Why Bottomline Shares Bottomed Out, but Recovered

Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

Alex Planes
Alex Planes
Feb 5, 2013 at 3:53PM
Technology and Telecom

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ:EPAY) fell by as much as 10% in early morning trading, but have since recovered much of their losses and now sit about 5% below yesterday's closing price. An analyst downgrade appears to be the largest contributor to the decline, as Bottomline bested expectations on both revenue and earnings per share.

So what: Bottomline's top line for the fiscal second quarter was $63.6 million, a 15.4% year-over-year increase and a slight victory over analysts' $62.9 million expectations. Bottomline's adjusted bottom line (you knew that had to be coming) was $0.33 per share, $0.10 better than expected. However, Craig-Hallum analyst George Sutton points to a one-time add-back on tax benefits as contributing to that impressive earnings beat. He also sees only modest organic growth and an overly high EBITDA of 18, which contribute to his decision to reduce the stock to hold status.

Now what: Sutton's retained a $29 price target, which is about a 6% upside from here, despite increasing his estimates for revenue and EPS. Bottomline's swing to a GAAP net loss in the current quarter from its year-ago quarterly profit also reflects poorly on its progress, regardless of adjusted metrics that rely on one-time charges. Operating expenses also grew 38.9% year over year, more than double the year-over-year increase in revenue. Sutton might be right. Bottomline's upside looks a bit limited in the near future.

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