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comScore, Inc. (SCOR)

Deutsche Bank's DbAccess 21st Annual Media and Telecom Conference

March 05, 2013 10:50 am ET

Executives

Kenneth J. Tarpey - Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer

Serge Matta - President of Commercial Solutions

Analysts

Matthew Chesler - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Presentation

Matthew Chesler - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Welcome. Next up is comScore. As you know, comScore is a leading analytics company that has expanded its business model from Internet audience measurement to a broader scope of services to other areas including web analytics, ad effectiveness, mobile carriers, analytics and cross-platform measurements, to name a few. With us today is CFO, Ken Tarpey; and Serge Matta, the President of Commercial Solutions. I want to thank you both for being here, and welcome.

Kenneth J. Tarpey

Thank you.

Serge Matta

Thank you.

Matthew Chesler - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

We're going to do a fireside chat, and then we'll open it up to audience for Q&A.

Question-and-Answer Session

Matthew Chesler - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

So let's start with a look at 2012, a status update on your business. Those of you here who are probably familiar with this, several years ago, comScore embarked on this initiative to expand its business model beyond audience measurement, where it's known as the standard, into a number of these adjacent areas that we just mentioned. And you've been candid in saying that 2012, it was a tough year for you, where revenue growth slowed and margins contracted. And can you just kind of help us understand what the dynamic, the dynamics that you faced in 2012?

Kenneth J. Tarpey

Sure. 2012, as you mentioned, was a period of transition for our strategy, from measurement to the broader analytics. And so within that, what we were able to successfully do was maintain a strong bookings growth. Our bookings growth for the year was about 19%. Our revenue growth was about 10-plus percent, 12%, on a pro forma basis. We had to make some investments, which had some impact on our EBITDA margin, but as we talked about in our call in February, we feel very good about where we are now. We're getting very good traction in terms of bookings on our web analytics product, called, Digital Analytix, as well as the advertising measurement or campaign measurement product vCE. Such that now, as we look forward, we have a few of our revenue growth that, in the midpoint, is about 13%, range of 11% to 15%, at the early part of the year, and we feel we will continue to get good bookings growth. So as that gap, or distance, between the bookings growth percentage and the revenue growth closes, that will go through, pretty much directly to our profit line. And so from an EBITDA basis, we're indicating we think we'll be up 1% this year over last year, but we have the leverage there as these businesses turn to revenue. The turn to revenue now is more about timing of when the backlog, when the bookings, will actually become revenue, which ties more to when we measure impressions in terms of the advertising measurement product and also are tracking the web traffic, on our Digital Analytix product. Our core businesses, we're even more excited about them than we have been, because of the expansion of mobile measurement that we have done, is really getting nice traction in the marketplace. We saw evidence of that in Q4. Maybe it'd be a good time for Serge to talk about Multi-Platform. So I think that's something interesting that all investors have wanted to know about because we're so much more broad now than just online.

Matthew Chesler - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Serge, you want to talk about, this will be a segue into Multi-Platform then, can you talk about when you rolled that product out, what it does and what you think it will contribute?

Serge Matta

Sure, absolutely. So Multi-Platform Media Metrix is a product that we've been challenged by a lot of our clients in the past few years saying -- especially in 2012, whereby people are saying, you know what, I don't really care what platform people access the content. It's the same individual across all platforms. So how do you -- are you able measure one individual going to, let's say, CNN or ESPN, on their mobile device, on their tablets, on their smartphone, tablet, connected devices, PC, online video, don't really care, but it's not 5 or 6 individuals, it's really just one. So is there a way for you guys to de-duplicate that audience, instead of having 5 people, then having it one? And that's what we ended up doing. We released it at, as in beta form, but available to all our clients in early November. It has, really, for just November and December, we launched a very soft launch, we signed up 60 new clients. With 60 clients for that product, they were not -- not all of them were new, actually, most of them probably not new, they're existing Media Metrix clients, we upsold to Media Metrix Multi-Platform. And the feedback from clients have been just phenomenal. One of our top 5 customers basically called it a game changer. This is something that's a complete, unique product. No one out there is providing this service. Now obviously, minutes and pages, and all that, if you're watching it from your tablet on ESPN and then you go onto your PC, that's additive. But if you're the exact same person, you're not 2 or 3 people, you're just 1, so having a service that de-duplicates that audience is really unique, and that progression, we're going to come out of beta this month, in March, and it's going to include tablets and include smartphones, online video, PC, so really, really excited about this product and it's the -- we're glad to say that it's the only one in the marketplace today.

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