Niccolo De Masi – Chief Executive Officer
Eric Ludwig, – Chief Financial Officer
Seth Potter – ICR – Investor Relations
Todd Greenwald – Signal Hill
Glu Mobile Inc. (GLUU) Q1 2010 Earnings Conference Call May 4, 2010 4:30 PM ET
Good afternoon. My name is Angelia and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Glu Mobile first quarter 2010 earnings results conference call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions). Thank you.
Mr. Potter, you may begin your conference.
Okay, thank you. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us on the Glu Mobile first quarter 2010 financial results conference call. This is Seth Potter from ICR.
On today’s call, we have the CEO Niccolo de Masi and the CFO Eric Ludwig.
During the course of this call, we will make forward-looking statements regarding future events and the future financial performance of the company. Generally these statements are identified by the use of the words such as expect, believe, anticipate, intend, and other words that denote future events. These forward-looking statements are not subject to material risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements.
We caution you to consider the important risk factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements in the press release and in this conference call. These risk factors are described in our press release and are more fully detailed under the caption Risk Factors in the Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 31st, 2010.
During this call, we will present both GAAP and non-GAAP financial numbers. Non-GAAP measures exclude acquired in-process, research and development, amortization of intangibles, stock-based compensation charges, gain on impairment of option rate securities, restructuring charges, the non-equity component of the MIG earn out, transitional expenses and foreign currency gains and losses primarily related to revaluation of assets and liabilities. These non-GAAP measures are not intended to be considered in isolation from, a substitute for or superior to our GAAP results and we encourage investors to consider all measures before taking an investment decision.
For complete information regarding our non-GAAP financial information, the most directly comparable GAAP measures and a quantitative reconciliation of those figures, please refer to today’s press release regarding our first quarter results.
The press release has also been furnished to the SEC as part of a Form 8-K. In addition, please note that the date of this conference call is May 4th, 2010 and any forward-looking statements that we may make today are based on assumptions that we believe are reasonable as of this date. We undertake no obligation to update these statements as a result of future events.
Lastly, this conference call is the property of Glu Mobile and any recording, reproduction or rebroadcast of this conference call without the expressed written permission of Glu is strictly prohibited.
With that, I will turn the call to the company, Niccolo?
Niccolo de Masi
Thanks Seth. Well, good afternoon and I thank everyone for joining us today. It’s been a 121 days since I first arrived at Glu and I am now in a position to share the conclusions from my review and simplifications on our strategy.
World-class porting and reliable pipeline of quality titles built us into one of the largest global players in the feature film gaming landscape. Our scale in feature film store fronts, however, made it easy for complacency to set in with regards to emerging smartphone trends, which were small relative to our revenue base a couple of years ago. The total market size of feature film gaming seized growing and then began to decline.
By not actually choosing to disrupt ourselves, we felt prey to our industry’s own forces of creative destruction. The new smartphone landscape is now bringing a step change in what mobile gaming experiences can entail for consumers. True mass marketing engagement is on the horizon for the first time in our industry’s history and we believe our revenue opportunities are expanding.
As of feature phone gaming, we see economies of scale as key to future success on smartphones. Evidence has continued to grow in the past quarter that premium, social MMO gaming models are converging on smartphones at accelerating rate. Larger phone factor mobile devices such as the iPad are adding to momentum in our space.
My conviction has only strengthened over the past 121 days that we must concentrate our efforts on mass market for system games for all mobile consumers. Today, I set out the long-term mission statement for Glu, which is to be the world’s largest and most profitable persistent gaming company on mobile devices. This mission statement incorporates our belief that we must bring our products to customers across the entire range of mobile gaming platforms in order to be successful on both the top and bottom line basis over the long term.
We have identified the critical elements of success in our mission as one green lighting product concepts, which are popular for the mass market. Two, delivering these products with a high production value for launch to all mobile devices. Thirdly, operating and growing these products as persistent services after launch. And fourthly, optimizing development costs and pipeline volume.
In order to provide a firm foundation to be the world’s best in these four areas, I have decided to run closer to the controls with our R&D, sales, game operations, and product functions reporting to me directly. We expect to complete a search for additional talent in the game operations and product functions by the end of Q2. This will significantly bolster the speed at which we can become the best in the world in these areas.
We are also actively looking to strengthen our game designing teams by adding new members to the Glu family who have a proven track record of generating successful and lasting original IP franchises. We have begun development on two new persistent gaming franchises, which we expect will be live on smartphones in the fourth quarter. We anticipate putting two additional persistent smartphone franchises and development, which we expect will be live before the end of the year.
Our move towards fewer, bigger persistent titles is fundamentally designed to cut through the clutter and open app stores, create valuable long-term original IP franchises as well as build long-term value for Glu through a large user base that we own.
3G penetration is growing rapidly around the world and 4G is now on the horizon. The recently announced Apple 4 at OSDK is a harbinger of enhancing social graph on all smartphone platforms.
Over the next decade, we will see the vast majority of mobile devices become smart, billions of them. We intend to grow our market share on smartphones significantly over the coming 18 months by expanding the pace with which we launch and operate our new products beginning in Q4 2010.
I believe we can fulfill our mission statement in the next 36 months and today begin the set and motion of plan for us to execute its speed. We have begun to see growth from in-game advertising micro-transactions over the past quarter. While, not material, the trend is encouraging and our total downloads in the iPhone have now crossed the 30 million mark, 22 million excluding updates.
Our total monthly unique user base on iPhone also averaged over 8 million in Q1 2010. We continue to driver ourselves aggressively at the learning curve here to enable us to capitalize upon this new ocean of opportunity.
First quarter 2010 revenues of 17.3 million were above expectations primarily due to outperformance in market share gains in our feature film business. Our smartphone revenues comprised approximately 9% of the total. In Q1, we also generated a positive cash flow from operations of approximately $1.6 million.
Our shift in product strategy for smartphones towards fewer, bigger persistent titles has led to us repurposing work in progress. As such, smartphone revenues are anticipated to grow quickly from the fourth quarter of 2010 onwards. However, there will be a low-end growth until then due to minimal new launches.
We continue each week in this lull to refine our premium monetization techniques and expertise in preparation for the launch of our new titles. In China, our business has performed and expectations in Q1. However, a platform shift affecting all players is underway on China Mobile as it moves to tighten up its control over the mobile gaming sector.
China Mobile’s new G plus platform is replacing the current MBox platform and aimed at eliminating piracy and aggressive billing practices of some competitors as well as catering for smarter devices. Unfortunately, however, the revenue share on the legacy MBox platform has been moved down from historic 85% to 15% split to a 50-50 for all industry participants.
The revenue share on the G plus platform for reference will continue at 50-50 for all industry participants. We constantly expect lower margins and reduced revenue in China until we scale fully on the new G plus platform. With G plus, China Mobile is also focused on driving up game quality and likely to favor our persistent gaming experiences in the future.
In other areas of challenge, eliminating liquidity concerns remained front and center of our my, our CFO, and our Board’s minds. We have indeed made substantial progress over the past quarter accurately exploring a number of different options in our effort to strengthen our balance sheet. It is our goal to have this resolved by the next earnings call.
In the past 120 days, we have solidified our new premium persistent product strategy, our smart mobile device platform focus, our commitment to producing the most popular persistent games at the most competitive cost, and our commitment strengthening the balance sheet to provide a strong foundation for which to grow.
We have also moved quickly over the past quarter to reduce G&A and sales and marketing, OpEx significantly, whilst also absorbing a number of senior management positions.
I stated in January, our transition will take time. However, I am cautiously optimistic that we now have the right plan and foundation to succeed. We are approaching our challenges ahead with a new found sense of urgency and focused on winning the battle where the hockey puck is going.
I would like to take this moment to thank all of our stakeholders, both internal and external, for the support and dedication to the new Glu.
I will now hand you over to Eric to discuss our first quarter financial results in detail.
Great, thank you Niccolo. Let me first review our first quarter results and then I will go through our outlook. Starting with the income statement, for the first quarter, total revenue for the quarter was $17.3 million, which is above our guidance range of $15 million to $15.5 million, but down compared to $19.1 million during the fourth quarter of 2009, and $20.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The higher than expected revenues as compared to our guidance was primarily a result of better than anticipated performance of our feature phone business.
Breaking down our revenues, our revenues in smartphones was $1.53 million, 9% of which was generated from in-game ads and micro transactions. Our smartphone revenues were down as compared to the fourth quarter, but up 280% over the first quarter of 2009.
As Niccolo mentioned, we expect smartphone revenue growth a quarter-over-quarter basis to remain limited during the second and third quarters of 2010, as we shift our product strategy to fewer larger titles with a goal of gaming traction in the fourth quarter once the transition starts to develop products under our new premium product strategy.
As a reminder, we define smartphone revenue as the revenue from titles sold on Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Pong and Ovi.
Turning to specific revenue metrics, our top 10 titles accounted for 46% of revenue, up from 32% in the prior quarter, and up from 32% during the same quarter last year.
The average revenue per top 10 title was $791,000 in the first quarter of 2010, up from $610,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009, and $658,000 during the same period last year. Our largest title was 9% of revenue this quarter. This is up from 5% in the fourth quarter of 2009 and 5% in the year-ago quarter.
During the first quarter, revenue from new titles represented 50% of revenue, up from 40% of revenue in the fourth quarter of 2009, and down from 51% in the same period last year.
In terms of mix of revenue between license, titles, and original IP, original IP was 20% in the first quarter of 2010, down from 22% last quarter, and 24% during the first quarter of 2009. This was in line with our expectations.
Turning to the breakdown by carrier, our top four carriers accounted for approximately 40% of revenue in the first quarter of 2010, compared to 41% in the fourth quarter of 2009, and 48% in the first quarter 2009. We had one carrier in the first quarter of 2010 that represents 10% or more of revenue, Verizon at 18%.
By geography, our revenue mix for the first quarter of 2010 was 52% in North America, 27% in EMEA, and 21% in the rest of the world.
Royalties in the current quarter were $4.7 million, which represented 27% of revenue, a decrease compared to 55% for the fourth quarter of 2009, and 28% during the same period last year. Recall that the fourth quarter of 2009 figures included a royalty impairment charge of $5.5 million and therefore royalties would have been 26.5% of revenue excluding this impairment.
Turning to profitability, we will be providing non-GAAP measures for each first quarter 2010 expense category. A full reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures were included in the press release we issued today.
Non-GAAP gross margin was 72.9% in the first quarter of 2010, which is up from 44.7% during the fourth quarter of 2009, and up from the 72% reported in the same period last year.
Excluding the royalty impairment in the fourth quarter of 2009, non-GAAP gross margin increased from 72% in the first quarter of 2009 to 72.9% in the first quarter of 2010, and decreased slightly from 73.5% in the fourth quarter of 2009. Total non-GAAP operating expenses in the first quarter of 2010 were $12.9 million, up slightly from $12.6 million during the fourth quarter of 2009, but down 5% from $13.6 million during the same period last year. The year-over-year decline was result of cost controls and headcount reductions over the past year. The slight increase on a sequential basis is due to timing of yearend audit charges and a minimal impact of savings in the first quarter related to the restructuring announced during the first quarter. Going forward we expect quarterly OpEx to decrease from Q1 levels for the remainder of 2010.
Breaking down our expense levels on a non-GAAP basis for the first quarter, R&D was $6.5 million or 38% of revenue, up from 32% last quarter. Sales and marketing expenses, $2.9 million or 70% of revenue, up from 16% last quarter and G&A was $3.5 million, or 20% of revenue for the quarter, up from 18% last quarter due to the lower revenue base.
The better than expected revenue from our feature film business resulted in our – reporting a non-GAAP loss from operations for the first quarter of $322,000, which is well above our guidance of a loss between $2 million and $2.4 million. Income tax expense during the quarter was comprised of tax benefit of $177,000 and a $478,000 expense for foreign withholding taxes for a net income tax expense of $301,000. Our non-GAAP net loss of $923,000 or a loss of $0.03 per basic share exceeded the high-end of our guidance range of a loss of $0.10 per basic share.
Let me now walk through the results on a GAAP basis, which include $1.3 million related to the amortization of intangibles, $524,000 related to the allocation of stock-based compensation, a $594,000 restructuring charge and $332,000 foreign exchange loss. The following were expense levels determined with accordance with GAAP. Cost of revenue, $5.9 million; R&D $6.7 million; sales and marketing $3 million; and G&A 3.8 million.
The restructuring charge we recorded this quarter of $594,000 relates to severance and separation cost. For the first quarter GAAP loss from operations was $2.7 million and net loss applicable to common shareholders was $3.7 million. Based on 30.5 million weighted average basic shares outstanding, net loss applicable to common shareholders was $0.12 per basic share. As I mentioned earlier, a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP expenses, income from operations and net loss can be found in our press release and current report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC today.
Now, turning to the balance sheet, cash and equivalents were $10.5 million as of March 31, 2010, flat as compared to $10.5 million at the end of the fourth quarter. The better than expected ending cash balance at the end of the quarter was due to the generation of approximately $1.6 million in cash from operations, in addition to deferral to MIG earn out payments that we negotiated with the MIG shareholders, which pushed the payment date from March 31st to May 1st.
The strong cash flow from operations was primarily due to better collections during the quarter. This is the fourth consecutive quarter for GLUU reporting positive cash flows from operations and it should be noted that we have generated $2.7 million from positive cash flows from operation over the last five quarters on a cumulative basis. In regards to our obligations of the former MIG shareholders, we owe $11 million of principal and $990,000 of accrued interest which is do as follows. $2,437,000 of principal and $729,000 of interest was paid on May 1, 2010; 2,437,000 of principal and $100,000 of interest is due on June 30th, 2010 followed by payments of $3,063,000 of principal and a $107,000 of interest due on September 30, 2010; and the final payment of $3,063,000 of principal and $54,000 of interest due to December 31, 2010.
In addition at the end of the first quarter of 2010, we had $3.1 million outstanding on our line of credit with Silicon Valley Bank down from $4.7 million during the fourth quarter and we were in compliance with all the financial covenants related to the facility. It should be noted that we could have drawn down an additional $700,000 on the line of credit as of March 31, but chose not to due to the favorable performance on cash flows from operations.
During the first quarter of 2010, we achieved EBITDA as defined by our lender of a loss of $348,000, which was comfortably above the covenant of a loss of $2.1 million. To help you reconcile our first quarter GAAP loss of $3,656,000 to the first quarter EBITDA as defined by our lender, you need to add back all of the following; $304,000 of interest expense, $301,000 of income tax expense, $563,000 of depreciation expense, $1,283,000 of amortization of intangibles, $524,000 of stock based compensation and the $332,000 foreign exchange loss.
So in summary we had a solid first quarter, particularly in light of all these changes we are undergoing, as we reposition our business. In addition, I am very pleased with our ability to manage our balance sheet during this transition time as we are able to generate positive cash flows from operation and reduce our reliance on the line of credit during the quarter.
Now let’s review our guidance. For the second quarter of 2010, we currently expect revenue to be in the range of $13.6 million to $14 million. There are two key factors driving our second quarter forecasted revenue down on a sequential basis. First, despite the better than expected revenues from feature phones during the first quarter, we expect continued deterioration of revenues from feature phone business as the industry transitions to smartphones. The second factor that Niccolo talked about is the revenue splits are changing in China mobile, which accounted for 90% of our revenue in China MBox platform. In mid February, China mobile reduced the splits through all publishers in 15 of the key provinces for MBox, from 85.15 in the favor of the publisher to 50-50. This has had a direct impact on our revenues in China. We are working aggressively on increasing our new channels in China as well as increasing our ranking on Gplus to mitigate this revenue split impact. However these actions may take time fully offset the reduced revenue splits.
We OpEx for the second quarter of 2010 to be $11.8 million. This down on a sequential basis as we expect to begin to benefit from savings related to the restructuring we announced last quarter.
Non-GAAP operating loss for the second quarter is forecasted to be in a range of a loss up $1.8 million to a loss of $2.1 million. Our income tax expense for the first quarter is expected to be $666,000 and reflects foreign withholding taxes of $400,000 and an income tax expense of $256,000.
Non-GAAP net loss for the third quarter is expected to be between a loss of $2.5 million and a loss of $2.8 million or a loss between $0.0.8 to $0.0.9 per basic share. The non-GAAP net loss excludes $1.1 million for amortization of intangibles, approximately $437,000 of anticipated stock-based competition and a restructuring charge of $350,000 related to our personal restructuring.
Weighted average common shares outstanding for the second quarter of 2010 are expected to be approximately $30.8 million basic and $31.1 million diluted. GAAP net loss for the second quarter is expected to be between a loss of $4.4 million and a loss of $4.7 million or a loss of between $0.14 and $0.15 per basic share.
Consistent with last quarter, we are refraining from providing full year guidance. However we are forecasting cash from operations to be slightly negative in the second quarter with no change in our line of credit draw down of $3.1 million and an ending cash balance of approximately $4.3 million after repayment of the May 1 and June 30 payments to the former MIG shareholders.
With that I will turn over to the operator for questions. Operator?
(Operator Instructions) Your first question is from the line of Todd Greenwald from Signal Hill.
Todd Greenwald – Signal Hill
Just a question, the overall smartphone market, maybe, just wondering if you could talk about just some of the changes in that marketplace over the past three months to various platforms that you are aiming to start, whether it’s the app store, or Android or Facebook or particularly, maybe what Apple is doing with Game Center. And you talked a little bit about the enhanced social brass there, but could you maybe expand a little bit on that.
Niccolo de Masi
Sure. So, obviously, Todd, Apple is still very much leading the way with regards to trying to innovate both the store front as well as add what I would call really more of the features that you have seen in online gaming to its own mobile store front experience and environment. So other store fronts, whether it’s Google Android or now I guess HP’s (Weber app) are trailing behind, not quite sure whether it’s trailing by six months or 12 months but certainly Apple is pushing the board forward at speed. The (Photo SDK) announcement is very exciting for us given that prior to that I think there was probably some uncertainty around how long it would take for smartphone store fronts to really fix the two things that ultimately make a huge difference between your ability to market directly to consumers as well as ultimate benefit from virality effects between supplier from (inaudible) versus smartphone store fronts. And so, by adding in not just a game center which has multiplayer but also leader board functionality and I think they were directionally pushed at really in line with what we have seen on social networks online in terms of probably trying to fresh out functionality, profiles, users, preferences and so on, what your friends are playing.
So that’s hugely positive on the one hand with regards to our ability to use and then build social graph to get more viral hooks into Apple’s customers or rather iPhone SDK customers. The iAd announcements within that (Photo SDK) announcement is also significant given that whilst there third party providers that have been offering obviously ads on the iPhone and all the smartphone platforms. Nothing has been quite as tightly done as with for example, Facebook ads have on our mind.
So iAd is something which Apple is bringing out at some point in the coming quarters to really be (inaudible) for that of its own store front.
So from our perspective we are obviously cheering this on. We are glad that we haven’t invested in creating our own versions of either a social graph or some sort of advertising system online because we very much benefit from having specialized players throw out that bid of the experience and value chain and frankly business models first. Ultimately we of course hope that all other smartphone stores charge ahead at their own optimal speed to keep in (log step) with Apple’s developments. They are still leading with regarding to not just announcement for coming ADK developments but also with regards to things like micro transactional or advertising options currently. And obviously our strategy is very much focused on taking advantage of as much as homogenization of those in-door advertising systems as well as social graph, games center, multiplayer, all the things you would expect to see on online games experience ultimately on your phone.
Todd Greenwald – Signal Hill
You saw quite a bit of upside in Q1, I guess, coming in from the feature phone market, but given your Q2 guidance, it doesn’t seem like you are expecting that to continue. Was that just kind of a onetime thing? And you just can’t bank on that happening again or is there anything else there?
Yes, sure, this is Eric. I think couple of reasons why our guidance is so far down from the first quarter’s performance. Our second quarter is typically a seasonally weaker quarter and we are coming off a relatively strong first quarter. And also carriers are watching fewer and fewer feature phones and there is smartphone app store building platforms are still transitioning. So we definitely expect an absolute decline in feature phone revenue. And then obviously I mentioned – both Niccolo and I mentioned about the impact by the China mobile rev share which we are trying to work to resolve and to get around but those will certainly impact the second quarter. And then lastly we are just trying to be conservative as well.
Todd Greenwald – Signal Hill
And just to clarify one of the last things you said, Eric. The cash balance at the end of Q2, did you say $4.3 million at the end of Q2?
There are no further questions at this time.
We thank everyone, this has been a lot of progress for us in the first three or four months as it been here and we look forward to carry it one with similar momentum. We will be in touch with all of you individually, schedule individual calls. Otherwise thank you for dialing in.
Niccolo de Masi
Thank you very much.
This concludes today’s conference call. You may now disconnect.
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