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How Veeva Systems Vaulted Above Wall Street Estimates in Q4

By Keith Speights - Mar 4, 2020 at 6:01AM

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The cloud-based software company fired on all cylinders in the fourth quarter.

Veeva Systems (VEEV 3.56%) delivered a fantastic performance in 2019 with its shares soaring 58%. It got off to a very good start in 2020 as well, before the overall market plunge dragged its stock down somewhat. But Veeva appears to be headed for a nice rebound.

The provider of cloud-based software for the life sciences industry announced its 2019 fourth-quarter and full-year results after the market closed on Tuesday. Here are the highlights from Veeva's Q4 update.

Tablet with medical symbols coming out

Image source: Getty Images.

By the numbers

Veeva's revenue in the fourth quarter jumped 34% year over year to $311.5 million. This result came in well above the Wall Street consensus estimate of $298.3 million.

The company reported Q4 net income of $66.2 million, or $0.42 per share, based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This reflected a decline from net income of $71.2 million, or $0.45 per share, posted in the prior-year period.

However, it was a different story with Veeva's non-GAAP adjusted earnings. The company announced adjusted net income in the fourth quarter of $85.5 million, or $0.54 per share. This was a big jump from adjusted earnings of $71.2 million, or $0.45 per share, generated in the same quarter of 2018. It also topped the average analysts' estimate of $0.52 per share.

Behind the numbers

Veeva makes over 80% of its total revenue from subscription services with the remainder from professional services and other sources. The company performed well in both areas.

Subscription services revenue in Q4 totaled $254.1 million, up 33% year over year. Veeva reported professional services and other revenue of $57.4 million, a 38% year-over-year increase.

The company stated that it landed its biggest commercial small-to-medium-sized business deal ever in the fourth quarter. This contract was for seven-figures and included expanding the use of Veeva's customer relationship management (CRM) system as well as adding five Commercial Cloud applications. Veeva also had its best quarter in company history for Veeva Vault RIM.

Veeva's GAAP net income fell from the prior-year period primarily because of higher stock-based compensation expenses. Adjusting for these expenses and associated income tax effects, though, enabled the company to deliver solid adjusted earnings growth.

Looking ahead

Veeva projects that its revenue in the first quarter of 2020 will be between $327 million and $328 million. The company expects non-GAAP earnings per share (EPS) in Q1 will fall between $0.59 and $0.60. For full-year 2020, Veeva looks for total revenue of between $1.4 billion and $1.405 billion. Full-year non-GAAP EPS is anticipated to be around $2.50.

CEO Peter Gassner said, "We have set ourselves up well from a product, operating model, and team perspective to execute on the major opportunities ahead." Those opportunities particularly include expanding on the success with the Commercial Cloud and Veeva Vault cloud-based applications.

Growth stocks like Veeva can be more volatile than most stocks. Any bumps in the road can cause shares to fall because the stocks are priced for perfection. But Veeva's Q4 performance shows that the company's path remains quite smooth for now.

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