Qlik Technologies Inc. Earnings: A Beat Soothes Investors, but Competition Proves Costly

By Markets Fool.com

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Lars Bjork, CEO, speaks at QlikTech's global partner summit. Credit:Qlik Technologies.

Shares of Qlik Technologies stock were up 1.56% at 5:19 pm as late-action traders showed enthusiasm for the business-intelligence specialist's Q4 results. Here's a closer look at the final totals versus Wall Street's projections:

Qlik Technologies Revenue YOY Growth EPS YOY Growth
Consensus estimate $179.55 million 10.9% $0.28 (9.7%)
Q4 actuals $182.8 million 12.9% $0.32 3.2%
DIFFERENCE $3.25 million 2% $0.04 12.9%

Sources: S&P Capital IQand Qlik Technologies press release.

For the full year, Qlik reported $556.8 million in revenue and $0.24 a share in non-GAAP profit. Analysts tracked by S&P Capital IQ were calling for $554.02 million and $0.20 a share, respectively.

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CEO Lars Bjork said in a press release announcing the results:

We believe we are well positioned entering 2015 as our dual product strategy, QlikView for guided analytics and Qlik Sense for self-service BI, opens up even more opportunity for us to fulfill companies' complete BI requirements. Our focus this year is to drive meaningful revenue growth while growing expenses at a slower rate, in order to realize incremental operating leverage.

What went right:Sharp gains in deferred revenue, which more than doubled year over year, helped Qlik fill its coffers last year. Cash flow from operations surged nearly 20%as customers agreed to larger purchases. Specifically, Qlik cited 238 deals with license and first-year maintenance higher than $100,000, including 71 deals higher than $250,000, and nine deals higher than $1 million. That compares to 208 deals at more than $100,000 in last year's Q4, including 55 deals more than $250,000, and seven deals higher than $1 million.

What went wrong:Expense management, which shouldn't be surprising when you read Bjork's quote. Full-year gross margin fell to 86.4%, from 86.9% in 2013. From 2009 to 2012, Qlik had always maintained an 88% or better gross margin, S&P Capital IQ reports. Heavier investments in product development to better compete with the likes ofMicroStrategy andTableau seem to have taken a toll.

What's next:Looking ahead, Qlik is aiming for $111 million to $115 million in first-quarter revenue and a $0.15 to $0.13 non-GAAP loss during the same period. Analysts tracked by S&P Capital IQ have the company generating $127.37 million in revenue and a $0.10 per share adjusted loss. In each case, Qlik's estimates are far more conservative, and represent virtually zero growth from last year's first quarter ($111.11 million and a $0.12 per share loss, respectively).

Longer term, they have Qlik Technologies generating 25.24%average annual earnings growth during the next three to five years.

The article Qlik Technologies Inc. Earnings: A Beat Soothes Investors, but Competition Proves Costly originally appeared on Fool.com.

Online,Tim Beyersis a serial clicker. He's also a member of theMotley Fool Rule Breakersstock-picking team and theMotley Fool SupernovaOdyssey I mission and owned shares of Apple and Qlik Technologies at the time of publication. Check out Tim'sweb homeandportfolio holdingsor connect with him onGoogle+,Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by@milehighfool.The Motley Fool recommends Apple, MicroStrategy, and Qlik Technologies. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.