One ubiquitous aspect of Corporate America is the number of conferences and other events available across the nation. In just about every industry, chances to meet at industrywide events frequently present themselves; yet, organizing those events can be among the biggest logistical challenges anyone could face. Cvent (NYSE:CVT) hopes to make event management a lot simpler for its customers, using the power of the cloud to make it easier for people to register for events and for organizers to make the necessary preparations in a timely manner.
Even though Cvent's revenue growth has been impressive, the company came into its third-quarter earnings report with investors hoping for better follow-through on the bottom line. Let's take a closer look at how Cvent did last quarter.
Cvent has plans for the future
Cvent's headline numbers were considerably more favorable than many investors had feared. Revenue climbed 28%, to $37.4 million, outpacing the 25% growth rate that most had expected to see. On a GAAP basis, Cvent reversed year-ago losses by posting net income of $1.1 million, equating to a $0.02 per-share gain. Adjusted earnings performed even better, with per-share figures of $0.08 not only beating expectations for flat results, but also topping last year's $0.05 per share figure for the third quarter.
Looking more closely at the numbers, Cvent saw solid revenue growth in both of its major segments. Platform subscription revenue rose 30% and remained a key part of Cvent's overall income stream, representing about 70% of the company's total sales. Revenue from the Marketing Solutions segment also climbed 25%, reflecting the company's two-pronged approach to making the most of its business opportunity.
At the same time, Cvent was more careful about keeping costs in check. Total operating expenses rose, but at a slower 21% rate than its top-line growth, thereby improving the company's operating margins by 2.5 percentage points.
Cvent also pointed to a number of positive developments during the quarter. The company attracted major new customers for both its platform subscription and its marketing solutions services, and Cvent also signed new strategic meeting management customers while broadening its existing relationships with some other major companies. At the same time, new products like its Blue Release event-management solution and its upgraded OnArrival Mobile App should better demonstrate the value of Cvent's services to potential new customers.
Cvent's leaders were pleased with the results. "Investments we are making on the event management side of our business increase our enterprise reach," said CEO Reggie Aggarwal, and "we are also investing in adding value for our hotel and venue customers by not only delivering more leads to them but also by helping them analyze and prioritize these leads, simplifying the response process and ultimately enabling them to increase productivity."
What's next for Cvent?
Cvent also provided guidance for the remainder of the year. In the fourth quarter, sales should come in between $38.6 million and $39 million, equating to a GAAP loss of $0.04 to $0.05 per share, but an adjusted profit of $0.01 to $0.02 per share. With investors already expecting an even larger loss on slightly slower revenue growth, Cvent appears to be maintaining a slightly steeper growth track than investors have expected.
For the full 2014 year, similar dynamics are in play, with revenue guidance coming in about $1 million higher than the current consensus. Some investors might see GAAP earnings of $0.04 to $0.05 per share and adjusted earnings per share of $0.21 to $0.22 as a positive surprise, but based on the lack of movement in the stock in after-hours trading, Cvent's results appear to be mostly in line with what those following the event-planner's efforts had in mind.
Looking forward, Cvent's acquisition of Decision Street, which it announced at the same time it released its earnings results, might prove to be the most important takeaway from the company's announcements today. Aggarwal said that Decision Street's "new technology will help hoteliers be more efficient and work on the right opportunities, resulting in better conversion on more profitable business." With so much business coming through the Cvent Supplier Network, anything that further coordinates Cvent's efforts should help drive results even higher in the long run.