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Executive

John Duncan – Senior Director Investor Relations & Corporate Finance

Bob Calderoni – Chairman, Chief Executive Officer

Ahmed Rubaie – Chief Financial Officer

Analysts

Greg Dunham – Deutsche Bank

Peter Goldmacher – Cowan and Company

Richard Williams – Cross Research

Sterling Auty – J.P. Morgan

Nathan Schneiderman – Roth Capital Partners

Jeff Van Rhee – Craig-Hallum

Ariba Inc. (ARBA) Q1 2010 Earnings Call January 28, 2010 5:00 PM ET

Operator

Welcome to the Ariba first quarter 2010 earnings conference call. (Operator Instructions) It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Mr. John Duncan, Senior Director of Investor Relations and Corporate Finance for Ariba.

John Duncan

Good afternoon and welcome everyone to Ariba’s conference call to discuss the results of the first quarter of fiscal year 2010. In today’s call we’ll make reference to supplemental presentation with our prepared remarks. To access these slide, please log on to the investor relations section of our website at www.ariba.com.

Our speakers on the call today are Bob Calderoni, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Ahmed Rubaie, our Chief Financial Officer. For those on the call accessing the supplemental presentation please now advance to Slide 2.

Before we begin I will read the Safe Harbor statements. Statements that may be made on this call on the supplemental slides that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements including the company’s or management’s intentions, hopes, beliefs, plan, expectations, or strategies for the future.

These statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties and actual results could differ materially from the company’s current expectations. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in the company’s SEC filings including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K filed on November 25, 2009 for the year ended September 30, 2009.

During the course of this call we will reference historical non-GAAP financial measures. Management will use non-GAAP financial in evaluating Ariba’s historical and projected financial performance and believes that it may assist investors in assessing its ongoing operations.

The presentation of this additional information is not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for or superior to measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. For a reconciliation of historical non-GAAP to GAAP financial measures, please see the earning press release and supplemental analysis on the investor relations section of our website at www.ariba.com or Form-8 filed this afternoon.

In addition we will reference several forward-looking non-GAAP financial information including fiscal year 2010 revenues, expenses, and net income. We are unable to reconcile this forward-looking non-GAAP financial information to corresponding forward-looking GAAP measures because we are unable to estimate with all reasonable efforts certain forward-looking GAAP revenue, expense and other income items.

At this time I would like to turn the call over to Ahmed Rubaie to review the financial highlights for the quarter.

Ahmed Rubaie

Good afternoon everyone and thank you for joining us today. Once again I’m pleased to report that Ariba delivered another solid quarter. Let me now walk you through the highlights on Slide 3 and 4. Our annualized backlog grew by 10% or $12 million year over year to $139 million. We posted a 14% year over year increase in our non-GAAP subscription software revenue.

Please now refer to Slide 6. Non-GAAP revenue of $85.7 million and non-GAAP EPS of $0.19 both came in at the top end of our guidance range. We had a solid cash flow quarter, generating cash flow from operations excluding lease, loss and restructuring of $15 million. We ended the quarter with approximately $200 million of cash and investments representing more than $2.26 per share.

From a customer perspective, we closed 248 unique customer deals, added 30 new named accounts and signed 192 on demand transactions. We also closed six software deals over $1 million.

On a macro level, and for the first time since the economic collapse last year, we saw an uptick in the dollar spend through the network which is an encouraging sign. In addition to an early indication of a modest economic recovery, this only enhances the foundation we have been building in the interim where sequentially and year over year we continue to see an uptick in the number of transaction relationships and chargeable relationships.

Annualized software renewal rate is running strong at 90%, a significant improvement from the mid 80’s a year ago.

Now let me turn to more specific financial results for the December quarter. Total revenue was $85.7 million for the first quarter, as I mentioned earlier came in at the top end of our guidance range.

Subscription and maintenance revenue was $58.4 million. Subscription software revenue came in at $41.2 million, ahead of our guidance of $40.5 and up 14% year over year. The $41.2 million included about $500,000 of one time revenue. Services and other revenue came in at $27.3 million.

Looking at expenses; total expenses on a GAAP basis were $83.4 million. Included in these GAAP results were a $1.4 million charge for amortization of purchased technology and intangible assets and a $13.5 million charge for stock based compensation.

Excluding these items, non-GAAP expenses were $68.5 million for the quarter. As a result, GAAP net income was $2.2 million or $0.03 per diluted share. On a non-GAAP basis, we had a positive net income of $17.2 million or $0.19 per dilutes share, coming in at the top end of our guidance range of $0.17 to $0.19.

Moving on to the balance sheet, as I mentioned earlier, our balance sheet continues to strengthen. We had another solid quarter of cash collection. DSO continued sequential improvement to 21 days, down two days from the previous quarter.

As has been the recent trend, the underlying contribution to cash continued to come from sequential growth in software revenue, solid expense management and strong collections activity. We ended Q1 with cash, cash equivalents and investments at $199.5 million which was up $4.1 million from the end of Q4.

Please see Slide 7. Let’s turn to Ariba’s outlook for fiscal year 2010 and Q2. We are maintaining the full year outlook that we provided on our last earnings call. Like many others, we are beginning to see evidence of market stabilization and consequently have a greater level of confidence in our outlook including investments for growth in our software and network businesses.

Specifically, we continue to expect the following; total revenue to be $350 million plus or minus $5 million. We expect to generate software revenue of $168 million to $172 million and probably toward the higher end of the range. We expect maintenance revenue to be roughly $66 million. Our current outlook for services and other revenue is expected to be approximately $114 million plus or minus $5 million.

We will continue to focus on operating margins and anticipate non-GAAP EPS to be approximately $0.72 to $0.76 which includes $0.08 to $0.10 of investments in the front end of our business.

Please see Slide 8. Turning to our cash flow projections, our subscription model will continue driving strong cash flow. At this stage we still expect to generate $70 to $80 million excluding lease loss, restructuring for the full year.

Turning to our guidance for the second quarter we expect the following; total revenue in the range of $86.5 million plus or minus $1 million; subscription and maintenance revenue of approximately $68.5 million including roughly $42 million for subscription software and $16.5 million for maintenance, services and other revenue of $28 million plus or minus $1 million.

With respect to the rest of the P&L, we expect total non-GAAP operating costs and expenses to be about $70.5 million. Contained in this range are costs of revenue of approximately $30.5 million, R&D of roughly $10 million, sales and marketing of approximately $23.5 million, G&A of $6.5 million and we expect a net neutral impact from interest taxes and foreign exchange.

On a non-GAAP basis we expect net income after investments to be approximately $15 million to $17 million or approximately $0.17 to $0.19 based on 88.5 million diluted shares outstanding.

In addition, we expect to record expenses of roughly $12 million for stock based compensation, amortization of intangible assets and restructuring.

As I look forward into 2010, I’m cautiously optimistic that recent trends reflect a modest improvement in the overall macro economic environment. This, along with our continued execution focus on growth and earnings should place well in respect to our full year guidance.

The continued strength of our P&L and balance sheet gives me full confidence in our focus to reinvest in our software and network businesses. In short, I believe we’re extremely well positioned to capitalize on the significant market opportunity that lies in front of us.

And with that, let me turn the call over to Bob.

Bob Calderoni

Thank you all for joining us today. Like Ahmed I’m very pleased with our performance this past quarter. I believe our strong Q1 results provide further evidence that Ariba has the right focus, the right business model and solutions for today’s enterprises.

As the recession eases and we see early signs of recovery, one thing is certain. Companies coming out of this recession are coming out leaner and they are embracing new operating models that rely heaving on external trading partners that use alternative, low risk infrastructure approaches like software as a surface and cloud computing.

Ariba is at the center of these more collaborative business practices as evidenced by our continued strong performance both with our on demand solutions and our global trading network. We’ve seen a shift in the way companies seek to do business and rather than narrow internally focused projects, trying to get a handle on their spend, companies are now looking at ways with external trading partners.

Comments from Chief Executive Officers and CFO’s today reflect an underlying theme to operate leaner and more efficiently than in the past. They are looking to reduce cost and risk both within their companies and across their supply chains and we believe they will increasingly do this through automation.

As the shift occurs, we expect the Ariba SAS solutions and the Ariba network to become an even more critical competitive advantage. An example of this occurred with one of our largest deals of the quarter. This was a multi-year source to pay win with a global transportation company and after making some tough choices to trim its work force, the company made some very public statements that it would remain more nimble by automating many of its key processes.

More importantly, this was a big Oracle shop and one that had become frustrated with the custom configured purchasing solution which had already consumed years of effort and millions of dollars of investment only to see it go nowhere in terms of adoption.

So Ariba not only fit the bill because of our deep category sourcing and procurement solutions, as well as our flexible SAS delivery model, but also because our downstream invoicing and discount management solutions and our global trading network all of which provided faster time to value and greater agility for the client.

Another example of a big on demand full suite win occurred at Mass Mutual. They were looking to emerge from the recession much leaner and more competitive. Mass Mutual made procurement modernization a key initiative and they’re going to build this transformation effort atop Ariba’s complete suite of products.

They’re going to use Ariba’s sourcing and software services to secure the best deals, Ariba’s P to P product to ensure compliance and Ariba invoicing and dynamic discounting to optimize cash management operations. This was yet another example of a replacement of an incumbent ERP and in the case it was SAP’s EVP solution with Ariba’s more competitive suite and more flexible SAS offering.

The Ariba network was a key driver in another record of P to P deals in Q1, totaling 16 deals in this area for the second sequential quarter. All of these wins are important not only because they provide value today with subscription revenues from the buying organization, but its these sort of solutions that drive thousands of supplier relationships that in turn will drive significant supplier revenues down the road.

This shift in the market is what we believe that our network business has the ability to grow 20% to 30% long term. We continue to see good growth in pipeline in the solutions that leverage the network and in this fiscal year we originally anticipated that network revenues would grow 15% but now given that we got off to a strong start, we now believe that it’s more likely to be in the 15% to 20% range.

Additionally, we believe that increased spend and transaction volumes that we see over the past few months coupled with some initiatives we have I the works will enable us to return to or perhaps even allow us to reach the high end of our long term 20% to 30% range in fiscal 2011.

As you can see from the solid increase in our backlog we had a good quarter on the sales front. It was a good quarter both in new business as well as in renewals. In fact, our renewal rate continues to inch up and is now at an all time high. I think this fact points to two items of note; first it suggest the operational changes we made a year ago which our renewal organization is working, and second and perhaps more importantly it also speaks of the success of our customers are having with our solutions.

Overall I’m encouraged by our continued solid performance, our continued growth and execution against guidance. It confirms we have both the right strategy and business model for today’s economy and we see a number of positive signs that the environment is starting to turn positive such as the volume uptick in the network, strong backlog growth and strong pipeline among other positive indicators.

The results we posted this past quarter give us more confidence in our outlook and our ability to achieve the full year targets we established earlier in the year. Today Ariba is stronger than ever with $200 million in cash and an annual subscription backlog of nearly $140 million and with this strong balance sheet and profitable operating model, we can invest in our business and continue to integrate and extend our lead in the marketplace.

So with that, let me open the call for your questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator Instruction) Your first question comes from Greg Dunham – Deutsche Bank.

Greg Dunham – Deutsche Bank

On the bookings front, looking at the total backlog and the revenue, you did over $50 million in bookings which by my math is 25% growth and a reversal from what you’ve been seeing in the past couple of quarters. Were there any one time factors that led to that booking strength and does it feel sustainable to have this kind of activity?

Bob Calderoni

I’d say we felt pretty good about the business pretty much across the board. From a region point of view we started in all three regions. We saw some good strength across the product line with good booking pretty much across the product line and an number of, we only had I think it was five or six $1 million deals but there seemed to be a good number of deals not quite at the $1 million but closer to the million.

So there was a good strong execution and performance on the sales front pretty much across the board and definitely an uptick from what we had been seeing last year. So I feel good about that.

Obviously I’m not going to predict the next quarter so we’re hanging in there. I think it’s too early in the year to suggest that the trend will start upping full year numbers or anything, but certainly that’s an encouraging sign.

We see other positive indicators as well. I mentioned spend volumes in the network turned up in the last couple of months. That’s the first time we’ve seen an increase year over year since the recession started. So we’re not as big as American Express or some of the check clearing agencies, but $100 billion of spend, that’s enough critical mass I think that trend might indicate some strength on the customer side. So actually I’m feeling pretty good although I won’t predict it continuing.

Greg Dunham – Deutsche Bank

On the services business, it’s the first time that’s been up sequentially in awhile. Were there any gain share deals that advanced revenue recognition or is it just kind of predictable services revenue that had you hit that number.

Bob Calderoni

No one time bumps in services. We signaled last quarter that we though we bottomed on services. We think that’s the case. We saw a slight uptick this quarter. We should move sideways to up going forward. I don’t think we’re going to go down.

Going forward on services here, and I think the same trends we’ve been seeing are continuing. We see the sourcing piece of the business is weaker than the consulting and the implementation side of the business but both of those trends, sourcing I think is going to start flattening out and hopefully by the second half of the year hopefully see some sequential improvement.

Operator

Your next question comes from Peter Goldmacher – Cowan and Company.

Peter Goldmacher – Cowan and Company

In your prepared comments you talked a little bit about reinvesting in the business. Can you give us some specifics?

Bob Calderoni

It’s predominantly on the front end of the business. If you look at our sales and marketing line, track it from Q4 to Q1 and sequentially up to Q2, you see that that’s where the bulk of it is being landed.

So at a high level we started in the first quarter, it was probably about $0.15 of investment in the first quarter. I expect to do about $0.25 to $0.03 in the second quarter and thereafter on a per quarter basis.

At the end of the day I think the other thing that you’ll see is that in terms of our front end of the business, by year end we’ll probably return to sales and marketing levels where we were back in 2008.

Peter Goldmacher – Cowan and Company

I mean operationally what do you do with that money? What kind of guys are you going to hire? What kind of programs are you going to run?

Bob Calderoni

It’s all in the sales and marketing area, the front end of the business. You’re going to start to see the sales head count number trending up. Last year it trended down as we took out some of the capacity. We’re feeling better about the business so we’re up a little bit this quarter but you’ll see that continue to grow on a sequential basis.

We’re increasing the renewals team. The team has done a very good job but there will be a bigger base of contract to renew this year so we’re expanding that team.

Also we’re expanding the network front end of the business, supply enablement; that’s where we’re working with our suppliers and helping them drive more spend through the solutions and on to the network and enabling suppliers. We’re adding and hiring people in that part of the business.

Then in other parts of the network related to our Ariba discovery project we are adding people there as well. So you’ll start to see the quarterly carrying head count trending up and some of these aren’t in the quota caring, but they’re equally on the front end of the business tied to revenue, driving increased revenue.

Peter Goldmacher – Cowan and Company

We’ve run some metrics and it looks like I think exiting last year your existing sales force was performing well below capacity so when you say you’re hiring sales guys, I’m surprised because we were of the impression that you had, if you could just get your existing sales guys more productive, you could drive high margin revenue. So I’m sure you’ve done that calculation too. So is my math wrong or is the business in a situation now where you feel like you can get your existing guys productive near capacity quickly enough that you want more guys out there covering more geographies. Help me think through that.

Bob Calderoni

I’m not going to sit here today and say that we’re at peak productivity in sales force. We’re not. There was room for productivity improvements. There continues to be room for productivity improvements.

But one of the things, I don’t want to speak for all software businesses but many software businesses, when you hire people into the sales organization they’re typically not going to be productive certainly for the first six months and largely for a good part, there will be way below average productivity for the year.

So you need to start adding capacity in advance of needing them so that six to 12 months from now they can actually start making an impact. So even though we’re not at peak capacity my sense of the market, my sense of the pipeline, my sense of the business performance over the last two quarters suggests that we ought to start investing into an uptick right now.

So I’m a little bit investing ahead of the productivity numbers suggest it, but I think every company needs to do that, otherwise you’re not going to get productivity out of the new people when the demand is behind. You’re going to be little bit behind.

Ahmed Rubaie

It’s also geographic in business area coverage. So for example, on the network side we’re adding more people in Europe, and there’s also marketing program spend in the area of network discovery. So it’s not just all head count, but Bob is right. The idea is we’re trying to get ahead of the curve.

And I think Bob made the point, it’s additional geography so it’s not more saturation in existing coverage areas. It’s new opportunities.

Bob Calderoni

New opportunities and even in some of the regions where you would think we’ve got a lot of penetration in terms of sales coverage. We’ve got a very, very large number of unsigned accounts so even in North America we’re going to be adding head count and there’s plenty of uncovered accounts that we can add new people to.

I think it’s my sense that you have to invest ahead of the uptick. There is enough positive indicators to suggest that it’s a prudent thing to do right now.

Operator

Your next question comes from Richard Williams – Cross Research.

Richard Williams – Cross Research

I wonder if you could give a geographic breakdown; give some color on how the geographies work.

Bob Calderoni

It’s basically as usual so 65% to 57% North America, 25% to 28% ME and the balance in APEC.

Richard Williams – Cross Research

As it relates to the network what were the user fees?

Bob Calderoni

For the network let me give you both numbers. The supplier revenue was $5.8 million. The buyer revenue was $3.9 million. And in terms of your follow on questions, the transacting relationships was $71,100 and the chargeable relationships were $14,900 all of which is up sequentially and year over year.

Richard Williams – Cross Research

Can you give us an update on project discovery as well?

Bob Calderoni

We’re still in the early stages of it. The site has been out there. We see a good trend in terms of the number of postings and listings that are happening out there. There is a little more work we need to do on the site in the latter part of this year. You’ll see a lot more on the site out there publicly, but more importantly the investment we’re doing to this model right now is discovery. So right now it’s something that people can use. We’re not generating any significant revenue but we’re going to be making some changes to that in the second half of this year. That’s where we’re investing now.

Operator

Your next question comes from Sterling Auty – J.P. Morgan.

Sterling Auty – J.P. Morgan

[inaudible] customers still that you have the opportunity to bring over to the on demand side and how would you quantify the opportunity as you look to 2010?

Bob Calderoni

For the most part the renewal is subscription deals, either deals that were one year deals that are expiring or they were typically three year deals from two or three years ago that are now up for renewal. That’s the vast majority of renewals.

But there are some occasionally some CD conversions. There aren’t very many of them. I think the conversions we’ve had cumulative to date is certainly a number in the 10 range so there are a couple of those, not very much of that.

I anticipate there will be more of that starting next year when customers will be converting to the on demand solution but the maintenance customers right now are for the most part staying on the CD product. And we have a good renewal rate there and continue to. I think the renewal rate was in the high 90’s this quarter.

Sterling Auty – J.P. Morgan

When you look at the renewals on the on demand especially the three years, can you talk about the pricing in terms of when they come back and renew what is the contract run rate look like on the renewals versus, talk about the pricing.

Bob Calderoni

In some cases it’s just renewing at the current levels. In a few cases, I don’t have the stats of what renewal at the existing and what percent are renewing at an increased level. Probably more at the existing level than an increased level. I don’t know the overall stat, but it’s probably a couple of percent on average on increase, not a high percent right now but it is an uptick.

Sterling Auty – J.P. Morgan

When you talk about the pick up is, can you capitalize that in terms of new customer penetration, all the different things that surround that opportunity?

Bob Calderoni

I think the increase that we see right now is more macro driven. Obviously everybody across the board last year cut back on spending so we saw flat to down dollars on a year over year basis most of the months last year.

In the last couple of months we’re seeing an uptick so we have more people using the network that have more suppliers. There are more transactions. But I think the reason we’re seeing the last couple of months the dollar increase was in the mid to high teens. I think that’s more of a reflection that companies are spending more money right now than any targeted industry or any targeted product success. I take it as a positive macro sign.

Operator

Your next question comes from Nathan Schneiderman – Roth Capital Partners.

Nathan Schneiderman – Roth Capital Partners

In regards to the dynamics in the sourcing services business, any changes in the coming quarters?

Bob Calderoni

Revenue is trending down as well. That trend is not as steep as we see right now but the sourcing services revenue will still be down year over year this quarter but I think in aggregate our services are at a point now where we see that part of the business leveling off and we’re seeing growth in the other part. So we should see services trend either flat to up in 2010 not down like it was last year.

Nathan Schneiderman – Roth Capital Partners

Do you still feel that there’s plenty of flexibility to dial back on investments if needed to deliver on CPS?

Bob Calderoni

The answer is yes. As we’ve proven over the last several quarters, cost cutting is our DNA so if we needed to dial back investments we can absolutely do so.

Operator

Your next question comes from Jeff Van Rhee – Craig-Hallum.

Jeff Van Rhee – Craig-Hallum

In the subscription line you mentioned there was some catch up revenue. Can you expand on that?

Ahmed Rubaie

It’s like what we saw in the last quarter. It’s just one time revenue. The amount was $500,000. It usually comes from expansion. Whether it’s larger acquisitions, it’s something that’s caused us to go in and get more subscribers and in turn have a catch up payment on it.

Jeff Van Rhee – Craig-Hallum

In terms of the on premise or the CD customers, how many customers do you still have in that realm?

Bob Calderoni

I think the number is, it’s less than 300. It’s about 275 to 300 I think.

Jeff Van Rhee – Craig-Hallum

Has there been any change in the average duration of contract?

Bob Calderoni

It’s about the same. It’s about 24.5 months. It may have been 24 actually in the last quarter. It’s 24.5 months in this last quarter; hardly material.

Operator

Your next question comes from Sterling Auty – J.P. Morgan.

Sterling Auty – J.P. Morgan

As you see the stabilization that you commented on, do you see any particular area in terms of large companies stabilizing and looking to do something more with you versus the small companies and also is it kind of split by industries? Is there any particular industry that you’re seeing stepping up to the plate earlier than others?

Bob Calderoni

I think it’s more broad based and focused. I think from a big and small company we’re doing pretty well in both. We measure small being less than $5 billion in revenue. Typically in the last few quarters that has been a source of about 30%, 35% of the current quarter’s bookings and continued in that level there so we’re getting good business from both large and small.

The type of business or industry vertical, again we’re pretty strong across a number of verticals and that continued again, energy, chemicals, utilities, transportation in this quarter was strong. Financial services remains strong. I mentioned in the Mass Mutual deal. That was one of several in the financial services. Retail, CPG also was pretty strong.

Manufacturing was a little bit lighter this quarter but I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from that. I think that could just be the ebbs and flows of the timing of the pipeline on specific deals. So we’re seeing pretty good success in just about every vertical.

Operator

Your next question comes from Greg Dunham – Deutsche Bank.

Greg Dunham – Deutsche Bank

You bought back shares this quarter but you have been talking about doing an acquisition in the network space for some time now. Has that strategy changed at all? Are you still looking around from an acquisitive standpoint?

Bob Calderoni

The strategy hasn’t changed at all. We’re more than looking. We’ve got a number of conversations going and the timing of when these things can break and actually turn into an acquisition is hard to predict. I’m only going to do it when the time is right and the time is right when you have two parties meeting at a mutually acceptable price and I think that’s the only thing that’s holding up why there hasn’t been any closing right now, but now change in strategy at all.

Ahmed Rubaie

Remember most of the people we’re looking at are very small in terms of size so as we’ve talked about in the past, the network world is a cottage industry of smaller companies and those just take longer. But as Bob said, we’re diligently pursuing several conversations.

Operator

There are no further questions. I’d like to turn the conference back to our management.

Bob Calderoni

Thanks for joining us today. We’re encouraged by the results this quarter and don’t want to call a trend yet but many indicators look good for us and looking forward to seeing many of you over the next 90 days and get back on the call again and report good results next quarter. Take care.

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Source: Ariba Inc. Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript
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