FactSet Research Systems Conference Call Highlights: Competitive Position and Growth

FactSet Research Systems, Inc. (NYSE:FDS) reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its conference call.

Competitive Position

Peter Appert – Piper Jaffray asked: With the competitive dynamics, there’s still a lot of noise in the marketplace with Thomson and Cap IQ getting more aggressive from a pricing perspective. Can you share some color on that?

Philip A. Hadley – Chairman and CEO responded: There is always noise in the marketplace.

I can’t really speak to what is taking place inside the other firms, but certainly at a competitor level inside the client, the competitive dynamics in the marketplace does not shift quarter-to-quarter. It probably shifts just ever so slightly year-to-year. It’s just because it takes time to convert people’s workflows.

We feel very good about our current competitive position, and I spend a good deal of time monitoring any time we gain revenue in a client and why any time we lose revenue in a client. And decomposing what the competitive dynamic is, and I guess the quick summary is that it just doesn’t change that quickly.

But we feel good about our current position.

Shlomo Rosenbaum – Stifel Nicolaus followed-up: I want to focus on the dislocation with the competitors out there. There’s been some talk about them trying to stem market share losses by potentially bundling more software together in terms of protecting their base. I was wondering if you’re seeing any of that going on in terms of competitive situations.

Michael D. Frankenfield – EVP and Director of Global Sales responded: I think as Phil stated, our competitive landscape really hasn’t changed that much and it is slow to evolve.

We perceive that the landscape is very competitive.

What we really focus on is executing our product, executing on our sales strategy. Clients certainly are going to alter their price strategy and bundle if they think they’ve got a competitive situation, where price may help them. But we believe that for the markets we serve, our clients are interested in buying the best product.

So that’s really what we focus on is executing, delivering the best product possible. We believe the evidence is showing that versus our largest competitors, we continue to take share.

Long-Term State of Growth

Shlomo Rosenbaum – Stifel Nicolaus asked: You have said you’re comfortable with the current state of profitability, which you think is a fair long-term state of profitability. What do you think is a fair long-term state of growth for the company?

Philip A. Hadley – Chairman and CEO responded: I’ve said now, since the days that I’ve been in the business and my goal is to double this business.

Internally we’re talking about doubling this business. It’s the way we look at everything we do and that is making sure we put the pieces in place to make sure that happens.

In Mike’s world, it’s to make sure I have the sales force in place, to make sure I can sell that much product.

In Peter’s world it’s about building a product and making sure that we’re delivering that kind of value to the marketplace.

We’re in a business that the biggest two players add up to $15 billion in opportunity. So, the market’s got to be close to $20 billion out there and we’re not even $1 billion yet.

So, I look at it and think, if we just keep executing the opportunity for us to deliver our business is right in front of us and we just keep marching ahead.

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