters. This doesn't affect cash flows or total revenues recognized, but it does delay the timing of revenues and over time will smooth the lumpiness we've historically seen. This change is in line with industry standards and we believe it will provide a more representative transparent view of the growth trajectory of our business.

In our Application segment, we delivered $135 million revenue, down 11% from last year. This was due to a decline in upfront license revenues into a lesser extent professional services revenues. The license revenue was negatively affected by a smaller amount of term licenses upfront through renewal in the quarter and the revenue recognition change I mentioned earlier. In our Decision Management segment, we delivered $32 million of revenue, up 4% despite many of the same issues we described in our Application segment. Our license revenue declined versus the previous year transactional revenues in DMS were up 36%, providing the steady predictable recurring revenue stream that we believe will continue to grow. We've had a lot of interest in our decisioning platform and we sold a number of large deals in the best few quarters. We're working hard to install and get those customers live, so you can begin seeing the impacts from those recurring revenues. As I've often said, we're committed to becoming the preeminent platform player in decisioning analytics, this is the strategic focus of our software business and like I said last quarter that may mean exiting non-strategic products or services, we're not signing or renewing low margin services led project work. Last fall, we sold our Enterprise Security Score business, because although we believe the effectiveness and value of the product is off strategy and need to remain incredibly focused to maximize the opportunity that's in front of us.

In December, we entered into a joint venture with a long-standing partner in China that distributes FICO scores and the joint venture will now distribute our software solutions for the China market. Moving forward, this will allow us to serve that market with less infrastructure and therefore, better margins. So this and the ESS deal will have a small near-term negative impact on topline revenues, but will help our overall margins and again, allow us to focus on our overarching strategy. We expect more adjustments to be made to our software business, as we make the necessary decisions to pursue our strategic initiatives. On the Scores side, the business continues to reform very well. Scores were up 26% in the quarter versus the prior year. On the B2B side, revenues were up 20%. There was continued strength in mortgage originations volumes, although normal seasonality wasn't quite as strong as our fourth quarter.

Auto originations were relatively flat versus the previous year. We're starting to see signs of cards and other unsecured loans beginning the bounce back, as both pre-screen and origination activities picked up in that space. As we discussed last quarter, we did institute some price increases across various volume tiers. Those price increases start to feather in during our second quarter and we can talk more about those impacts when we released the results of our March quarter. On the consumer side, we continue to drive growth. Our B2C revenues were up 40% versus same quarter last year. The growth at myfico.com is even more impressive, up 69% this quarter versus last year. The recent results of our myFICO business as well as our partners experience demonstrate the savvy consumers want to FICO score, the scores that lenders use.

Finally, as you know, we haven't provided guidance since the middle of our last fiscal year, we're still operating in a marketplace and economy with a great deal of uncertainty and volatility, while our business has been remarkably resilient over the past year, it's still difficult to quantify what macro trends will impact our volumes. So while we're confident in our prospects this year, we still believe that there is a wide range of possible outcomes, depending on the timing of vaccine rollout and the opening back up the global economy. As we move through the year, we'll provide more color when we believe it's prudent.

I'll give final comments in a few minutes, but first let me turn the call over to Mike for further financial details.

Michael I. McLaughlin -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Will, and good afternoon everyone. Today, I'll walk you through our first quarter results in more detail and briefly discuss the impact we're seeing from the restructuring and impairment charges we took in the fall and the revenue recognition assumptions we talked about last quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $312 million, an increase of 5% over the prior year. Our Applications revenues were $135 million, down 11% versus the same period last year. This quarterly decrease in revenue was primarily driven by decreased term license revenue. In our Decision Management Software segment, Q1 revenues were $32 million, up 4% over the same period last year. Revenue increase was due to increased SaaS subscription revenue, partially offset by lower license revenues. As Will mentioned, our license revenues are down as we transition to a more ratable subscription revenue model. Last quarter, we explained how we will be recognizing less of our on-premise software deals is upfront license revenue and recognizing more revenue ratable over the term of the deal. In addition to this change, we are also selling more staff deal, which further reduces the upfront revenues. Finally, we are also de-emphasizing low margin and non-strategic professional services engagement, which will likely have a negative near-term impact on professional services bookings and revenues. This is driven by our core strategic goal of selling more high value recurring revenue software.

Turning to our Scores segment. Revenues were $145 million, up 26% from the same period last year. B2B revenues were up 20% over the same period last year, driven by high volumes in mortgage originations, as well as some unit price increases across our different Score categories. B2C revenues were up 40% from the same period last year. Both myFICO.com and B2C partner revenues grew significantly. Scores revenue was down 5% sequentially from Q4, but as a reminder, last quarter had a material one time royalty true up that increased reported revenue. This quarter 80% of total revenues were derived from our Americas region, our EMEA region generated 14% and the remaining 6% was from Asia-Pacific. Recurring revenues derived from transactional and maintenance sources for the quarter represented 81% of total revenues. Consulting and implementation services revenues were 13% of total revenues and license revenues were 6% of total revenue. SaaS software revenues, not including related professional services revenues were $60 million for the quarter, up 4% from the previous year. Q1 bookings totaled $68 million, down 39% from the previous year. Those bookings generated $9 million of current period revenues, a 13% yield. SaaS bookings were $20 million for the quarter, down 45% from the previous year. Professional services bookings of $16 million were down 61% from last year. Our fiscal first quarter bookings are generally lower each year particularly after a strong quarter like we delivered last quarter and our quarterly bookings can be quite volatile from quarter to quarter. We feel good about the bookings outlook for the rest of the fiscal year, despite the relatively light bookings in Q1. However, it is important to note that we do expect bookings to trend lower overall as a result of our de-emphasis of professional services sale and that somewhat shorter term life of typical SaaS contracts.

As we discussed last quarter, we have shifted the sales of our on-premise software away from the sale of separate license and maintenance of products to subscriptions that include both the rights to use the software and ongoing maintenance. This quarter, we adjusted our revenue recognition to be consistent with this change and the industry standards for software subscription sale. This change resulted in less upfront revenue recognized in the quarter, we signed a subscription contract and more revenue from that contract recognize dramatically during the term of the subscription. This quarter, the impact of this change wasn't in quarter reduction of revenue of approximately $9 million. Those are revenues that would have been claimed this quarter under the old sales model and will now be recognized over the term of the contract. As a reminder, this will not have an impact on our quarterly cash flows or the total revenue recognized from software license sales over the term of each subscription contracts. Our operating expenses totaled $218 million this quarter compared to $289 million in the prior quarter. The current quarter included a $7 million gain on sale of product line assets and the prior quarter included $42 million of restructuring and impairment charges, excluding those one-time charges, expenses were down $22 million due to decreased commission expenses associated with lower revenue, reduced incentive expenses and cost savings resulting from the restructuring actions we took last September. Compared to Q1 2020 operating expenses before one-time events were down $14 million due to decreased marketing expenses resulting from a large customer event held in Q1 2020, lower travel and entertainment expense and cost savings resulting from our Q4 2020 restructuring. We do expect expenses to step up somewhat in the coming quarters and as we gradually redeploy the restructuring savings to add strategic headcount, primarily related to the development of our Decision Management platform software.

Our non-GAAP operating margin, as shown on our Reg G schedule was 36% for the quarter and margin expansion of 900 basis points from the same period last year. GAAP net income this quarter was $86 million, up 57% from the prior year quarter and included a gain of about $7 million from the sale of our EFS types technology and our JV agreement in China. Our non-GAAP net income was $82 million for the quarter, up 51% from the same quarter last year. The effective tax rate for the quarter was 2%, including $19 million of reduced tax expense from excess tax benefits. We expect our FY 2021, recurring tax rate to be approximately 26% to 27% and we expect the net effective tax rate for the year to be about 19%. Free cash flow for the quarter was $75 million compared to $54 million in the same period last year, an increase of 39%, for the trailing four quarters, free cash flow was $364 million.

Turning to the balance sheet at the end of the quarter, we had $145 million cash, down $13 million from last quarter. Our total debt now stands at $881 million with a weighted average interest rate of 4.2%. And finally, return of capital, we bought back 101,000 shares in the fourth quarter at an average price of $494 per share. At the end of December, we had about $175 million remaining on the board repurchase authorization and continue to view share repurchases as an attractive use of cash.

With that, I'll turn it back over to Will for his closing thoughts.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Mike. As I said in my opening remarks, we remain focused on building out our platform and taking it to an ever expanding marketplace. We will continue to invest at levels we think are appropriate to make the most of our incredible opportunity and of course, we'll continue to innovate and make the most of our incredible Scores asset.

I'm now turning the call over to Steve for Q&A.

Steven P. Weber -- Vice President, Treasurer and Investor Relations

Thanks, Will. This concludes our prepared remarks and we're now ready to take your questions. Operator, please open the lines.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question is from Surinder Thind from Jefferies. Please go ahead, your line is open.

Surinder Thind -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Good afternoon, gentlemen. My first question is actually on the Scores business. If we were to look at the B2C revenues, if my math is correct, they were roughly flat quarter-over-quarter. Can you provide a little bit of color there, because if we look back over the past few quarters there been a significant acceleration each quarter in the revenues and I thought that was a bit of a subscription-based business. So if you can just help me understand what appears to be a sudden slowdown in new signings or if there is an offset -- where there's new signings offset by certain individuals canceling subscriptions.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I'm not sure I follow the question.

Surinder Thind -- Jefferies -- Analyst

So for your B2B revenues, they -- if my math is correct, they were unchanged quarter-over-quarter. Can you provide a little bit of color, because if we look at the previous quarters, there was significant acceleration each quarter on a sequential basis and that doesn't -- it didn't appear to occur this quarter.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Mike, go ahead.

Michael I. McLaughlin -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I can jump in with some some specific, so B2C revenues were up quarter-over-quarter, but not a lot, call it $1 million, if you look back to Q4 to Q1, a year ago, it was kind of the same factor, so there is some seasonality Q4 to Q1 and the year-over-year compare continues to be very strong. But you're right, the quarter over quarter additions just were not as large as they were in the last two quarters particularly.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

And it's worth adding that there was a settlement in the prior quarter.

Surinder Thind -- Jefferies -- Analyst

I understood. On this -- on the B2B part, I understood. In terms of the -- and then maybe as my follow-up question on the software side of the business, it seems like there is a unless I -- it seems like there is a change in strategy to maybe focus more on the sales of SaaS products versus on-premise. Is that a little bit of a change from our previous discussions or the way because I thought the margins in the two businesses were relatively the same and the thought was, is that from a planning perspective that it was going to be a significant amount of time before the transition in your business occurred in --

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I would say from a strategy standpoint, the way we don't emphasize the one business over the other. We really try to do what's appropriate for the customer and so while we love the characteristics of SaaS business, where appropriate, we will absolutely do license on-prem deals and we don't favor -- we don't really favor one over the other.

Surinder Thind -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you.

Operator

We have a question from Manav Patnaik with Barclays. Please go ahead, your line is open.

Manav Patnaik -- Barclays Capital -- Analyst

Yeah. Good afternoon, good evening, I guess. So just on the software piece, so firstly, the fraud licenses, I guess the decline there, it sounds like most of that is because you're not renewing lower margin services. I was just -- I was just hoping to get an example of what that is because I would imagine anything for us probably valuable and worth sticking with. So maybe you can just help us how that decision works.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Mike, you have a go.

Michael I. McLaughlin -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, sure. So if you look at the license, yeah, Manav, if you look at the license itself as we said, it's -- and I'm going to not just address fraud here, it's probably, but your question is that we are down about $15 million year-over-year from license sales, as we said about $9 million of that was purely related to the revenue recognition sale. It was also a quarter, where we had less license renewals available to renew. You followed us long enough and you know that that can be, can be very lumpy. In Q3, we had another low quarter last year, but Q2 was high. It just goes up and down and we can only renew that and which is available, so it was a low renewal quarter, not that we missed renewals or people didn't renew, they just didn't came up for renewal. And then the rest of it is just normal volatility and Q1 is particularly volatile because it's typically our smallest quarter, it can have the highest standard deviation. The services per se wouldn't hit that fraud license line, it wouldn't hit the total fraud business. An example of that service is engagement that we would de-emphasize would be some managed services that we performed for some of our customers, where we're helping them run the application on an ongoing basis. You know, if we do it well, it's a good service. But it's not strategic and so we're not emphasizing that. We're also engineering our products to be less professional services intensive, when they are installed, so they can reduce the total dollars that our customers need to spend to install the products. So those are two examples of how and why professional services are we expect, you're going to be trying to download over time.

Manav Patnaik -- Barclays Capital -- Analyst

Got it. Will, your comments around early signs of cards, marketing, prospecting etc. picking up, I was hoping you could elaborate a little bit there on, which particular areas perhaps, and how we should I guess that probably just ties to the reopening, just curious to what you think there.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think it is just, I mean what we're seeing is the decline from a year earlier, is not as great as it was. And so while we clearly have a long way to go to kind of recover former volumes, the trend is in the right direction. So it's -- we're seeing early signs of life.

Manav Patnaik -- Barclays Capital -- Analyst

Got it. And just one last one from me myFICO.com, I mean I think I understand why that's doing so well because of the market's macro out there. But are you guys doing anything really differently in that business to push that growth to at least over 69% this quarter or -- and set up for a big fall basically somewhere down the road.

Michael I. McLaughlin -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Hard to say. I would say that it's a combination of us doing things differently, because we're always trying to do things that run the business better and we've got a crack team there that is constantly experimenting and innovating to improve the business. But that said, obviously we're benefiting from the fact that we have so many consumers, who are increasingly focused on their scores and their FICO credit scores may come to myFICO, we're an obvious place to come. We don't promote it nearly as much as partners like experience, but consumers find us and we do some of our marketing ourselves and so, I'd say it's both things, it's -- we are benefiting from the environment we're in, where consumers are more focused than ever and I don't know how long that lasts. I think it could last a long time, but we don't know and then, we're also benefiting from excellent execution from the team.

Manav Patnaik -- Barclays Capital -- Analyst

All right. Thank you.

Operator

We have a question from Kyle Peterson from Needham. Please go ahead, your line is open.

Kyle Peterson -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Hey, good afternoon guys. Thanks for taking the question. So I just wanted to touch on a little bit on the expense and margin trajectory. I appreciate some of the color you guys mentioned on kind of reinvesting some of that as we go here. I mean is it fair to think the some of the labor costs and savings you guys have this quarter will eventually be redeployed and maybe some of the savings on facilities are kind of more permanent or how should we think about the cadence and level of this reinvestment.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Maybe I'll just take a quick stab at that and Mike, you can give your view. Some of those labor savings will absolutely be redeployed into areas that are more strategic. So we're -- we have very healthy investment in our Decision Management platform and so some of the savings will be redeployed there. I think that on the -- on the facilities and some of the travel reduction expenses that are COVID related, some of that's going to persist, I think some of that becomes permanent, obviously travel, some amount of travel will resume, but I think we've all learned how to do business with less travel than we had before. And I mean, I'm sure our experience is not unique, we've become a Zoom Video Company, I mean we had it before COVID outbreak, but now it's a way of doing business and so, so I would think that even when everything comes back, we won't see our travel expense at the same kind of level.

Michael I. McLaughlin -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I would add to that Kyle that we also when everything comes back won't see our real estate facilities expense go back to the same level. We noticed restructuring actions and footprint reductions, you can consider them to be permanent. On the labor side, yes, we are redeploying as we've talked about some of the savings back into particularly engineering talent from our platform products and we're not guiding particularly exactly how that's going to move, but we did say last quarter and I continue to feel comfortable with, if you look at the full fiscal year. We expect our operating expenses to be flat to up a little bit, call it low single digit percentages. We are still comfortable with that directionally.

Kyle Peterson -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Got it. That's helpful. And then, I guess just a little bit. I had a follow-up on the gross margins, it seems like you guys are kind of strategically exiting some lower margin businesses, especially on the services side, I mean should that lead to maybe a slight upward bias to gross margins over time. I realize, yes, some of that will be kind of mix driven between scores and software. But all else equal, I just want to get any color that you guys could provide on the gross margin impact on de-emphasizing services and some of these other businesses.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I don't think we have a lot of color. Go ahead, Mike.

Michael I. McLaughlin -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I was just going to say your math directionally is right. All else equal, if we deliver less professional services, it's going to have a positive impact on gross margin, no question. The mix matters for sure, but our professional services margins, gross margins are in line with what you would see at other well-run enterprise software companies that have in-house professional services and those margins are a lot lower than what typical software margins are.

Kyle Peterson -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Okay. That's helpful. Thanks guys. Good quarter.

Operator

Our next question is from Ashish Sabadra with Deutsche Bank. Please go ahead, your line is open.

Ashish Sabadra -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Thanks for taking my question. I just wanted to ask a broader question about the platform strategy. Last quarter you talked about some good traction on that front, I was just wondering if you could provide any update on any other customer conversations and how should we think about the FICO Studio, how's that coming along and the open API strategy. Thanks.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. FICO Studio strategy is coming along just fine. We're on track. We have a quarterly release cycle and every quarter, we make improvements. The API strategy is very much in place. We're very focused on it. We're obviously using the APIs internally today and we're in the process of turning those outward and documenting them so that others can use them. I actually think that the bigger hurdle for us will be around building a partner ecosystem that can leverage those APIs. So the -- getting the APIs out there is not something that we worry about. I think building ecosystem takes a bit more work.

Ashish Sabadra -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

That's very helpful color. And maybe just a follow-up question on the fraud piece, the fraud solution piece. With this work from home, there's definitely increased traction for fraud and digital identity solutions, you're seeing increased demand in the marketplace, TransUnion and Equifax also announced certain products and Equifax announced Kount acquisition as well. I was just wondering if you can just talk about the demand that you're seeing in the marketplace, but also talk about the competitive environment for Falcon, obviously Falcon is the market you there on the financial side, but any change in the competitive environment there? Thanks.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

We're not seeing tremendous changes, I mean, Falcon is very much still the market leader and we're still selling Falcon in all its forms. So no, we're not really seeing a difference there. I wouldn't say that demand is way up nor is it down for Falcon. What we are doing in the fraud space is also looking at some, I would call it less traditional fraud opportunities for us and leveraging the Decision Management platform for them. So some of the lower cost, not as heavy duty as Falcon, but some of the other clients of Falcon, some of the other kinds of fraud solutions will be coming on the platform.

Ashish Sabadra -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

That's very helpful. Thanks.

Operator

Our next question is from Jeff Meuler with Baird. Please go ahead, your line is open.

Jeff Meuler -- Baird -- Analyst

Yeah. Thank you. Hello, everyone. Will, I know that you said, you're going to give us more detail next quarter on how the calendar '21 special pricing in B2B Scores is feathering in, but just hoping you can confirm that four weeks in the execution of the special pricing implementation is going smoothly and as planned.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Everything is going as smoothly as expected, everything is going as planned. It really -- it happens later and so we'll talk about it later.

Jeff Meuler -- Baird -- Analyst

Fair enough. And then on software, any more perspective you can provide on license and maintenance and I understand what's going on from -- I'm sorry for transaction and maintenance and I understand what's going on from a license perspective, but for transaction and maintenance application down year-over-year and I know that's not usually a huge area of growth, but it was down and in DMS, it was I guess modest growth by DMS standards against what mathematically looks like not too tough for comp.

Michael I. McLaughlin -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. A lot of the -- that is a category that is more usage driven than fixed minimum driven. It's not entirely usage by any means and we did see some usage fluctuations this quarter, in some of our products, some which would be -- seem to be related to the macro like we saw some less usage of our originations solutions in a couple of spots and then, there is normal variability in usage of things like fraud, again some of that may be macro related and is less transactions are being processed and so forth. There is not -- there is not a big story there again, I think the big -- the bigger swing was just the license number overall, which was impacted, as described by the Rev-Rec change and just the normal Q1 combined with just lower renewals.

Jeff Meuler -- Baird -- Analyst

Got it. And then, Will, sorry to ask you to repeat yourself, but the mortgage comments in your prepared remarks was it just that mortgage is seasonally a smaller percentage of the mix this quarter.

Michael I. McLaughlin -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. Go ahead, Will.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I was just going to say it's -- mortgage holding up fine, actually. And so it's for now it looks right right.

Jeff Meuler -- Baird -- Analyst

Right. I guess Equifax reported that mortgage inquiries should actually accelerate a little bit this quarter. And I thought you had a comment that, it's something related to the mortgage, gave us a lesser benefit and I just didn't know if that was just seasonal mix or what you were saying and maybe I just misheard you.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

No, I don't -- maybe I need to go consult my notes. I think that we don't really applying on kind of the future mortgage, you're better off looking to the bureaus and their forecasts than to us because we're kind of a lagging indicator on that. But what we see, at least what we're seeing right now is strong mortgage.

Jeff Meuler -- Baird -- Analyst

Yeah. Got you. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] We have a question from Brett Huff with Stephens Inc. Please go ahead, your line is open.

Brett Huff -- Stephens Inc. -- Analyst

Good afternoon, Will, Mike, and Steve. I hope you're all safe. Thanks for taking the questions. Two bigger picture ones. We've been watching DMS for a long time and still think it's a really important long-term strategic product. I think Will, you talked about your commitment to that and last quarter we had I think a big Brazilian bank that kind of win enterprise on that, anything in the pipeline. Similar to that or conversation that you can give us anecdotally any sort of signs that this is -- this wave is starting to build a little bit.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I think it's too early to talk about specifics, but we have a lot of DMS opportunities in the pipeline and there is interest from large finance institutions and so, without being able to get into specifics right now, I would say that it is consuming a lot of our sales activity.

Brett Huff -- Stephens Inc. -- Analyst

Okay. That's helpful. And then the second question is on margins, I know that we've been working through sort of enhancing our tech kind of infrastructure and then spending a lot of money on DMS and some of the SaaS application if you will, the platform solution. And I know that we've talked about the potential margin benefit from that, but I know we're kind of running in a little bit to the Rev-Rec change and some other things maybe exiting some businesses. Can you sort of give us a sense this year and next year, not numbers but just how we should think about margin benefits and headwinds, as we look to see the business start expanding margins, maybe a little more rapidly. Thanks.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

You know the margins -- the margins we have pulling and pushing in two directions. The margins are improving because we're getting better on expenses. We are -- our mix is changing with less PS. We're reviewing our products and identifying the ones that really aren't contributing enough and are not strategic. And so we talked about the China and ESS for example, but set against that is this incredible opportunity that we see with DMP, the Decision Management platform and we work through year-by-year what we can afford to spend on investing in it, but it's not trivial and given the market opportunity, we're not going to short change it. So I think some of the margin improvement will be consumed by that incremental investment. Now which way that goes, I know you're looking for direction in our margins getting better, are they getting worse, are they going sideways, we're just not prepared to say yet. Flat is probably a good way to think about it, but I wouldn't -- I wouldn't put a lot of stock in that because it could move. It really is a constant press internally for us to improve margins from an operating standpoint with cost reduction with getting better on pods all those kinds of things, while at the same time, recognizing that we're not going to miss this opportunity within the platform.

Brett Huff -- Stephens Inc. -- Analyst

That's really helpful. Thank you, guys.

Operator

And we have a follow-up question from Surinder Thind with Jefferies. Please go ahead, your line is open.

Surinder Thind -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Thank you for the follow-up question. Quick question on kind of the M&A front, you talked a little bit earlier about kind of fine-tuning some of the businesses that you're in and being a little bit more focused. Is there an opportunity for M&A within that or has anything potentially changed there that we can think about or any needs that you might have.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I don't think a lot has changed. You know that our stance on M&A is we're always open and looking and we rarely find anything significant that makes sense for us. And the issue, especially given our platform strategy, the issue is that introducing business -- other businesses with other code bases that we just have to be put it on a path that we brought into our platform. It is -- it's just a little bit complicated and potentially our strategy. So while we're always looking, it makes more sense for us at this time to continue to invest organically and build organically. Now that said, we're always doing small, small acquisitions, typically talent acquisition, sometimes small technology acquisition that fill little gaps, but in terms of large, large acquisitions, I wouldn't hold my breath but never say never, it could happen, but it's not imminent.

Surinder Thind -- Jefferies -- Analyst

That's very helpful. And then one other quick question, just -- there were a lot of questions and kind of the bookings numbers and you guys provided some color on the seasonality component and how the first fiscal quarter is generally the weakest. Is there anything else, I mean when I look back, that number was actually the lowest that I have on record for you guys in the past three plus years and so is there anything there to read into other than just the lumpiness in the sense that maybe clients are hesitating, a little bit, is there maybe a little bit of uncertainty like what are those client dialogs or is it just clients are waiting for more of the DMS platform and maybe if you can talk about the roadmap for the DMS platform over the next year.

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I'll take a stab at it and Mike can chime in. I think that the bookings -- there are other changes going on. So for example term length has shrunk a bit. That's by design. It's because we would rather have a renewal sooner than have it pushed way out, because we think there will be opportunities to do better down the line. So and that's reflected in the sales compensation, it is reflected in the fact that meaning that our salespeople are now compensated on kind of an annual recurring revenue as opposed to -- as opposed to the total bookings value, and that has a natural impact on internally. So I would say that's one factor. I would also say I'm not sure it's the right, I mean obviously we've been promoting it as a metric for ourselves for a long time, and we're not going to stop sharing it, but I do think that over time we have to really start to focus on our business on this kind of annual recurring basis. Mike, you want to add anything to that?

Michael I. McLaughlin -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I'd say that it does -- look, it doesn't feel like there is a -- there otherwise systemic hesitancy on the part of customers, you never can tell for sure, but the pipeline is still feels good. As we said, we still feel good about the full year, on a new business basis. And we came off of the highest ever booking quarter as you know in Q4 into what is seasonally the slowest quarter. So it's -- again, we don't think that what you're thinking about is the case. Time will tell, but the indicators we see is that the pipeline continues to look good for the year.

Surinder Thind -- Jefferies -- Analyst

That's very helpful. And then one kind of final question here, just the roadmap for the DMS platform over the next year?

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I'm not sure what we're prepared to disclose about the roadmap. We continue to make progress on Studio and we continue to work hard against getting the APIs turned outward and I would say those are the big -- the big points.

Surinder Thind -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you so much, guys. Thanks a lot.

Operator

And there are no further questions at this time.

Steven P. Weber -- Vice President, Treasurer and Investor Relations

Thank you. This concludes today's call. Thank you all for joining and we look forward to speaking with you again soon. Thank you and have a good day.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 44 minutes

Call participants:

Steven P. Weber -- Vice President, Treasurer and Investor Relations

William J. Lansing -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Michael I. McLaughlin -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Surinder Thind -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Manav Patnaik -- Barclays Capital -- Analyst

Kyle Peterson -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Ashish Sabadra -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Jeff Meuler -- Baird -- Analyst

Brett Huff -- Stephens Inc. -- Analyst

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