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 Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ:CSOD) are trading 8% lower today after starting the day in a 14% hole. Investors are not happy about the software specialist's guidance for the first quarter of 2015, which was offered during a conference call held after Cornerstone released its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday.
So what: Cornerstone's fourth-quarter revenue of $76.4 million exceeded Wall Street's expectations of $74 million, and its adjusted loss of $0.07 per share was as expected. However, trouble arose during Cornerstone's conference call, when executives told their listeners to expect revenue to range from $72 million to $73 million for the first quarter of 2015, with full-year revenue expected to come in at $336 million to $341 million. This will result in a full-year adjusted loss of $0.29 -- first-quarter EPS guidance was not offered.
Wall Street's analysts had modeled $341.6 million in revenue for the year and had been looking for a loss of just $0.14 per share, so Cornerstone's anticipation of deeper losses is certainly causing a lot of consternation on the public markets today. Analysts were also expecting $76.4 million in first-quarter revenue, so Cornerstone's soft top-line guidance for the quarter didn't help matters, either.
Now what: The first question posed during Cornerstone's earnings call Q-and-A session involved currency exchange headwinds, which were mentioned as a reason for the company's soft guidance. Cornerstone will now use a hedging strategy for its currency exchanges, and CEO Adam Miller noted that the company's guidance would be "exactly where the Street['s] was" without the impact of unfavorable currency exchange rates.
It's worth keeping in mind that the midpoint of Cornerstone's full-year top-line guidance still represents a 28% improvement over 2014's result. Cornerstone is also cash-flow positive -- it reported $22 million in free cash flow for 2014, good for a (still-high) price-to-free-cash-flow ratio of 80.5 -- and expects to boost its non-GAAP operating cash flow by $10 million over 2014's result. However, that doesn't mean the company's shares are a good value just yet. I'd keep my distance until this shake-out period (shares are now down 42% over the past year) runs its course on Cornerstone's stock.