The Ultimate Software Group (ULTI) Q1 2012 Earnings Call April 24, 2012 5:00 pm ET Executives Mitchell K. Dauerman - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Executive Vice President and Treasurer Scott Scherr - Founder, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of Executive Committee Analysts Richard K. Baldry - Wunderlich Securities Inc., Research Division Laura Lederman - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division Richard H. Davis - Canaccord Genuity, Research Division Michael Huang - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division Mark R. Murphy - Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division Mark S. Marcon - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division Gregory Dunham - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division Nathan Schneiderman - Roth Capital Partners, LLC, Research Division Eric Lemus Raghavan Sarathy - Dougherty & Company LLC, Research Division Presentation Operator
I'm going to begin by reviewing our financial results for the first quarter of 2012, and then I will provide guidance for the second quarter. Unless otherwise noted, our discussion will be on a non-GAAP basis for all costs, gross margins, operating and net income, as well as EPS when comparing to the same period in the prior year. The primary difference between GAAP and non-GAAP financial information is noncash stock-based compensation. Please refer to the reconciliation of our financial information on a GAAP basis to that on a non-GAAP basis included in the press release published on our website.For the quarter, recurring revenues grew by 21.9% to $60.9 million. Total revenues grew by 21.4% to $78.3 million. Operating income increased by 32% to $6.4 million and operating margin expanded to 8.2%. Net income grew to $3.7 million compared with $2.8 million last year. The related net earnings per diluted share was $0.13 compared to $0.10 per diluted share last year. Before I go into some of the details, I'd like to summarize the quarter's results. As many of you know, there's a strong correlation between the growth of our recurring revenues and our services revenues, and both are tied to go-live dates of our clients. It's the nature of our business, at times, that some live dates push to the next quarter and in other times, we pull some new lives into the quarter due to accelerated activations. In the first quarter this year, our recurring revenues of $60.9 million and services revenues of $17 million exceeded our projections, mostly due to more pulls into the quarter than we expected. At the same time, our operating expenses for Q1 were favorable, resulting in an operating margin of 8.2% that was also higher than our expectations. As I'll discuss at the end of my comments, we're going to maintain guidance for 2012. The primary reasons are: First, there could be some pushes later in the year; and second, some of the operating expense savings we experienced are timing-related, and we expect them to be incurred later in the year.
Now turning to the details, our recurring revenue gross margin of 69.5% was consistent with our expectations as we continue to make investments in our tax filings and our SaaS infrastructure that we've discussed in the past. The services gross margin was 5.9%, which was impacted favorably by the higher services revenues. As a reminder, Q1 also includes annual revenues related to the production of W-2s for our clients. And these do not occur in any other quarter of the year. We are maintaining our 2% to 5% gross margin guidance for 2012 as we will continue to add billable consultants due to continued sales growth.The gross margin rate for total revenues was 55.7%. The change from 2011 was related to the expected lower recurring revenues gross margins based upon the planned headcount additions to our tax filing and SaaS infrastructure teams in the beginning of this year. Operating expenses were $37.1 million for the quarter and were favorable to our expectations. We expect a significant portion of these expense savings to be incurred later this year. Operating income was $6.4 million, and our operating margin was 8.2% for the quarter compared to $4.9 million and 7.6% for the same quarter last year. The excess margin over our guidance was due to the higher recurring and services revenues, coupled with slightly lower costs. Net income was $3.7 million or $0.13 per diluted share compared with $2.8 million and $0.10 per diluted share for the same quarter last year. Our non-GAAP income tax rate for the quarter was 42%. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com