Email, Digital Targeted Messaging & Interactive Marketing Musings, Thoughts & Links - Named A Top Email Marketing Blog by Email Marketing Reports

Monday, December 17, 2007

ExactTarget Delivers S-1 - Headed for IPO

On the heels of ConstantContact's Initial Public Offering, mid market leader ExactTarget filed plans to raise up to $86.3 million.

Let's break down the numbers that will serve as gossip and competitive fuel in the email marketing industry for the coming months. (This info is taken from their S-1 )

The top financial takeaways....
-For the nine months ended Sept. 30, ExactTarget’s earnings rose to $2.1 million from $1.8 million in the year-ago period.

-The company’s revenues also rose to $34.2 million, from $22 million.

Direct excerpts/highlights from the S-1 that I found the most interesting.

-ExactTarget is a leading provider of on-demand email marketing software solutions to organizations of all sizes. Our clients depend on our solutions for business-critical marketing and event-triggered communications to increase sales, improve their return on marketing investments and strengthen customer relationships. Through our email offering and our recent expansion into emerging one-to-one marketing technologies, we help our clients deliver the right message to the right person at the right time through the right medium

-As of September 30, 2007, our direct client base consisted of more than 2,800 organizations of all sizes, which included approximately 400 marketing service providers.

-Through these marketing service providers, more than 2,000 additional organizations utilize our technology. Many of our clients are well known companies or organizations such as,, Florida Power and Light, Gannett Co., Inc./USA TODAY, the Indianapolis Colts, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Liberty Mutual Group, Papa John's and Wellpoint, Inc.

-We have achieved 27 consecutive quarters of organic revenue growth, and no single client represented more than 3% of our revenues in the nine months ended September 30, 2007.

-We achieved revenues of $19.7 million and $31.2 million for fiscal years 2005 and 2006, respectively. Our operating income increased from a loss of $1.4 million to income of $2.7 million during the same period.

-Our annual subscription pricing ranges from $1,500 to more than $1,000,000,...the majority of our revenue is derived from client contracts having a value ranging from $10,000 to $150,000.

- The demand for email marketing products and services is large and growing, driven by organizations' desires to leverage the efficiency and effectiveness of this marketing channel. According to Forrester Research, the size of the U.S. email market for technology and services related to integration, strategy, delivery, creative and analytics is expected to grow from $2.3 billion in 2007 to $3.5 billion in 2010, representing a compound annual growth rate of 15%. We believe these segments of the market will grow at a higher rate due to increased outsourcing to email providers as well as growth in event-triggered email communications. Additionally, we believe our total addressable market opportunity will be larger as organizations embrace emerging one-to-one marketing technologies such as short messaging service, or SMS, really simple syndication, or RSS, web landing pages and voice automated solutions.

-Our business is dependent on the market for email marketing solutions and there may be changes in the market that may harm our business...

A number of factors could affect our clients' assessment of the value or effectiveness of email marketing, including the following:
• continual growth in the number of emails sent or received on a daily or regular basis;
• the ability of filters to effectively screen for unwanted emails;
• the ability of smart phones or similar communications to adequately display email;
• continued security concerns regarding Internet usage in general from viruses, worms or similar problems affecting Internet and email utilization; and
• increased governmental regulation or restrictive policies adopted by ISPs that make it more difficult or costly to utilize email for marketing communications.
Any decrease in the use of email by businesses would reduce demand for our email marketing products or services and our business and results of operation would suffer

-During the nine months ended September 30, 2007, approximately 80% of all our existing client contracts that were eligible for renewal were renewed

-We have increased our number of employees from 124 at December 31, 2004 to 268 at September 30, 2007 and have increased our revenues from $11.6 million in 2004 to $31.2 million in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006.

-Our client base has grown to more than 2,800 direct clients and more than 2,000 indirect clients as of September 30, 2007

-We have entered into a license agreement with Hula Holdings, LLC and Subscribermail, LLC (to whom we collectively refer to as Subscribermail) under which we have a non-exclusive license to use methods covered by a business process patent held by Subscribermail for multi-level electronic mail communications programs. Assuming we make all required license payments, the license will survive for the term of the patent, which expires in November 2021. If we were to lose the license for any reason, the quality and competitive value of our products may decline, which would have a material adverse effect on our revenue, financial condition and results of operations. Because the license is non-exclusive, our competitors may have access to this methodology.

-Our business requires trained employees with a skill set unique to the email marketing industry. Competition for these personnel is intense, and we have from time to time in the past experienced, and we expect to continue to experience in the future, difficulty in hiring and retaining highly skilled employees with appropriate qualifications. Many of the companies with which we compete for experienced personnel have greater resources than we do. Often we are required to recruit qualified candidates from outside the Indianapolis, Indiana, area, where our headquarters is located, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Be sure to go back and read my breakdown on Constant Contact's numbers to compare and contrast. It is not often that the inner workings of a company in the email space are revealed. I imagine this had made for some pretty interesting reading for ESP executives and others in the industry that is prime for consolidation.

Now 3 questions...

1)Would you rate this stock a buy, sell or hold?

2)How about ConstantContact?

3)Who will be the first company to be absorbed by either of these 2 industry giants?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exact Target has much less viability than Constant Contact. Making less than 10% on earnings of 31.2M as a software provider is sad. Only having 1 year of positive income is also not a great achievement. For ET to survive, they will need to make some major acquisitions to even have a respectable stock value.

Monday, December 17, 2007 at 5:40:00 PM GMT-5

Blogger Douglas Karr said...

I worked for ExactTarget for 3 years and it's a fantastic company led by a sales team that is bar none in the technology industry.

Their 'flavor' is quite different from ConstantContact. I have respect for ConstantContact, but they service many smaller accounts than ExactTarget.

While ConstantContact works on a self-service, affordable email model, ExactTarget works on a full-service and integrated model.

It's a much different approach to doing business in this space. The Account Managers at ExactTarget are tasked with making their clients successful. You don't just get email when you sign up with ET, you get a partner.

Disclosure: I do NOT own shares nor have options in ET, I let them go when I left the company.

ET is also diving into SMS and Voice through other leaders. I think you'll find them evolving into a Marketing Communications company in years to come.

At any rate, it's an IPO well-deserved. This is a company out of Indiana (low taxes, low cost of living, etc.) and they do things the right way... that's a MidWest thing.

I would say it's a buy and (if I had the funds), I would invest. I've seen what they've done with the private funding they got - the sky is the limit with an $80m+ IPO funding!

If I were ET, I think I would look to swallow a Content Management System and an Analytics company to provide 360 degree integrated solutions to their clients.

Monday, December 17, 2007 at 5:55:00 PM GMT-5

Blogger Mark Brownlow - Email Marketing Reports said...

Fascinating. I agree that ET and CC are addressing two different markets.

All this IPO money certainly puts the pressure on the rest of the industry. Be interesting to see what happens. I imagine there will be consolidation but also differentiation. More companies like Campaign Monitor, who focus on a particular niche (in their case web designers) to survive.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 3:25:00 AM GMT-5

Anonymous newpublius said...

A company that cannot make itself efficient enough to earn more than 7% net margins in email marketing - while private and unpressured - is certainly not going to do so once it has $80 m and stock that it can use as currency. I would be interested to see its P/E based on the initial offering price. What is this company's plans to make money for buyers of this issue, other than for its shareholders who clearly aren't making it the old fashioned way?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 8:33:00 AM GMT-5

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ET has very low earnings per share because they’re emerging from 2 consecutive build years. New development takes cash and I argue it’s that development that made sales rise 33% in one year to the $34m it was in September.

Their IPO provides more cash to develop and acquire more, making earnings rise.

P.S. I'm not an ET employee or shareholder.

Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 12:21:00 PM GMT-5


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home