Compuware Earnings Call Nuggets: Deal Closures and Sales Kickoff Process

Compuware Corporation (NASDAQ:CPWR) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Deal Closures

Aaron Schwartz – Jefferies: I just had a follow-up question on the 60% of the deals I think you said expect to close here in Q1. I was wondering if you could sort of update us on sort of how you get there and given at what point it is in the quarter right now, as you know majority of that has already closed?

Bob Paul – CEO: To go back in the pre-earnings call, we stated that about 75% to 80% of the deals that were in commit in the last two weeks of the quarter had pushed out, and we talked about the reasons for that. So, 60% of those were coming in at Q1 a number of those deals have already closed and overall we are feeling quite positive about Q1 right now. I will tell you that obviously as with any software company, particularly enterprise companies a fair amount of our revenue does get booked in the last month and then particularly last two to three weeks. So there is still some work to do, but I don’t have the exact percentages of the 60%, but I can tell you that several of deals have closed and the other ones are looking obviously quite strong.

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Aaron Schwartz – Jefferies: And then second question if I could, it was great to see the dividend announcement last week, I think a lot of people are sort of interested in sort of the commitment and the funding around that, it seems like from cash flow guidance you can get there on your own, but is the dividend sort of dependent on the outcome of some of the cost reduction activities and that’s it for me thanks?

Bob Paul – CEO: We can’t get there on our own and obviously we have no long term debt to speak off. It is not dependent upon the cost rationalization program. But nonetheless we are obviously very committed to that cost rationalization program and we’ll keep you updated as we progress through the quarters and the next couple of years on how that goes a lot of that by the way is just simply major programs, major contracts that we are not doing and just improving our business processes or IT infrastructure and things like that. So we are very confident that all that work that has to get done is in our control and pretty readily achievable. So that dividend is committed and well within the grasp of the cash that we have.

Sales Kickoff Process

Ginette Rowe – Evercore Partners: This is Ginette Rowe speaking in for Kirk. Can you talk about the sales kick-off process for this year? And has the cost reduction efforts impacted that process?

Bob Paul – CEO: Actually we invested a little bit more in our sales kick-off meetings this year than we have done in prior years and the reason for that is, obviously, we’ve got a great new product rollout that’s recently occurred in Q4 and Q1 in many of our business units. We wanted to make sure that we have everybody in a single environment to make sure that the programs that we’ve rolled out, that we did so with discipline across the world, not just in certain regions. So the cost rationalization program had no impact on the sales kick-off events. The sales kick-off events have already occurred. Actually it occurred in throughout the few weeks, middle of April timeframe. And the energy coming out of those meetings and the crispness of what we have to get done and the showing of the leadership around the Company was, from my perspective, very, very impressive. So we have a lot of positive energy coming out of the kick-off meetings and we’re all excited to start achieving these results…

Ginette Rowe – Evercore Partners: And on another topic, for APM, can you discuss the competitive dynamics in this market and have anything changed over the last six months?

Bob Paul – CEO: Yeah, really – nothing really has changed. There has been a fee change in the requirements to solve performance management issues. The complexity goes up as IT environment goes up in the delivery chain. It requires a different way of solving the performance management problem. We’re the only Company that can do that in a very meaningful and detailed way across the delivery chain and all elements of the delivery chain, and therefore we’re taking significant market share away from the traditional players. As it relates to the some of the newer players, we’re competing very effectively against those. We’ve had some new releases and the premium environment and also updating the Gomez SaaS platform with Real-User Monitoring as a small example of some of the things that we’ve done, and then obviously the dynaTrace platform now working in the cloud seamlessly and solving big data problems. They have all been having an impact on both sides of the equation, the smaller players and the larger players. And to put it in perspective, having an enterprise solution for this problem, we believe is the only viable way of solving it moving forward, because it is an enterprise infrastructure, and right now if you combine the revenues from the two of the upcoming smaller vendors, I think we’re four times that amount. So, we continue to invest much more meaningfully in the environment to make sure the competitive difference is still there also.

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Ginette Rowe – Evercore Partners: Lastly for Mainframe, can you talk about this business and how you see it trending in fiscal year ’14 after a tough fiscal year ’13?

Bob Paul – CEO: It was a tough fiscal year ’13, and we knew it was going to be tough. We just didn’t realize it was going to be that tough. There are bunch of variables that we’ve already talked about. Our maintenance renewal opportunities at the end of the year were down, which means that the number of contracts that were up for renewal in typical three of five year cycle was down. That stabilizes this year. We have a brand-new product that’s just come out which is – we believe game changing and the pipeline is starting finally show that. So, we’re very excited about deploying performance management, providing complete visibility on the Mainframe, on the same platform that we do so on non-Mainframe environments and we also had a little bit of a buying cycle change last year when the new IBM hardware was announced it created a little bit of pent up demand, but we are not seeing any obstacles this year and we are very confident that the, we are going to meet the numbers that we outlined in our forecast which is overall a light decline in total Mainframe revenue.

A Closer Look: Compuware Earnings Cheat Sheet>>