Corporate Executive Board (EXBD)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

November 01, 2011 9:00 am ET

Executives

Richard S. Lindahl - Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer

Thomas L. Monahan - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Analysts

Paul Ginocchio - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Suzanne E. Stein - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Daniel R. Leben - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Timothy McHugh - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Shlomo Rosenbaum - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Gary E. Bisbee - Barclays Capital, Research Division

David Ridley-Lane - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, and welcome to the Corporate Executive Board's Third Quarter 2011 Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded and will be available for replay beginning today and through November 9 by dialing (719) 457-0820. The confirmation code for the replay is 2274635. The replay will also be available beginning later today and through November 9 at the company's website and at www.earnings.com.

To the extent any non-GAAP financial measures discussed in today’s call, you will also find a reconciliation of that measure to the most directly comparable financial measure calculated according to GAAP by going to the company’s website and following the Investors link to yesterday’s news release.

You will also find a PDF of the supporting materials that the company will use in its prepared remarks this morning by going to the Investors page and clicking on the link to the third quarter webcast. Please review the second page of these materials, which includes important information about any forward-looking information included in the presentation.

This conference call may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including statements, among others, regarding the Corporate Executive Board’s expected quarterly and annual financial performance for fiscal 2011 or beyond. For this purpose, any statements made during this call that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements.

Without limiting the foregoing, discussions of forecast, estimates, targets, plans, beliefs, expectations and the like are intended to identify forward-looking statements. You are hereby cautioned that these statements may be affected by important factors, among others, set forth in the Corporate Executive Board’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in its third quarter news release. Consequently, actual operations and results may differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. The company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

At this time, for opening remarks, I'd like to turn the conference over to the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Richard Lindahl. Please go ahead, sir.

Richard S. Lindahl

Thank you, Scott, and good morning, everyone. I'm Rich Lindahl, Chief Financial Officer of the Corporate Executive Board. Thank you for calling or logging in to our Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Call. Here's a quick overview of our time together this morning: I will begin by giving you a financial perspective on the quarter and we'll also discuss our 2011 outlook. Next, Tom Monahan, our Chief Executive Officer, will provide an update on our operational progress and the strategic priorities we are following to build long-term shareholder value. Then, we will take your questions.

Please turn to Slide 3 of our presentation. Overall, we continue to making progress in the third quarter through solid execution that is delivering current results and setting us up for future growth. To illustrate this point, we'll focus our discussion today on the following key themes.

We are sustaining momentum throughout our business. Our third quarter financial results keep us on course to achieve our annual objectives. We continue to balance capital allocation according to our stated priorities. And we currently expect to enter 2012 on strong footing and with a healthy growth profile.

Please turn to Slide 4 for a discussion of our key growth drivers. During the third quarter, we saw a sustained global momentum reflected by double-digit bookings growth. We were pleased to see strong results from our European operations as the team there gained traction in the new commercial model and delivered growth ahead of the firm average. In the year-to-date through the third quarter, all regions are converging on the firm-wide growth averages, with Asia Pacific slightly ahead and North America and Europe right in line with each other.

From an industry perspective, our government team gained some ground in the quarter, although that area remains challenging due to ongoing uncertainty regarding the federal budget. As a reminder, this segment currently represents less than 5% of our total revenue, although we continue to see an attractive opportunity to grow in this space over time.

Our corporate sectors grew at healthy rates, including financial services institutions, which continue to represent about 20% of our total Contract Value despite increased volatility in the financial sector.

We also continue to improve the key indicators of current and future revenue growth. As you can see on the left side of the chart, we had another solid year-over-year increase in Wallet retention. This metric is defined as the total current year Contract Value from prior-year members as a percentage of total prior-year Contract Value. As such, it measures our success at expanding institutional relationships through effective retention, cross-sell and price improvement efforts.

All 3 of these drivers gained traction over the past year, and as you can see, Wallet retention grew by 6%, rising from 96% in the third quarter of 2010 to 102% in the third quarter of 2011.

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