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TheStreet (NASDAQ:TST)

Q3 2012 Earnings Call

November 08, 2012 4:30 pm ET

Executives

Erica L. Mannion - President

Elisabeth H. DeMarse - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Thomas J. Etergino - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Analysts

Michael Mauskopf

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to TheStreet's Third Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. This call is being webcast live on the Investor Relations section of the TheStreet's website at www.t.st. This call is the property of TheStreet, and any recordings, reproduction or transmission of this call without the expressed written consent of the TheStreet is strictly prohibited. As a reminder, today's call is being recorded. You may listen to the webcast replay of this call by going to the Investor Relations section of TheStreet's website.

I will now like to turn the call over to Erica Mannion of Sapphire Investor Relations, Investor Relations for TheStreet. Please go ahead.

Erica L. Mannion

Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us to discuss TheStreet's financial and operating results for the third quarter of 2012. With me today are Elisabeth Demarse, Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Tom Etergino, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Today, Elisabeth will review the third quarter results and provide color on industry dynamics. Tom will then review the third quarter financial results. All statements made on this call, other than statements of historical facts, are deemed to be forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including those described in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements. Although the company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, the company cannot guarantee future results or occurrences. The company disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, further development or otherwise. You may obtain copies of the company's filings with the SEC at the commission's website at www.sec.gov. Additional information related to matters discussed today also will be set forth in the company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the third quarter of 2012, which the company expects to file shortly.

Now I will turn the call over to Elisabeth Demarse.

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

Thank you, Erica, and good afternoon. As we announced in our press release today, revenues for the third quarter was $11.6 million, a decrease of 19% compared to the third quarter of 2011 and a decrease of 7% compared to last quarter. I'll review our strategy and then move into a brief discussion of financial detail and provide a progress update on 2 segments of our business.

TheStreet has a leading position providing news and analysis covering the retail sector of the financial services industry, primarily serving professionals and individual investors. We're fortunate to have 2 revenue drivers, Advertising in our Media business and Subscriptions in our Newsletter and Rate-Watch businesses. With the acquisition of The Deal, we've added a third revenue and growth driver, an institutional Subscription business.

As part of the M&A program I put in place when I joined TheStreet in March, we closed our first acquisition, The Deal, in mid-September. The Deal marquee customer base of approximately 40,000 institutional professionals provide us with higher renewal rates, predictable revenue and attractive margin. We believe we are a deep cyclical trough for the M&A business with M&A volumes hitting multiyear lows this year. The stock market is near multiyear highs, and when the stock market goes up, M&A activity is sure to follow. We are looking for a wave of M&A to increase revenues for The Deal and grow into new emerging category such as hedge funds.

At The Deal's current revenue and cost structure, we expect this acquisition to be accretive to adjusted EBITDA in 2013. Our intent is to leverage the content creation and marketing resources of The Deal and TheStreet, with a specific focus on time-sensitive information associated with change of control transactions such as restructuring, auctions and other M&A activity to create new revenue opportunities for the combined company at incremental costs.

We are also looking at additional bolt-on acquisitions in the institutional market that will further drive revenue and margin at The Deal. As for integrating The Deal into TheStreet, it has been efficient and flawless without the surprises that normally happen with acquisitions. The Deal's sales forces are already out marketing and selling 2 of TheStreet's products, ChatOnTheStreet and Options profit.

Moving on to an overview of our Q3 financial performance is another transition quarter for our company. We continue to make significant progress on the expense side illustrated by a sequential decline of 8% and a 23% decline compared to the same period last year, and ongoing operating expenses, excluding The Deal. Revenue growth remains challenged as Media business was down again this quarter and our Subscription business up slightly from the prior quarter.

As we communicated on past calls, our revenue is highly dependent on Advertising by marketers, who want to reach our audience and subscribers who read our investment newsletters. Both of these businesses continue to be challenged. Online media is challenged to compress CPMs and rapid migration to mobile. Paid subscriptions are down due to the fact that where we are in the economic cycle.

Regardless of the core macro environment, our Subscription business generates positive contribution margin, but we also expect the Media business to contribute to the bottom line as well. We made great strides in cutting operating expenses and will continue to do so to make the Media business profitable. We also intend to grow our paid use and Advertising on the free site to get our Media business back to growth mode, as soon as possible.

Our Media audience is very valuable to our core advertisers and brokerage, financial services, luxury and automotive. According to comScore, TheStreet was named #1 in household income exceeding $100,000 and #1 in portfolio value exceeding $500,000 for all the financial services websites.

And as I said before, our audience is very, very valuable. However, based on feedback from advertisers and my own personal observation, it was clear we have too many ad units on our site. In Q3, we lightened up the homepage considerably, reduced the number of ad units on our site and increased click through for our advertisers. We are now doing the same for our article and quote pages.

In addition, we also shifted exclusively to DoubleClick DART 6 which improved advertiser performance. These efforts are bearing fruit as we progressed through the 2013 upfront, and we can report that some of our lead brokerage partners for 2013 are already booked.

As far as traffic goes, approximately 50% of our traffic is free including direct type and SEO. In our acquired traffic channels, our partnerships with Yahoo!, AOL, MSN and other sites allow us to introduce ourselves to new audience as a trusted advisor and work very hard on these partners. We launched Business Desk, with local newspapers in 2011 and have seen substantial growth there. We are seeking to expand Business Desk and have Yahoo! and our other traffic partners continue to drive growth to our free site. SEO provides some additional area of substantial growth potential as less than 10% of our traffic comes from pre-search. We engaged iProspect to advise us on improving our SEO and we are in the process of enhancing our home page structure site taxonomy and repositioning concept on the TheStreet. We're already seeing initial improvement in our national search traffic and expect us to grow significantly in the months to come.

Our social channels provide another good opportunity for traffic growth, as they account for less than 5% of total traffic. To this end, we hired Rocco Pendola, as our Director of Social Media, and are revamping our social media strategy in Q4. If you follow us on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, you'll see more and more and better and better content leading to more social conversation and more visits to TheStreet.

On the Subscription business, TheStreet has developed a well-known, leading consumer brand. We have subject matter experts who appear on TV and drive both traffic to our free site and net new subscribers, which provides us an asymmetrical competitive advantage to grow new newsletter talent and subscriptions. The Subscription business is lucrative and we expect it to remain so. One, marketing channel that has languished is our free-to-fee capability. We underutilized our free site, TheStreet.com, to funnel our users to Subscription Services and convert them to paid subscribers. We are now showcasing parts of our subscription editorial on the free site, and we are improving our landing pages. As a result, new subscriptions sourced from our free site increased from 8% in December 2011 to 15% at the end of June and reached 19% at the end of September.

In previous quarters, we've seen a significant decrease in the total number of paid subscribers, primarily from a dearth of new subscribers. But we are now starting to see increases in these subscriptions. Once we generate a new sub, they like our products and renew at favorable rates. Given our improving churn rate as we ramp up our new subscriber acquisition program, we should see growth on the total subscriber base.

Additionally, we are just starting to recover from our failed relaunch of RealMoney, which we relaunched in Q3 of 2011. We lost customers from breakage and key functionality, including columnist conversation and the technology platform. We have largely fixed these issues and are orchestrating a big push to get subscribers to RealMoney. RealMoney is a great introductory product for us in the past and provided a gateway to the higher priced RealMoney Pro.

Moving on from the Subscription business, we continue to maintain an active M&A program. Now that we have an institutional platform in place with The Deal, we're uniquely positioned to capitalize on opportunities with financial Media space within B2B.

Before I turn to Tom Etergino, our CFO, to describe our quarterly performance, I'd like to update you on Hurricane Sandy's impact on TheStreet. Our heart goes out to everyone affected by the storm in the tri-state area. We shut down the New York office a week ago, Sunday, in advance of the storm. The safety of our employees is our paramount concern. Throughout the storm, we continued to publish with minimal disruption. We had accelerated moving to the Amazon cloud and our publishing platform performed very well. Our editorial team fanned out covering the financial markets and the impact of the hurricane with vigor. Our team at Rate-Watch in Wisconsin also pitched in, operating customer service. Power return to our New York office this past weekend and our office reopened on Monday, November 5. Although we fared well, we are still assessing the impact of the hurricane on both our Subscription and Media businesses. I'm very proud of our employees who maintained their spirits, professionalism and ingenuity during this difficult time, while generating first-class content for TheStreet and The Deal and providing high-quality service to our customers.

With that, I'll hand the call over to Tom, who will review our financial results, and then we'll take questions.

Thomas J. Etergino

Thank you, Elisabeth, and welcome, everyone. Before I review the financials, I would like to note that our consolidated results for the third quarter 2012 include 19 days of The Deal's operations unless I mention otherwise. We completed the acquisition of the The Deal on September 11, 2012, for consideration of $5.8 million in cash and the assumption of net liabilities, primarily related to deferred revenue. We are pleased with the speed and success by which we integrated The Deal.

On the day after closing, we restructured The Deal's operations, shut down the unprofitable magazine and consolidated the workforces. This allowed us to focus on serving their institutional clients. 2 weeks later, we moved The Deal into our headquarters at 14 Wall Street fully integrating The Deal's employees into TheStreet's workspace. Overall, we are very happy with how the 2 cultures have fit together.

And now for the results of the quarter. For Q3 2012, the company recorded revenue of $11.6 million, which declined 19%, compared to the third quarter of 2011. Revenue from the Media business was $2.5 million and revenue from Subscription services was $9.1 million. Media business revenue declined 43% from the third quarter of 2011 and 31% sequentially from the second quarter of 2012. We attribute this decline both to operating challenges and the difficult macroeconomic environment.

In Q3 2012, we experienced double-digit decline in both monetization, as measured by CPMs, and the number of advertisers both from the prior year period and sequentially. As Elisabeth mentioned, too many advertisers on the free site had extended page loading and negatively impacted user experience, resulting in declining ROIs for our advertisers over time. It was during Q3 that we've begun to improve our site and supporting infrastructure through the removal of extraneous ad units and tags, which started to result in faster pages and a better environment for advertisers. We are getting positive feedback from advertisers, as we enter the 2013 brokerage upfront season. Our team continues to work to the site and we have confidence these improvements will result in enhanced performance.

Regarding the macroeconomic environment, daily average revenue trade volumes, or DART, as reported by online brokerages experienced double-digit declines in Q3 2012 from the prior year period and high single-digit decline sequentially. The Google Investing Index, which mentions online category interest in the investing vertical, declined in Q3 2012 by approximately 22% from the prior year and 8% sequentially. Both of these measures signal that retail investors remained on the sidelines.

Moving on to our Subscription Services business. Revenue decreased 9% compared to the same period last year. The decline in revenue was primarily the result of an 18% reduction in the average number of subscriptions, which was partially offset by an increase in average revenue per user of 8% and the inclusion of 19 days of The Deal results.

Subscription Services bookings were $7.6 million for the third quarter, a decrease of 10% compared to prior year period. Many of the macroeconomic factors that contributed to the Advertising decline year-over-year also contributed to the bookings decline for our Subscription Services business. Additional factors that impacted subscription bookings, including product issues that we collected in Q3 2012 specifically around RealMoney, as Elisabeth just discussed.

Within Subscription Services, our existing base of subscribers performed well. The following metrics exclude The Deal. Subscription churn improved both from the prior year and sequentially, which indicates our subscribers are satisfied with the products and are sticking with us. Our average monthly churn in the quarter dropped to 2.6% compared to 2.7% in the third quarter of 2011 and 3.9% in the second quarter of 2012.

I do want to remind everyone that we expect moderate seasonal quarterly fluctuations in churn due to changes in the size of subscription renewal pools and other factors, with third quarter results being at the lower end of our expectations. Average revenue per user grew compared to the same period in prior year due to an increase in the percentage of subscriptions outside their introductory cycle, which generally have higher pricing than during the introductory cycle.

As Elisabeth also mentioned, we're starting to see stabilization in our premium subscriber base as a result of improvements in new customer acquisition and renewal rates. While we cannot guarantee that this trend will hold in Q4, it is certainly a positive sign.

Moving to the expense side of the business. The third quarter saw a continued improvements to our cost structure. Including The Deal, total operating expenses were $12.9 million, excluding $3.1 million in restructuring charges and disposition of assets. This represents a decrease of 20% compared to the same period last year and a sequential decline of 4%. The $3 million restructuring charge resulted from headcount reductions, primarily resulting from the integration of The Deal's employees into our workforce, the shutdown on The Deal's print magazine and the long-term lease for The Deal's office space.

TheStreet reported a net loss of $4.2 million for the third quarter of 2012 as compared to a net loss of $1.5 million for the same period last year. Excluding the restructuring charge and disposition of assets, the net loss was $1.2 million for the quarter, improving 22% from the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA was $1 million for the third quarter of 2012 as compared to $500,000 for the prior year period.

I would like to highlight that while revenue was down 19% year-over-year, adjusted EBITDA more than doubled, indicative of our ability to manage the business at current revenue levels.

And now for some balance sheet highlights. The company ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and marketable securities of $61.5 million, a sequential decrease of $7.5 million. The decrease was primarily due to the purchase of The Deal and payments related to our restructuring efforts. As for our cash flows, for the third quarter of 2012, the company used $2.3 million in cash from operations, including $1.2 million in restructuring payments made in the quarter.

Year-to-date, the company used $5.8 million in cash from operations, including $3 million in restructuring payments that had been made throughout the year. On the Q2 2012 conference call, we announced suspension of a dividend payment for the third quarter and are announcing today that it will remain suspended for the fourth quarter, resulting in cash savings of approximately $900,000, improving the company's cash flow, which we'll use to support our growth initiatives.

In closing, we want our investors to know that we will continue to diligently manage our cost structure in conjunction with a keen focus on growing revenue and bookings. We look forward to updating you on our progress towards these goals. And finally, just a note, that following the integration of The Deal, we're still evaluating what financial and operating metrics we will be providing going forward.

With that, operator, please open the call to questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And our first question comes from the line of Michael Mauskopf with MRM Capital.

Michael Mauskopf

Tom, can you tell me, the noncash barter, which I've never seen before of $126,940, what was that about -- all about?

Thomas J. Etergino

That was actually -- the barter actually happened last year and we're just still using some of it up this year. We actually haven't done any barter activity this year, except use some of the existing credits that we had. There was some ad swaps that we did last year. That's all.

Michael Mauskopf

And the deferred revenue went up sequentially, $2.56 million. How much of that was The Deal part of the number? Of the increase or...

Thomas J. Etergino

Yes. The Deal was more than that increase and then we used some deferred revenue. Obviously, we went into revenue this year, so -- this quarter. So more than $2.5 million was The Deal, actually.

Michael Mauskopf

Can you expound out on what, excluding The Deal, what that deferred revenue would have been?

Thomas J. Etergino

The Deal was $3.8 million.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] It looks like we do have a follow-up question from Michael Mauskopf with MRM Capital.

Michael Mauskopf

Elisabeth, regarding the Media or the Advertising. I remember last quarter, you guys had some issues on the back end, technology, whatever, and it seems like that's ironing itself out. And you mentioned on this call that already you're seeing some bookings for the brokerage side -- from the brokerage side in 2013. Are you seeing anything in the fourth quarter of this -- the fourth quarter. Let alone, when you say, how much positiveness are you seeing? If you could just expound on the Media side because it's obviously the shovel.

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

Yes. So just typically, anyway, Q4 is unpredictable. You can either go into unspent budgets and have a plus column] or you can -- people have overspent their budget and I haven't gotten their ROI and you can have cancellations. So the fourth quarter is always unpredictable. In terms of what we're seeing now, I don't see anything fantastic, but I don't see anything terrible either. So we think we're going to hit our targets for the quarter, and we're working hard to do that. And we're really playing for 2013 now.

Michael Mauskopf

In regards to the Advertising, can you break up -- you guys used to do this, it's now gotten pretty dilapidated at a trough level, hopefully, between financials and non-financials, as far as what makes up the Advertising?

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

Yes. I mean, part of my strategy is going to be to double down on the endemics versus the non-endemics. And it's for 2 reasons, one, the endemics, we're a must-buy for the endemics, so we want to make sure that our brokerage customers are really happy and have a great relationship with their audience. And then secondly, it's because the non-endemics really doesn't pay those same CPM as the endemics do. So we love auto because auto pays very high CPMs. But basically, we love the financial. Sometimes you can get some luxury that pays pretty decent CPMs as well. So I would say, going forward, we've typically had 2/3 financial, 1/3 non-endemic and I would expect that mix to continue, that's sort of what we experienced this past quarter and what we're looking at in the coming quarter.

Michael Mauskopf

Okay. I would say that between the ARPU and operating expenses and the average monthly unique visitors and obviously the deferred revenue went up because of The Deal thing. But I think there's a lot of as you've been talking about, a lot of upside to leverage going forward.

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

We're working as hard as we can. Thank you, Mike. I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks for the shout out on the operating expenses. It's been a lot, a lot of hard work, but we're really excited about where we are. I think we've done a good job of letting people know what businesses we plan to kind of double down on, as we move into 2013. We have to deliver results, we've got to continue to grow the revenue, grow the top line. And I'm excited, I'm super, super excited, and I think the team is too.

Michael Mauskopf

Let me just throw one last thing out. On October 17, Cramer said on the RealMoney CC site, "We're revitalizing RealMoney. As some of you know, who I have personally contacted, I make no secret that previous management didn't do a good job on RealMoney. To say the least and suffice it to say, it did break my heart because I created the site and columnist conversation was where I put all my trading ideas from day 1. Spread the word, we are back. And I will not rest until we return RealMoney to its former glory". The one thing that I would say that I'm sure has disappointed other large shareholders and you know how I feel about this, besides for you Elisabeth, and I've talked to you Tom, Ed knows about this, too. I would love to see, especially the guy who founded the company, Cramer. He stopped selling, I would love to see, with everything going on now and at these disheveled levels, if people really believe in what you guys are doing, why am I not seeing across-the-board insider buying?

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

I think I bought. Didn't I buy?

Michael Mauskopf

I said -- You bought. You bought 100,000 shares but I would -- And I spoke to Tom about this, too. But at these levels, it would be a great confidence builder also if you -- Cramer bought stock 2 years ago in the summer at $3. And you had the whole thing that fell apart, blah blah blah, it's 2 years later, almost. And I see things from what you guys are doing and I also being on the site and being on TheStreet chat which as I've told you guys, I love, it's great. And I see the site moving quicker. Tom, we've discussed that before, and I see the changes. So I'm really -- I'm very happy about what I'm seeing. I just would love to see -- because other people, there's no analytical coverage and other people would have a keen interest in your stock who don't own it if they saw Cramer buying a bunch of stock or whatever. I just think it's a huge confidence builder. And obviously, we know that he has the money, let alone other people. It's $1.64 stock, it's not a lot of money.

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

Well, I'm not going to speak for Jim. I mean, I support whatever Jim wants to do. He has a huge history with the company. What I will say is, we have to publish a reliable numbers on a sequential basis, and then we'll work very vigorously to market the company. But we want to make sure that we are dependable and reliable and predictable and what it is we're promising shareholders. So I hear your point completely about -- I think there's going to be a ton of interest in the stock. I absolutely do. I think we're going to turn over our shareholder base a couple of times and make a lot of people happy in the process. And the thing that we're waiting for is a chance to just publish a quarter or 2 that's really shows that we have our act together.

Michael Mauskopf

Okay. Last question, regarding the Business Desk. Can you just talk -- expound a little from -- do you guys -- when people read the newspaper, they see, they go online, do they see a link to TheStreet.com and then you see in traffic that's converting to subs, how is that working?

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

Yes. So Business Desk was built last year. I'm not sure I would have built it, but when I arrived and found it here, I was intrigued by it. We do -- there's a revenue share so it's not the most profitable -- it's not the same as, for example, Advertising or conversion from the free site but it's not a terrible revenue share, it's perfectly decent, normal partner revenue share. And what's been interesting is we've finally really dug into the numbers and we found that Business Desk audience I wouldn't say it's sending a ton of new subs to us, but it's a worthwhile percentage of subs that are coming from the Business Desk audience, and I think that we're going to work hard next year to expand Business Desk actually because it is, again, a reliable, convertible audience, high-quality audience, which is exactly what we want for all of our products, whether they're for advertisers or on captive subscriptions.

Michael Mauskopf

And Tom, this is for you. Regarding the announcement that you guys made on September 28 with Michael Crosby from The Deal. It talks about stock options to purchase 100,000 shares at an exercise price of $1.39. But in that statement, it also discusses these options and restricted stock units. Is it 100,000 shares of stock options or is it -- it's a little nebulous or ambiguous, I should say.

Thomas J. Etergino

It was actually all options. We should have taken RSU out. The RSU language out.

Michael Mauskopf

Okay. And I love also the Josh Brown deal that you guys just announced. That was a great, too.

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

Good, good. Well, listen, Mike, stay tuned.

Operator

And our next questioner in queue is Yolanda Dean [ph], who's a private investor.

Unknown Attendee

I've been in the stock for a long, long time. And one of the things that occurs to me is that you could do more and just on the public relations side. For example, Cramer used to be able to on his Mad Money show, mentioned he was Chairman of TheStreet. There were different kinds of plugs, and I can tell you, I know a tremendous number of people in business. And when I mention TheStreet, they gave me this blank look like what is it? Have you any plans to do more on the PR side?

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

Sure. I mean, first of all, we actually feel like we have actually pretty good PR, so I am not sure that we really falling down so much. We track our mentions not just by Jim on Mad Money, and he still does mentioned some regularity 2 or 3x in a given show.

Unknown Attendee

Oh, I listen to the show all the time. I don't hear it 2 or 3x in a given show, but that's all right. I'm sorry, I interrupted you.

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

No, that's all right. We'll go back and check, but it's actually something we've done. Our scripts, statistical analysis around is the residual effect of having a mention anywhere on CNBC and how it affects traffic and conversion to our subscription site. So we have a statistician who looks at all these things and is trying to learn as much as possible so that we can repeat what's successful. So, I mean, we are grateful for the exposure we get from Jim and from CNBC.

Unknown Attendee

How about sending out news, more news releases? I know we got to have positive things to talk about, I realize that, but...

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

Yes. So Mike just might just mentioned the Josh Brown release. I think that you'll see us -- we will be amping up our news releases.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] We do have a follow-up from Michael Mauskopf.

Michael Mauskopf

Just one follow-up to what that lady just said. A few years ago, I was with a few people, elderly people like my mom's age, and I was talking about -- they were asking about the market since they know what I do for a living. And I ask them, do they know -- did you ever watch Cramer? They said, oh, that crazy guy, blah blah blah. I said, do you know anything about TheStreet.com and there's no connotation whatsoever. And I've always been told by whoever ran the company or whoever -- the manager of TST that CNBC inhibits what you can say, how much do you say, how you say it or whatever. But somehow, some way, since he has so much exposure between writing his books, the show, whatever, if there could be some kind of link, some kind of marketing. And Elisabeth, you know that better than anyone, that would just be an additive enhancement.

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

Yes, we're working hard on it. And so I don't want to go into all the details because, frankly, it's a form of secret sauce that I wouldn't want some of our competitors to know about. But we studied this extremely carefully. We have, literally, Masters degrees in statistics and what have you, who are looking at all of our marketing channels and seeing how we can make them perform better, and that absolutely includes any kind I've mention on television, whether that's nightly business report or CNBC or Bloomberg Television where our talent and journalists are appearing quite frequently. So we understand that television is a special asymmetrical competitive advantage that we have. With the talent that we have on the journalism side, that includes Jim and we track it very, very closely.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And presenters, I'm showing no additional questioners on the phone queue. I'd like to turn the program back over to Ms. DeMarse for any additional or closing remarks.

Elisabeth H. DeMarse

Well, I want to thank Mike for saying such nice things because I think he's really capturing a lot of what is going on with the company. And I want you all to know that we are really one competitive company now. We have a very, very sharp competitive focus. We know what we have to do, and we're going to do it. And as Jim says, ignore us at your peril. I would really not bet against us. The thing that -- I'm going to tell you, we're to going to do everything we can for all of our customers. It's a great strength of the company and we have a terrific management team in place. Again, going back to a very key transaction for us, which was The Deal, the integration of The Deal has done extremely well, very smoothly, no major surprises, a complete fabulous addition, incredible professionals and high, high-quality people to our team. Keep your eyes on the expense side, more to come on our progress on the expense side. And when the revenue returns, we will really have a significant portion fall to the bottom line. So I want to thank everybody, who has been our loyal investor for so many difficult times. We are setting ourselves up for profitable growth. So thanks.

Operator

Thank you, ma'am. And again, ladies and gentlemen, this does conclude today's conference. Thank you for your participation and have a wonderful day. Attendees, you may disconnect at this time.

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