CX Performance Preview: Could it beat consensus?

Cyberplex (CX.TO) reports Q2 earnings on August 6, 2009 after close of the market. In conjunction with the release, Cyberplex will host a conference call on Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 4:30 p.m. EST to discuss the financial results.

Call details:
Participant Dial-in Numbers:
U.S. Toll Free: 1-877-737-1669
Canadian Toll Free: 1-800-501-6064
International Toll: 302-709-8008
Verbal Passcode (to be given to the operator): VR63282
There is greater likelihood than not that Cyberplex could beat consensus forecasts.

During the Q1 conference call, management confirmed that there is inherent seasonality in performance. Typically, both Q2 and Q3 results decline sequentially from Q1, and then improve again for Q4. Most analysts are likely to reflect this seasonality in their forecasts for this reporting period, especially after Q1 results came in much stronger than consensus.

However, there is better than 50% probability that CX could exceed consensus analyst forecasts for the following reasons:
  • Google foreshadows Cyberplex. Google results beat published analyst forecasts for Q2, showing some sequential growth in revenue and earnings. During the depths of the recession, marketing managers were increasingly seeking performance-based advertising in the form of Cost-per-Click programs (Google's primary revenue engine). Cost-per-action (CPA) based advertising is even more performance based than CPC, which could bode well for Cyberplex performance, especially as some mainstream accounts begin to take notice and sign on.
  • Cash acceleration. At the two-third point of the quarter, the Company closed approximately $16 million in financing by way of a bought deal equity issue, increasing total working capital from $8.9 million ($4.7 million cash) to approximately $25 million ($21 million cash). This extra capital could have been deployed towards more aggressive affiliate marketing during the last weeks of the quarter, implying a late quarter bump in revenue performance.
Both of these datapoints suggest that there could be surprise upside to forecasted performance as the company continues to catch lightning in a bottle.

Are there downside risks? Yes.

  • As earnings have surged for this company over the past three quarters, it has a clearly identified risk in category concentration. Essentially, its Health & Beauty line of business has represented over 50% of total performance. Without further diversification, a small decline in sales for this category would have a relatively larger negative impact on performance.
  • The new capital could be a distraction to management. With a significant injection of cash comes more intense pressure on management to do something with it - such as making an acquisition. More time on acquisition strategies may imply less time spent on core business activities, which could negatively impact performance in the short-term.

Notwithstanding the identified risks, the generally positive market conditions for performanced-based online advertising (as reflected through Google results), and the recent injection of capital could point to better than forecasted performance by Cyberplex for the reporting period. With an improving economy and new capital, the outlook for Cyberplex is likely to also improve.

Disclosure: I own shares of CX, I do not own shares of GOOG

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