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BlackLine Industry Awards Fail to Generate Interest in New Products

Posted on Wednesday, Nov 8th 2017

Cloud finance and accounting firm BlackLine (Nasdaq: BL) went public just over a year ago. Since then, the company’s valuation, along with the accolades it has received, has grown steadily. Recently it was recognized as one of the country’s best Medium-Sized Workplaces by the Fortune magazine for the second consecutive year. Last month, its founder and CEO Therese Tucker was named the Top Woman Leader in SaaS by The SaaS Report.

BlackLine’s Financials

BlackLine’s third quarter revenues grew 42% to $45.9 million. It ended the quarter with a GAAP net loss of $13.1 million, or $0.25 per share. Non GAAP net loss came in at $0.6 million or $0.01 per share. The market was looking for revenues of $44.1 million.

By segment, subscription and support revenues grew 41% to $43.46 million and professional services revenues grew 79% to $2.41 million.

Among other metrics, the company added 113 net new customers in the quarter, thus ending with a total of over 2,090 customers for the quarter. It expanded its user base to more than 186,460 users and recorded a dollar-based net revenue retention rate of 113% during the quarter.

BlackLine forecasts revenues to be in the range of $47-$48 million with a non GAAP breakeven quarter. It expects to end the year with revenues of $174-$175 million and a non-GAAP net loss of $5 million, or $0.10 per share.

BlackLine’s Product Issues

BlackLine has been focusing on international expansion. During the recently reported quarter, it expanded its operations in APAC as it signed its first customer in Hong Kong and secured its first Smart Close win for the region. It is also driving growth through products including the Smart Close and Transaction Matching.

But despite the regional and product expansion, BlackLine is struggling with upselling its biggest product. Three years ago, it had released the Intercompany Hub (ICH). The ICH is a complex software that allows companies to build a clearinghouse to settle transactions between subsidiaries and ensure that transfer agreements are appropriately recognized. The product was expected to be a big revenue driver for BlackLine, but for the second consecutive quarter, BlackLine has been unable to sell any deals involving ICH. The ICH is a unique offering by BlackLine. No other vendor offers the product. Selling it is facing to be a tougher challenge than BlackLine anticipated.

BlackLine has been adding to its leadership team. Recently, it announced the addition of SolarWinds CEO, Kevin Thompson, as a member of its Board of Directors and of the Audit committee. It also added veteran Finance and Accounting (F&A) executive Tammy Coley as chief strategy officer. Prior to joining BlackLine, Tammy was the executive director, Enterprise Accounting and Internal Controls Governance at Cox Communications.

Its stock is trading at $34.62 with a market capitalization of $1.8 billion. It touched a 52-week high of $40.28 in July this year. It has recovered from the 52-week low of $21.88 it had fallen to in November last year. The stock has been consistently higher than its October list price of $17 each when it raised $146 million through the listing.


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