While a variety of software companies suffered from earnings disappointments last week, Hyperion Solutions
In the third quarter, revenues increased 17% to $198.5 million. The company also saw strength in software-license revenues, which increased 13% to $68.1 million. This latter point is a key barometer of future growth for software companies, since new software sales lead to annual maintenance and service revenues.
Net income was $11.9 million, or $0.20 per share, down from last year's $13.3 million, or $0.22 per share. However, the Q3 figure included a one-time charge of $0.04 per share to settle a patent-infringement case.
The third quarter also saw an increase of $24.4 million in cash flow from operations. In all, the company has $436.2 million in the bank.
Founded in 1981, Hyperion develops software that helps companies offer better visibility into their operations. Hyperion 9, for instance, analyzes various sources of data -- such as accounting, bookings, and call centers -- and then provides reports on a company's big picture. Is the company meeting goals? Are there problems with a division or product? That's what Hyperion 9 helps to answer.
For big organizations, gathering and analyzing all of this information is not easy. After all, companies are becoming more global, and information tends to fragment. For example, it is not uncommon for a business to have multiple general ledgers. There's a practical matter involved, too -- with increased regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, companies need to be able to present better transparency of their internal operations.
In terms of guidance for the fourth quarter, Hyperion forecasts revenues of $210 million to $215 million. Net income is expected to range from $0.26 to $0.30 per share.
It's remarkable, meanwhile, that Hyperion has been able to deal with tough competitors, such as SAP
One troubling aspect, however, is that for customers to upgrade on Hyperion 9, there is a so-called "enablement fee." True, this juices revenues, but it may also annoy customers, hurting rather than helping profits in the long term.
Also keep in mind that Hyperion 9 has been on the market for about a year, which is usually the best part of a product's growth cycle. So as the company goes into 2007, there are certainly risks of a slowdown and, as a result, trouble for the stock price.
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