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Executives

Deb Murphy - Vice President and Corporate Controller

Jit Saxena - Co-Founder, Chairman of Board, and Chief Executive Officer

Patrick J. Scannell Jr. - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Sr. VP

James P. Baum - President, Chief Operating Officer

Analysts

Kathryn Huberty - Morgan Stanley

Nabil Elsheshai - Pacific Crest Securities

Glenn Hanus - [Needham & Company]

Douglas Reid - Thomas Weisel Partners

Alex Kurtz - Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Netezza Corporation (NZ) F2Q09 Earnings Call August 28, 2008 8:30 AM ET

Operator

Welcome to the second quarter fiscal 2009 Netezza Corporation earnings conference call. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to turn the call over to Deb Murphy, Netezza’s Vice President and Corporate Controller.

Deb Murphy

Thank you for joining us on our earnings release conference call for our second quarter of fiscal 2009 which ended July 31, 2008. Speaking today will be Jit Saxena, Chief Executive Officer; Pat Scannell, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Jim Baum, President and Chief Operating Officer.

On this conference call, we will be referencing both GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures. We provided GAAP and non-GAAP reconciliation information in the press release we issued this morning announcing our Q2 results. The press release is available on the homepage of the investor relations section of our website at www.netezza.com. The webcast of the call will be archived in the same section.

In addition, a recording of the conference call will be available later today and will be available for two weeks. The replay can be accessed by dialing 1-888-286-8010 for participants in the United States and by dialing 1-617-801-6888 for participants outside the United States. The pass code for the replay is 114-06-939. This information is also included in the press release.

Some of the statements made on this call will be forward-looking statements including our comments on the expected financial performance, operating performance, the growth of our business, and other financial expectations. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by those forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including those discussed in the risk factor section of our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and the most recent quarter report on Form 10-Q each of which has been filed with the SEC.

In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so even if our views change. Therefore, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to today.

Now, let me turn it over to Jit Saxena, our Chief Executive Officer, for his overview and commentary on the quarter.

Jit Saxena

We are very pleased with our Q2 results and our progress year-to-date. I would like to make a few observations about our business during the quarter and our near-term outlook. First, both our new and exiting customers continue to derive significant business value from the deployment of Netezza’s data warehousing appliances. This is clearly evident from the continued purchases of additional products from our existing customers and the traction that you’re seeing from our new customers. Second, while there are clear signs of certain customers and prospects who are being impacted by the adverse economic conditions, we have not seen any impact on our business in the aggregate. We believe this reinforces the strength of our value proposition in terms of its time-to-value and the low cost of ownership. Third, we continue to improve our value proposition during the quarter and added location-based analytics capability fully integrated into our appliance. We believe the location-based analysis adds a significant dimension to our target markets. Capability utilizes the massively parallel streaming capability of our architecture and is one example of the kinds of innovative applications that can be developed by us and by our Netezza development network partners in the future. Fourth, we are finding that detailed analysis on ever increasing amounts of data is becoming a mission critical activity across many vertical markets, and our customers and prospects keep finding many business benefits from these types of analysis. Fifth, based on the trends we are seeing in our business and the near-term visibility we have, we are continuing to make aggressive investments in all aspects of our business.

I will now ask Jim Baum, our President and Chief Operating Officer, to elaborate on these observations.

James P. Baum

As Jit said we are very pleased with our results and we find ourselves ahead of our projections on both earnings and revenue. We attribute this success to several of the factors that Jit mentioned.

Our customers, both old and new, continue to derive great business value from our data warehouse appliances. We generated 18 new customers in the quarter and more than 60% of our total revenue was generated by our existing customers showing good momentum in both the installed base and with new customers. The strength of our value proposition built around extraordinary performance and reduced total cost of ownership due to the simplicity of managing our appliances continues to generate positive results for our customers. As an example, the Vice President of Pricing and Engineering for one of our new customers, a large company in the transportation and supply chain management business, said, “we invested in Netezza and can now ask many more strategy questions that help us deliver customer and shareholder advantage. The performance challenges of our data warehouse platform limited the breadth and depth of the strategies that we could explore. Analysis that used to take hours takes only minutes on Netezza and we are using this power to build sustainable competitive advantage. The previous data warehousing environment was built on Oracle and we competed for this business against Oracle 11g and Teradata.”

As we have stated before, our customers tend to buy more once they experience our value proposition in their own businesses. The drivers of these procurements are typically based on the data growth in their environment, the pervasiveness of business intelligence driving more users to the system, and a more broad-based strategic commitment to our solution.

One of our existing customers in the analytic service provider vertical made a large purchase during the quarter as a result of a strategic decision to base all their data operations on Netezza’s NPS systems. This customer has been able to differentiate their offerings in their marketplace by offering solutions based on Netezza and improve response times for the analyses their clients run as well as supporting the ability for their customers to clear very large volumes of data in an ad hoc manner so that the users can ask any question they like at will.

This capability has greatly improved the quality of service they can provide and help them renew business in their highly competitive industry. In addition, this customer is an early adopter of our Netezza’s developer network screening analytics capabilities. Through this set of features, they have developed capabilities on our system that reduce the latency in introducing new data to their database to 1:100th of what their previous ETL solution provided, again differentiating them in their marketplace.

Our business momentum continued to be strong throughout the quarter. Even in financial services, we generated significant new account wins. Independent of macroeconomic factors, our solution both improves the platform on which customers run their mission critical BI application as well as substantially reduces the cost of owning and operating these systems.

Our business was strong across all the verticals we play in including telco, the analytic service providers, retail, and financial services at the top four for the quarter. Internationally, we had very strong new account traction in North Asia with wins in telco, manufacturing, and retail.

Competitively, we see no change in the market dynamics. Oracle continues to be the largest installed based vendor and we continue to compete very effectively against their solution in the data warehousing area. Teradata remains our second most encountered competitor followed by IBM with DB2 and occasionally one of the new entrants. We’ve continually been able to prove the superiority of our value proposition against these challenges.

Our product continues to evolve with innovative new capabilities. During the quarter, we released version 4.5 of our NPS software. This release brought new capabilities to the product to drive our performance differentiator even further. As an example, we released our new compress engine module, and our customers have found that it significantly improves performance once again while also compressing their data. Another key element of this release is supporting our new on-stream analytics functionality that enables our partners and customers to integrate their own application logic into the appliance. The on-stream analytics functionality exposes our massively parallel processing engine to software developers dramatically accelerating performance in both the database and the application level.

One of our premier Netezza developer network partners IISi took advantage of this capability and worked closely with us to develop a new geospatial analysis module that allows our customers and partners to create location-aware applications. We believe there is a significant market opportunity for these types of applications in the insurance, telco, government, natural resources, and e-business markets. For example, as the telco industry looks to leverage the reach of their networks, the marketing strength of building applications to deliver advertising and promotional content based on an individual’s location is a powerful concept. We are beginning to see several initiatives in this area.

The NDN program that enabled this product offering to be created continues to be a strategic focus. We have numerous partners in the program ranging from very small software developers to customers to large ISVs. The availability of a location-aware capability is a good example of the types of innovation we expect to continue to deliver through this network of partners.

Jit made a point about the importance of business analytics to the market at large. We have certainly seen evidence to suggest that this trend has increased in importance to our customers and prospects. The relatively small impact on buying behavior in our market in spite of dampened economic conditions may be the best example. In addition, we’ve seen over the last one year a doubling of the amount of data in the average data warehouse our customers deploy and we’ve seeing the number of users on these systems increase three-fold.

Given the momentum we’re seeing in our business, we are continuing to invest; we’re accelerating investments and sales and distribution, strategic development, and product development. We believe these investments to be prudent and important to the continued growth of our business.

Pat, now I’ll turn it over to you.

Patrick J. Scannell Jr.

We had a terrific second quarter with great results from all sectors of our business where we exceeded all of our financial goals. Let me begin this portion of the discussion with a detailed review of revenue.

Our revenue for the second quarter was $47 million representing an increase of 65% from Q2 last year of $28.4 million. Product revenue increased 53% and service revenue increased 118% year-over-year; 65% of our revenue came from the installed based, which is slightly higher than our normal rate of 50% to 55%; 63% of this repeat business came from product sales where the recurring revenue engine continues to drive a good portion of our business, and as we have stated previously, this is a significant element to our operating model from a leverage and visibility standpoint whereby our customers are stepping up to purchase additional equipment from us in periods that range from 9 to 24 months subsequent to their initial deployment. They purchase this added equipment because of the growth in their data or for new applications.

We secured 18 new customers with the Netezza business, and we added 18 customers to our base from the New Tech acquisition for a total base of 209 customers consisting of 191 Netezza customers and 18 New Tech customers. The average deal size for the quarter was $1.3 million. The revenue profile of the New Tech customer is quite different from that of the Netezza customer. The average revenue for the New Tech customers for Q2 was $90,000. New Tech contributed approximately 4% to the reported revenue, which is all reflected in the service revenue line. Going forward, we will not be breaking out the New Tech portion of our business.

Geographically this quarter, 78% of our business was in North America and 22% was international. We expect that as our international footprint continues to expand that we will see an ever-increasing percent of business coming from the international sector. Today, we operate in 10 countries. Our business was strong in both the US markets and the international markets.

The top 4 vertical markets represented approximately 75% of our business with those markets being telcos, retail, financial services, and our analytic service provider segment. We added a few new verticals with the addition of New Tech in the areas of mining, oil and gas exploration, and the automotive industry. We had one customer that was greater than 10% of revenue for this quarter in our analytic service provider segment.

We ended the quarter with 45 quarter carrying teams made up of a sales rep and a systems engineer and our plan is to continue to hire direct sales teams at the pace of 3 to 5 per quarter every quarter. These direct reps accounted for 85% of the business while the indirect activity was 15% this quarter.

Let me now turn to gross margins. All these numbers will be addressed in non-GAAP terms, and accordingly, we will exclude the stock based compensation, amortization of acquired intangible assets, and where applicable accretion on the preferred stock dividends. Because of the varying valuation methodologies and assumptions that companies use under FAS-123R and that companies use to value and amortize acquired intangible assets, we believe that excluding non-cash stock-based compensation and amortization of acquired intangible assets allows investors to analyze their recurring business over multiple periods and provides more meaningful comparison with other companies.

Upon the closing of our initial public offering a year ago, accretion of preferred dividends was no longer applicable due to the conversion of the preferred stock to common stock, and is therefore excluded to aid in comparing current and future operating results with those of past periods. For reconciliation of non-GAAP to GAAP results, please refer to our earnings release which can be accessed on our website.

On a non-GAAP basis, we reported gross margins of 64% combining our product margins of 60% with our service margins of 77%. These margins were essentially the same on a GAAP basis. We are seeing leverage building in our service delivery model where we feel that the 70% to 75% range is sustainable for service gross margins as we move forward allowing us to have more flexibility in keeping our overall gross margin in the 60% plus range. In the same quarter a year ago, we reported 60% total gross margins with 59% on product and 65% of service margins.

Let’s turn to operating expenses, and again, the remainder of this income statement discussion is on a non-GAAP basis. We had total operating expenses of $25.1 million, up from $16.6 million a year ago, or an increase of 51%. The company is operating with 361 people, up from 243 people a year ago. Non-GAAP operating income was $5.3 million, up from $387,000 a year ago. We achieved 11% operating income as a percent of revenue. We are seeing the leverage on our model build and remain confident that this will continue. However, for the near-term, we expect that we’ll maintain this operating income percent as our investments get feathered into the operating expense run rates.

I will address our outlook more specifically when I get to the guidance for the balance of this year.

The non-GAAP net income for Q2 was $5.2 million with non-GAAP EPS of $0.08 a share on a fully diluted weighted average share count of 66.5 million shares. Our prior year non-GAAP loss was $161,000 with a non-GAAP EPS loss of $0.01 a share on a fully diluted share count of 12.4 million shares. Our effective tax rate for the quarter on a non-GAAP basis was 16% and on a GAAP basis 24%, and was comprised of alternative minimum taxes, foreign taxes, and state taxes for those states where we have no net operating losses.

Turning to the balance sheet, we exited the quarter with $152 million in cash, cash equivalents, and investments, which was up from $130 million last quarter. We still hold a net balance of approximately $51 million of auction rate securities for which we have taken a temporary unrealized loss on the balance sheet of $2.9 million which is reduced from the $4.8 million unrealized loss we took last quarter. This is in accordance with FAS 157 which lays out a methodology for valuing financial instruments which do not have an active secondary market. During the quarter we liquidated $3.3 million of these instruments and invested those proceeds in money market funds. As you have all read in the press, there has been positive movement on this front where they’ve been commitments made by some banks to liquidate these securities at par. With UBS providing a specific timeline with an outside liquidation date being June of 2012, we may see these get liquidated sooner than that timeframe; however, we’ve conservatively planned that this may run its full course, and we do not have a need to liquidate these securities in the short-term.

Accounts receivable ended the quarter at $17.3 million with a DSO of 33 days. This has improved substantially because of the large payments we received in the first week of Q2. Our target DSO remains in the 60- to 75-day range. Revenue distribution in the quarter was relatively normal coming in at 17% for the first month, 43% for the second month, and 40% for the third month. We ended the quarter with $28.2 million in inventory which was down $1.8 million from Q1 as we continued to create more efficiencies in the amount of inventory we have on hand at finished goods and for proof of concepts. Deferred revenue was $59 million of which $42 million were preventive maintenance and the balance of $17 million was deferred product revenue. As we’ve said over the past quarters these product deferrals are a normal part of our business and will fluctuate from time to time.

Now, I would like to spend a few minutes addressing our guidance for the balance of this year. We expect that our effective tax rate for fiscal year ’09 will approximate 16% on a non-GAAP basis and 24% on a GAAP basis. Based on the continued strength and visibility in our business we are raising our fiscal year ’09 revenue guidance from the $172 million level to the $182 million level. As we have exceeded our operating income goals to-date, we will continue to make aggressive investments in our business and as a result expect to keep non-GAAP operating income as a percent of revenue at the current level for the near-term. As we have guided all along, our longer-term operating model is to deliver 15% to 20% operating income on a non-GAAP basis and 10% to 16% on a GAAP basis.

This concludes our formal remarks on the quarter. Thank you for your attention and we would now like to turn it back to open it up for questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator Instructions) Your first question comes from the line of Kathryn Huberty of Morgan Stanley.

Kathryn Huberty - Morgan Stanley

Congrats on another great quarter guys. Pat, did you decide intra-quarter to accelerate investments given the revenue upside or does all of the incremental spend come in October and January?

Patrick J. Scannell Jr.

The incremental investment is as designed when we started the year and we’re just continuing that beat, and so we’re looking at the business and feel that it warrants continued investment across the board, both in sales distribution and R&D headcount. So, it’s just continuing on that plan.

Kathryn Huberty - Morgan Stanley

And it sounds like the quarter was a little less backend loaded; what does the scrub-down of your pipeline suggest in terms of comparing new customer demand today versus at the beginning of the year?

James P. Baum

I think as we look at the pipeline and look at new customer demand today versus the beginning of the year, I think, we feel that we’re sort of coming into the back half of the year with pretty strong new customer opportunities in our pipeline. So, I am not sure I can give you a specific measure about now versus beginning of the year, but it looks strong.

Kathryn Huberty - Morgan Stanley

But just to be clear; there is no reason that the last month wasn’t 50% plus of the quarter, there wasn’t anything macro related in terms of elongated sales like earlier?

James P. Baum

No.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Nabil Elsheshai of Pacific Crest Securities.

Nabil Elsheshai - Pacific Crest Securities

A couple of question; on the guidance, Pat, you had said keeping margins at the current level; your previous guidance was 7% to 9%. Is that what you mean by the current level?

Patrick J. Scannell Jr.

The current level, you look at the quarter and you look at the year, the current level on the quarter is 11% non-GAAP, we’re up from 7%. So, we’re looking at the 7% to 9% on the year as the current level.

Nabil Elsheshai - Pacific Crest Securities

Okay. Just wanted to make sure I understood that. And then, you had mentioned on the competitive front there was no change; however, previously you used to rank Teradata third; have you guys seen them more in the field, have you run into their new appliance out there yet?

Jit Saxena

I think the competitive picture is basically the same; that has been there for quite some time. Yes, we do see Teradata, we clearly see Oracle all the time, and we see IBM. So that hasn’t changed at all. Once in a while we see one of the newer players, but again, the comparative picture stays the same.

Nabil Elsheshai - Pacific Crest Securities

On the last call you said you hadn’t seen the new Teradata 2500; have you competed with it at this point?

Jit Saxena

We haven’t seen that much. The only time it shows up at least according to our sales teams is in some established Teradata accounts.

Nabil Elsheshai - Pacific Crest Securities

Okay. And then I missed the sales head team count.

Patrick J. Scannell Jr.

45.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Glenn Hanus from [Needham & Company].

Glenn Hanus - Needham & Company

Can you give us a little more color around the; I guess you had a large order this quarter, and then if you look at the guidance, obviously that implies maybe it is sort of flattish to down October and then sort of up in January, and you have this 10% customer, I assume, that’s sort of not repeated; is that what’s going on?

Jit Saxena

Did we say all that? I missed all that, but you are right; there was one big customer; we believe that this customer will continue to buy more, we feel very good about where we are in terms of our near-term visibility, and that is the basis for really increasing our guidance because the visibility right now is so good.

Glenn Hanus - Needham & Company

Okay. I’ll pick it up a little later. So, maybe if you could talk about EMC and if you could sort of give us the progress update there and then is there some incremental operating expense tied to EMC and how the gross margin looks going forward on EMC and just where we are in transitioning from HP to EMC?

James P. Baum

We’re still progressing forward with the EMC partnership; the EMC contents will be delivered as part of the product this fall. So, the disk arrays that are in the box are still the HP arrays. From an expense perspective we don’t really expect to see any change in either gross margin or operating expenses. What I can say is that the relationship is progressing nicely and we’ve been beginning the process of engaging with their field organization.

Glenn Hanus - Needham & Company

Can you maybe talk a little bit about the Microsoft Data Allegro deal; what do you anticipate in the next couple years on the competitive front with Microsoft in the market?

Jit Saxena

There are two aspects of that move by Microsoft as we understand; one is to enhance their capabilities in the so-called cloud computing space by replacing some of the layers of SQL server. We expect that within roughly between 18 to 24 months they will have an offering in that space or some of the WAP2.0 companies. I don’t believe that that offering will have a major impact on the enterprise sales anytime in the near future, but you’ll have to wait and see how they evolve that. In the near-term, the way you are to look at that is that for all practical purposes the Data Allegro offering is out of the market and it will come back in some sort of an offering from Microsoft within a 24-month period.

Glenn Hanus - Needham & Company

And then lastly, at the very beginning of your discussion, you made some macro related comments about, you said in aggregate there was no impact, but maybe dis-aggregating a little bit, what kinds of push-outs did you see and what verticals were they in, any color there would be helpful.

James P. Baum

The only real specific thing we saw Glenn was that in one commercial banking account we saw a lock-down on spending which we understand has now been lifted. That has really been the greatest example we’ve seen, and in general, it’s been largely business as usual for us.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Douglas Reid of Thomas Weisel Partners.

Douglas Reid - Thomas Weisel Partners

Thank you and congratulations on the great quarter. The first question is on the strategy build-out international sales; progress is evident in the quarter, but can you just remind us of the long-term strategy to grow that part of the business, and I have a follow up.

Patrick J. Scannell Jr.

Structurally, today it represents 20% to 25% of our business. We think that over the longer-term this is perhaps a footprint that yields up to 40% of our business, and as we continue to make inroads both in Europe as well as in Asia; today we’re in 10 countries, expanding in France, Italy, India, etc., so we’re going to be expanding that footprint, and we expand it to have a presence and opportunistically to be participants in those markets because we believe those markets are vibrant markets for us.

James P. Baum

The strategy, Doug, has been to go to those markets with a combination of direct and indirect channels. In Asia, Japan, and Korea primarily we sell exclusively through channel partners. In Europe, we sell through a combination of channel partners and direct resources, and as we expand our operations in both of those broader geographies we’ll continue that approach.

Douglas Reid - Thomas Weisel Partners

Can anybody provide some metrics to help us better understand the success you are seeing of the higher end enterprise level especially on the 10800?

Jit Saxena

I think the success of the 10800 line has been quite prominent to some of our existing large customers. As their data volumes have continued to increase, they have continued to move up the food chain and have asked us to provide higher capacity systems of the kind that the 10800 offers. So, the traction on that continues to be pretty good.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Your next question comes from the line of Nabil Elsheshai of Pacific Crest Securities.

Nabil Elsheshai - Pacific Crest Securities

Just a quick followup on the POC inventory, I don’t think you guys gave that number.

Patrick J. Scannell Jr.

Yeah. It’s $16 million.

Nabil Elsheshai - Pacific Crest Securities

On the New Tech services, I was expecting that would flow through through the rest of the year, so a lot of upside on the numbers would come on the services line, so the mix would be higher, is that a correct assumption?

Patrick J. Scannell Jr.

That’s not so correct. I think that the guidance that we have is both on the product line as well as the service line. So the service line, yes there will be some increments there because of New Tech, but you’ll see the upside coming on product as well.

Operator

Your final question comes from the line of Alex Kurtz of Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Alex Kurtz - Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Congratulations on another good quarter. Pat, just to confirm on the first question about the operating margin, you are saying that you expect the levels on margin to go back down to the 7% to 9% for the remainder of the year?

Patrick J. Scannell Jr.

No, the 7% to 9% is on the year.

Alex Kurtz - Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Okay. So you expect to end the year around 7% to 9%. And then indirect took a dip this quarter, was that just a function of that one large customer most likely being a direct sale and that sort of impacting that percentage?

Patrick J. Scannell Jr.

The nature of our business is that it ebbs and flows; so the large customer did have some impact on it, but that’ll move around to where it is, this quarter it is 15% and perhaps last quarter it was roughly 25%, so that will ebb and flow as time goes on.

James P. Baum

Because of the average deal sizes that we’re dealing with.

Alex Kurtz - Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Okay. And back to an earlier point you were making about sales cycles, can you just give us a little bit more detail of sale cycles, length of existing versus new customers?

Patrick J. Scannell Jr.

Our sale cycles continue to be in the 9- to 12-month for a new account and for any of our existing accounts it can be as short as 90 days, but it’s typically 3 to 6 months.

James P. Baum

But again, we have the inside rail on an existing account where we’re in the data center, we know their capacity, we know their data growth, and so that just enhances our visibility.

Alex Kurtz - Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.

Okay. And it looks like services obviously jumped this quarter though a portion of that was the acquisition; just to clarify the earlier question, would you expect services to be up sequentially in the October quarter?

James P. Baum

Yes.

Operator

That concludes the Q&A session. .

Jit Saxena

Again, I want to take the opportunity to thank everybody for taking the time and for your continued interest in Netezza. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all our customers, our employees, and our partners who continue to be big supporters of what we’re trying to do in the marketplace and we’re very, very appreciative of all their efforts. Thank you very much.

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Source: Netezza Corporation F2Q09 (Qtr End 07/31/08) Earnings Call Transcript
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