Nuix fell another 11pc yesterday on its AGM trading update — but it still says better times are ahead
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As Nuix (ASX:NXL) held its AGM yestrerday morning, just a few days before the first anniversary of its listing, the company acknowledged it had been a tough time (that showed in its trading update) but it still reckons better days are ahead.
The data analytics software company, which has helped high-profile investigations such as the Panama Papers and the Royal Banking Commission, listed amidst last year’s pre-Christmas IPO boom. It listed at $5.31, jumped 60% on its first day and sat at over $11 a pop in January.
But it is now trading at little over $2.20 after repeated profit downgrades which sparked allegations that it inflated forecasts in its prospectus, and with it, two class actions and multiple ASIC probes.
The dramas sparked the departure of CEO Rod Vawdrey, CFO Stephen Doyle and co-founder Anthony Castagna. On top of all this the company’s sales were hit by the exended transition of government in the US and COVID-19 impacts on its customers.
Despite the turbulant year, chairman Jeff Bleich told shareholders a better future awaited.
In spite of the challenges he said he was “very proud of the resilience Nuix has demonstrated and what we have achieved”, noting his company’s software now serves over 1,000 customers across 79 countries and would continue to evolve.
“This past year is only the beginning. The amount of data in this world will continue to grow at a mind-altering pace and the need to find the truth in this data will grow ever-more urgent,” Bleich said.
“Out software platform is evolving to keep up with the needs of our customers and capitalise on the shift to data in the cloud.
“A strong endorsement of the strength and uniqueness of our technology is that our customers have overwhelmingly stuck with us.
“This is not out of sentimentality, it is because of the tremendous value solutions bring to their operations.”
Bleich also said the company had strengthened its governance structures as well as hired new executives – including a new CEO in Jonathan Rubinsztein – yet warned investors to be patient as the rest of the market realised the company had changed it ways.
“We understand that confidence is not a right but can only be earned. So we expect it to take time but we are doing the right things required to restore fully the trust and confidence of the market, including all of our valued shareholders.
“We truly believe that Nuix is better positioned than ever to succeed over the long-term.
“Our technology remains best-in-class, our customers have shown that they understand the unique value we are able to provide and we have strengthened our team and matured our structure to capture the significant market opportunity ahead of us.”
Bleich commented briefly on the current investigations by ASIC, promising to co-operate.
“Our commitment to you is that we will handle these professionally and responsibly and consistent with our commitment to finding truth,” he said.
Outgoing CEO Rod Vawdrey also addressed shareholders, again expressing optimism for the future.
“I will leave Nuix in the next few weeks confidently knowing the business and our customers are in safe hands. And I believe Jonathan Rubinsztein is the right leader to take Nuix to even greater heights,” he said.
Nuix also gave its shareholders a trading update which was arguably what sparked its shares to fall.
On the positive side, its statutory revenue for the four months ending October was up 10%.
However its new customer revenue was tracking 40% lower than the same last year, its Annualised Contract Value (ACV) was flat and earnings were down as a result of a growing cost base.
The company said it was investing for growth and benefits would flow in future periods.
It also said its revenue profile was variable across the year with December and June being the busiest months in typical years.