JDA Software Group (JDAS)
Q3 2011 Earnings Call
October 27, 2011 4:45 pm ET
Mike Burnett - Group Vice President of Treasury & Investor Relations
Hamish N. J. Brewer - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
Peter S. Hathaway - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Executive Vice President
Mark W. Schappel - The Benchmark Company, LLC, Research Division
Greg McDowell - JMP Securities LLC, Research Division
Richard T. Williams - Cross Research LLC
Jeffrey Van Rhee - Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC, Research Division
Brian Murphy - Sidoti & Company, LLC
Unknown Analyst -
Previous Statements by JDAS
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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the JDA Software Group Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] This conference is being recorded today, October 27, 2011. And I would now like to turn the conference over to Mike Burnett, Group's Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.
Great. Thank you, Mikaela. Good afternoon, and welcome to the JDA Software earnings call for the third quarter ending September 30, 2011. On our call today, we will discuss the operational and financial results for the third quarter. With me on the call is Hamish Brewer, Chief Executive Officer of JDA Software; and Pete Hathaway, our Chief Financial Officer.
Before we begin discussing our results, let me remind you that our comments today will contain certain forward-looking statements that often involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are statements that could be deemed to be forward-looking. These risks are described from time to time in our SEC reports including, but not limited to, our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010.
Our presentation also includes certain non-GAAP measures, which JDA uses internally in budgeting and performance monitoring activities to gauge our business performance. We believe these measures provide useful information to our investors in evaluating JDA's ongoing business results. We prepared a reconciliation of each of these measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measure in our press release, which is posted on our website at jda.com. Additionally, we have posted a supplemental presentation slide deck on our Investor Relations to accompany the review of our results.
With that, I will now turn the call over to Hamish Brewer for a discussion of the operating results and business trends.
Hamish N. J. Brewer
Thank you, Mike. The third quarter of 2011 was one of the stronger quarters in the history of the company. We've bring mouthful revenue record in what was a lackluster quarter and convert that revenue into a very satisfying 30% adjusted EBITDA margin. At the start of this year, we said that we plan to drive expansion in organic revenue growth through primarily by organic license revenue growth, and I think this quarter we're staying on track to achieve this objective.
And to jump straight to the conclusion, the third quarter was a record quarter for the company in many ways and reiterate once -- we reiterate once again that we expect to hit our annual guidance delivering substantial organic revenue and earnings growth. On this call today, I'll provide you with some further color around the ongoing operations, and also discuss the state of the market as we see them.
Starting with license revenue. As you know, 2011, we decided to increase investment in sales and marketing to support our objective of $145 million to $160 million of software and subscription revenue, which at the midpoint implies a healthy 17% year-over-year growth rate.
The third quarter was about flat year-over-year, so we know we had to have further growth in the second half. With an impressive 67% year-over-year organic license growth rate, we believe that the third quarter 2011, combined with a strong license pipeline that we see in the fourth quarter, positions us very well to achieve our annual software and subscription objective, and we reiterate that guidance today. This excellent result was driven by a strong sales in both the Americas and in Europe. In the Americas, we grew by an impressive 65%, and in Europe, we more than doubled our license revenue. Of course, in our business, success of this nature cannot be achieved if North America does not perform well. So it was very satisfying to see the strong license performance in this critical region.
What we're particularly pleased this year, however, is license sales growth in Europe. Last year, license sales in Europe were distinctly underperforming. And as I've said before, I believe that it was significantly attributable to operational issues within the company. It seems we're in a solid part to addressing those issues as the year-to-date license sales in Europe are up 106%, largely a substantial turnaround by the new management team that we put in place there. We are being impacted by the economy, and we've seen a number of sales transactions aborted or significantly downsized at the 11th hour. We saw all this kinds of phenomenon last quarter, and we've experienced the same again this quarter. So my working assumption is that this will continue into the foreseeable future.
However, the fact is that these headwinds are being more than offset by strong license growth across the board. In 2009, we suggest -- suggested that our offerings was potentially more resilient to economic downturns from, say, traditional ERP because our solutions increased operating efficiency and used in a relatively short timeframe, months rather than years. It appears once again that this theory is holding true. And in particular, it appears that this time, the larger companies we have competed the ERP deployment over the past decade are now very focused on driving operating excellence to preserve margins in a tough economy, and we are very well placed to meet that demand.