November 2, 2009 / 10:03 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-Absolute Software posts narrower Q1 loss

* Q1 loss C$0.04/shr vs yr-ago loss C$0.05/shr

* Q1 rev up 24 pct

* Sales contracts up 5 pct (Adds detail, analyst comments)

By Isheeta Sanghi

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Canada’s Absolute Software Corp (ABT.TO) posted a narrower first-quarter loss, helped by higher sales contracts, and said the company is on track to meet its fiscal 2010 outlook.

The provider of computer security solutions reported a net loss of C$2.0 million, or 4 Canadian cents a share, compared with a net loss of C$2.2 million, or 5 Canadian cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Sales contracts totalled C$19.2 million, up 5 percent from C$18.2 million last year. In constant dollar terms, sales contracts rose 1 percent.

The company’s cash flow from operations fell to C$4.3 million from C$9.1 million.

“They’re doing expansion in the international market, and that’s why cash flow from operations was lower than it was last year,” PI Financial Markets analyst Pardeep Sangha said.

Absolute expanded its international operations in the quarter by opening a regional office in Japan.

“On the international front, we are expanding our footprint, and we anticipate that Intel’s roll out of its new anti-theft products, and a pickup in the refresh cycle prompted by Windows 7, will help drive future growth,” Chief Executive John Livingston said in a statement.

Absolute’s revenue model differs from others since customers pay for up to three years in advance, and while the company gets the cash upfront, it recognizes revenue over a deferred period.

For the quarter ended Sept 30, revenue rose 24 percent to C$15 million.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to post a loss of 4 Canadian cents a share, on revenue of C$15.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For 2010, Absolute expects sales contracts of C$80 million to C$86 million, and cash from operating activities of C$12 million to C$15 million.

In terms of outlook, Sangha said it is a positive that the company is maintaining its guidance.

With global computer shipments expected to grow 50 percent in the next four years, Absolute’s addressable market opportunity is significant and growing, Finance Chief Rob Chase said.

“Every computer sold worldwide is a potential customer,” Chase added.

CEO Livingston said Absolute’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) programs, including those with Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N), Lenovo (0992.HK) and Intel Corp (INTC.O), will help the company to increase attach rates with its key OEM partners.

Shares of the company closed up at C$5.35 Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri and Pradeep Kurup)

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