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After issuing guidance below consensus for Q1, e-commerce performance measurement firm Keynote Systems faced questioning from analysts. Here's how it started:

Eric Martinuzzi - Craig Hellum - Analyst
...I was a little bit surprised to see what at the midpoint looks to me to be sequentially down guidance for March. Why is that?

Umang Gupta - KEYN - Chairman and CEO


Yeah, let me try to respond to that. I think that’s absolutely a very fair question. Ultimately it’s a combination of two things. First of all, in the, as I mentioned a few minutes ago, there’s a fair amount of volatility that we saw this past quarter that we fully expect we will see on a going forward basis as a result of the fact that almost 40 percent of our business today, or 45 percent is CEM [Customer Experience Management] and SLM [Service Level Management], and almost 25 percent of the overall revenue is consulting business as opposed to subscriptions business. And by definition, a large amount of consulting engagements, you don’t really know until the last month of the quarter whether, in fact, it will be part of this quarter or go into the next quarter. So, there’s always an element of volatility that accompanies this sort of revenue mix.

Eric Martinuzzi - Craig Hellum - Analyst


I understand the volatility. Is there a seasonality issue?

Umang Gupta - KEYN - Chairman and CEO


I think it’s too early at this point to say seasonality... It’s a combination, I think of two things. One is the volatility, which I just mentioned, and the second is that there’s an element of caution that I’m putting into this business...

Comment: So now you understand the exact reasons why Keynote guided below consensus for Q1. Right.

Prediction: Looks like Keynote might need to provide some IEM (Investor Experience Mangement) to its stockholders tomorrow.

Question: Why do companies insist on using AOAs in their conference calls? (You don't know what AOAs are? Annoyingly Obscure Abbreviations.)

Source of quotes: the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.

Source: Keynote (KEYN) demonstrates "performance transparency" (quotes from the conf call)