Why Marin Is An Undervalued Growth Company - And Why Insiders Are Using The Opportunity To Buy
- Marin is a well-positioned, undervalued and fast growing SaaS company.
- Insiders are currently buying shares of the company.
- This article discusses why MRIN is undervalued and what its success factors as well as risks are.
Key Operating Metrics Indicate That The Marin Software Sell-Off Is Incredibly Unwarranted
- Marin reports record Q2 revenues beating on the top and bottom lines and adding a near record number of new customers for the quarter.
- Despite a $1.5M full-year revenue guide down, all operating metrics have improved considerably including a YOY gross margin increase to 66% from 61%.
- The small guide down is an isolated event caused by a key staffing change and acquisition integration which allows investors the opportunity to buy in at historic lows.
Update: Marin Software Preliminary Revenue And Executive Departure
- Marin forecasts exceeding Q2 guidance, and the sales chief departs.
- Revenue growth confirms original investment thesis.
- Marin should continue growing at a solid clip due to the increasing complexity of managing digital ad spend.
Marin Software - A SaaS-y Company With A Penchant For Growth
- Marin Software has posted outstanding growth over the past few quarters.
- Costs for acquiring customers are declining, and value of the customers increasing.
- They are poised to turn the corner toward profitability with strong momentum.
Marin Software's Q1 Numbers Should Provide Some Good Clues
Sun, Jan. 18, 12:57 PM
- TechCrunch reports Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is interested in acquiring Softcard, the mobile payments platform launched by AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) in 2010 - it was previously known as Isis, before changing its name for obvious reasons. Though Softcard's owners have invested hundreds of millions in the venture, sources state Google's purchase price could be below $100M.
- Like Apple Pay and Google Wallet, Softcard relies on NFC radios to enable transactions. And like Wallet, it has struggled to get off the ground, as U.S. consumers overwhelmingly stick with card swipes. Hard data on Apple Pay usage remains limited for now.
- Softcard recently laid off 60 employees. Meanwhile, it was reported in 2013 that Google had spent $300M on Wallet-related acquisitions, with little to show for it. The adoption of EMV (chip-and-PIN) readers by U.S. retailers could give NFC solutions a boost, by making card payments a little less convenient.
- The WSJ reports Google is partnering with consulting giant PwC to bid on a $2B+ contract to update the DoD's electronic health records system. PwC says Google's tools could both improve the system's security and performance, and lower costs. A group featuring IBM, HP (NYSE:HPQ), and CSC has made a rival bid.
- Ad tech firm Marin Software (NYSE:MRIN) provides some encouraging mobile search data ahead of Google's Jan. 29 Q4 report. A Marin study found mobile accounted for 49% of Q4 U.S. search ad spend, up from 42% in Q3, and that smartphone ad click rates were 38% higher than PC rates (thanks in part to accidental clicks?). On the other hand, mobile still only accounted for 32% of conversions.
- Medium writer Backchannel provides a deep dive into Google Search's evolution in an era where users increasingly want search engines to know the precise meaning of their queries. Part 1 looks at Google's efforts to optimize for mobile (aided by its Knowledge Graph and Google Now). Part 2 looks at Google's real-world research into the information needs of users. Part 3 looks at Google's investments in A.I./deep learning to deliver far more intelligent search results and spontaneously surface useful information.
Sat, Jan. 10, 4:37 PM
- The number of M&A deals involving "advertising technology and services" rose 32% Y/Y in 2014 to 100, per data compiled by i-bank Coady Diemar. The dollar value of transactions more than tripled to $7.5B. Notable deals: Yahoo/BrightRoll, Facebook/LiveRail, Oracle/Datalogix, Acxiom/LiveRamp.
- The consolidation wave isn't expected to let up in 2015, given a widespread belief there are far too many independent players competing in a market where bigger Internet names such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, and Twitter also play prominent roles.
- "I don’t know what the right number [of companies] is, but it’s probably less than 10," says Luma Partners' Terence Kawaja, citing Google/Facebook's share gains. Coady's Colin Knudsen argues the services of ad tech firms focused on one particular offering are typically more expensive, and that "only the best will be sustainable as standalone entities over time."
- Online ad tech plays: FUEL, TRMR, YUME, TUBE, SZMK, RUBI, ACXM, MRIN, CRTO.
Nov. 5, 2014, 4:16 PM
Oct. 15, 2014, 2:08 PM
- Daina Middleton, Twitter's head of global business marketing, has joined Marin Software's (MRIN +3.5%) board. Before working at Twitter, Middleton was the CEO of Performics, ad giant Publicis' search/performance ad unit.
- Twitter is one of the many digital ad channels supported by Marin's ad campaign management platform.
Sep. 29, 2014, 11:45 AM
- Facebook (FB +0.2%) has officially launched an overhauled version of its Atlas ad-measurement/serving platform. As previously reported, the revamped Atlas uses Facebook profile info to allow advertisers to track the performance of Facebook and non-Facebook ads, and (leveraging Facebook data) also allows them to make automated ad buys for inventory on 3rd-party sites/apps.
- Instagram and ad giant Omnicom are among the first supporters. Marin Software (MRIN -0.3%) is among the ad tech supporters - its platform will be integrated with Atlas to allow clients to better measure their ROI on search ad campaigns.
- Interestingly, Re/code reports hearing Facebook has "talked to Twitter" about supporting Atlas. The site adds some think Facebook's main goal with the platform is to leverage the data it obtains about 3rd-party ad sales to improve the effectiveness of its internal ad sales.
- Instagram has been blocked in China as protests erupt in Hong Kong. Until now, the photo-sharing platform has been available in China even as Facebook's core services are generally blocked. Many Chinese celebrities claim 100K+ Instagram followers.
- Ello, a new social network that pitches itself as the anti-Facebook - it refuses to sell ads, and plans to monetize by charging for value-added features - has been quickly gaining users. According to one estimate, over 35K people have been asking to sign up per hour.
- With Facebook claiming 1.32B MAUs at the end of Q2 (204M in North America), its network effect remains a big hurdle for Ello and other would-be rivals.
Aug. 9, 2014, 8:38 PM
- "Many [online] advertisers now care more about who sees their ads than where they appear," writes the Columbia Journalism Review's Steven Waldman in a column about the threat posed to Web publishers by programmatic (automated) ad buying.
- Whereas a drug developer might have previously bought ads on popular health sites to reach potential customers, it can now use programmatic campaigns to reach them across the Web, aided by cookies that track when a user has shown an interest in particular drugs (or something related to them).
- The upshot? Advertisers are less likely to pay a big premium for inventory on high-profile sites. Waldman: "A marketer can now reach 'New York Times readers' without ever actually advertising in The New York Times, and for less money."
- Publishers are responding in part by embracing native ad formats such as sponsored content. But as Waldman observes, a site's image can get hurt when users conflate sponsored and organic material. "Publishers have ended up trading the one thing they had left—their credibility with readers—for a few scraps of CPM."
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), increasingly using native ads to complement traditional display ads, saw a 24% Y/Y drop in display ad prices in Q2 to go with a 24% increase in ads sold. AOL, both a publisher and a programmatic ad tech provider, fared a little better in Q2.
- eMarketer expects U.S. real-time bidding ad spend (a key part of the programmatic market) to rise to $9B in 2017 from $3.4B in 2013. At the same time, it observes many advertisers are treading cautiously for now.
- Other Web publishers: IACI, DMD, TTGT, GKNT, WBMD
- Ad tech firms with programmatic exposure: CRTO, FUEL, RUBI, MRIN, TRMR, YUME, TUBE
Aug. 7, 2014, 2:41 PM
- Marin Software (MRIN -15%) expects Q3 revenue of $25M-$25.4M and EPS of -$0.23 to -$0.25 vs. a consensus of $24.7M and -$0.22.
- Full-year guidance is for revenue of $98.2M-$99M and EPS of -$0.85 to -$0.87, above a consensus of $97.4M and -$0.88. However, recently-acquired Perfect Audience is expected to contribute $2M to 2H14 sales, after contributing $300K+ in Q2.
- The online ad campaign software provider admits it "saw some weakness in new business activity for [its] base business in the quarter," and says it has "taken steps" to improve execution. It's 3 months removed from announcing a CEO change.
- Shares are making new 52-week lows.
- Q2 results, PR
Aug. 6, 2014, 4:50 PM
Jul. 8, 2014, 4:15 PM
- Marin Software (MRIN) expects Q2 revenue of $23.6M, slightly above prior guidance of $22.9M-$23.3M and a $23.1M consensus. Recently-acquired Perfect Audience is expected to contribute $300K.
- The online ad campaign software provider also discloses sales chief Peter Wooster is leaving to "pursue other opportunities." Marin's sales management team will now report to new CEO David Yovanno.
- Marin's Q2 results are due on Aug. 6.
Jun. 16, 2014, 6:37 PM| Comment!
Jun. 2, 2014, 5:40 PM
- Marin Software (MRIN) has bought Perfect Audience, a developer of software for running targeted ad campaigns on popular social/display platforms, for $22.8M ($5.4M in cash, the rest in stock).
- TechCrunch observes that Marin's ad tech platform has had a strong search ad focus until now; acquiring Perfect Audience allows it to better tap into the fast-growing social and display retargeting markets (relies on activity on activity on 3rd-party sites/apps to deliver targeted ads).
- Facebook, Twitter, and Google's DoubleClick Ad Exchange are among Perfect Audience's supported platforms. The company has focused on selling its offerings to startups and smaller ad agencies, but also has some larger clients such as Rackspace and American Apparel.
- The acquisition arrives less than a month after Marin announced a CEO change.
May. 7, 2014, 5:45 PM
May. 7, 2014, 5:37 PM
- Along with its Q1 results, Marin Software (MRIN) announces it has hired David Yovanno, most recently the EVP of technology solutions at online ad services firm Conversant, to be its CEO. Founder Chris Lien, who has been CEO since Marin's birth, will stick around as executive chairman.
- Marin is guiding for Q2 revenue of $22.9M-$23.3M and EPS of -$0.26 to -$0.28 vs. a consensus of $22.8M and -$0.24. Full-year guidance is for revenue of $96.8M-$98M and EPS of -$0.87 to -$0.90, above a consensus of $95.8M and -$0.92.
- 704 advertisers used Marin's ad tech platform in Q1, up from 673 in Q4 and 542 a year ago. Gross margin was 66%, flat Q/Q and up from 60% a year ago.
- MRIN +7.3% AH. Q1 results, PR.
May. 7, 2014, 4:49 PM
Feb. 11, 2014, 5:40 PM
Feb. 11, 2014, 5:29 PM
- Trimble (TRMB) expects Q1 revenue of $610M-$630M and EPS of $0.40-$0.43 vs. a consensus of $617M and $0.42. Shares +7% AH. (Q4 results, PR)
- Marin Software (MRIN) expects Q1 revenue of $21.4M-$21.8M and EPS of -$0.28 to -$0.26 vs. a consensus of $21.6M and -$0.26. However, full-year guidance is for revenue of $95M-$96.6M and EPS of -$0.94 to -$0.90, above a consensus of $93.7M and -$0.96. Shares +14.1% AH. (Q4 results, PR)
- Marketo (MKTO) expects Q1 revenue of $29.5M-$30.5M and EPS of -$0.28 to -$0.30 vs. a consensus of $28.2M and -$0.22. Full-year guidance is for revenue of $130M-$135M and EPS of -$1.09 to -$1.15 vs. a consensus of $125.6M and -$0.82. Shares -2.2% AH. (Q4 results, PR)
MRIN vs. ETF Alternatives
Marin Software Inc provides a cloud-based digital advertising management solution for search, display, social and mobile advertising channels to improve financial performance, realize efficiencies and time savings, and make better business decisions.
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