Since starting Solera
Solera develops software to process auto insurance claims. The foundation of the software is a group of proprietary databases. They include 3.3 million vehicle parts, 1 million aftermarket parts, and 100 million automobile repair claims.
The company has more than 55,000 customers and operations in 45 countries. The business model is primarily based on subscriptions. This means the revenue stream is fairly predictable. It's the kind of model that has worked well for software companies like Salesforce.com
How large is the market? There are about 100 million auto claims per year. Keep in mind that there's likely to be long-term growth because of the affluence in areas like China and India.
However, because of the acquisition of ADP's claims services, it's difficult to get a sense of the growth rate of Solera. Fiscal 2006 revenues were about $430.2 million, and there was a net loss of $53.7 million.
At the current market cap of $1.2 billion, Solera is trading at about 2.7 times revenues. Compared to other enterprise software companies, this is certainly reasonable. The company also has a significant barrier to entry with its databases and should benefit from growth in emerging markets. While I still think it's a good idea to wait for the IPO hype to subside, Solera is definitely a stock to watch.
Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares mentioned in this article. He is currently ranked 1,610 out of 28,402 in CAPS. He is also author of The Complete M&A Handbook (Random House). The Fool has a disclosure policy.