A10 Networks, Inc. (NYSE:ATEN) Q4 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

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A10 Networks, Inc. (NYSE:ATEN) Q4 2022 Earnings Call Transcript February 7, 2023

Operator: Good afternoon. Thank you for attending today's A10 Networks' Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 20 22 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Tamiya, and I will be your moderator for today. All lines will be muted during the presentation portion of the call with an opportunity for questions-and-answers at the end. I would now like to pass the conference over to your host, Rob Fink. Please proceed.

Rob Fink: Thank you, operator, and thank you all for joining us today. This call is being recorded and may be accessed for at least 90-days via the A10 Networks' website at A10networks.com. Hosting the call today are Dhrupad Trivedi, A10's President and CEO and CFO, Brian Becker. Before we begin, I would like to remind you that shortly after the market closed today, A10 Networks issued with a press release announcing its fourth quarter and full-year 2022 financial results. Additionally, A10 published a presentation and supplemental trended financial statements. You may access the press release, presentation and trended financial statements on the Investor Relations section of the company's website. During the course of today's call, management will be making forward-looking statements including statements regarding projections for future operating results, including potential revenue growth, industry and customer trends, capital allocation strategy, supply chain constraints, expectations, company's positioning and repurchase and dividend programs along with its market share.

These statements are based on current expectations and beliefs as of today February 7, 2023. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond the company's control such as the potential impact of COVID-19 on the business and operations that could cause actual results to differ materially and you should not rely on them as predictions for future events. A10 does not intend to update information contained in the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise unless required by law. For a more detailed description of these risks and uncertainties, please refer to the company's most recent 10-K. Please note with the exception of revenue, financial measures discussed today are on a non-GAAP basis and have been adjusted to exclude certain charges.

The non-GAAP financial measures are not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for results prepared in accordance with GAAP and may be different from non-GAAP financial measures presented by other companies. A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP measures can be found in the press release issued today and on the trended quarterly financial statements posted on the company's website. With all that said, I'd like to turn the call over to Dhrupad Trivedi. Dhrupad, the call is yours.

Dhrupad Trivedi: Thank you all, and thank you all for joining us today. This was another record year for A10 with top and bottom-line performance that validates A10's solid position in the marketplace and the earning power of our business. We continue to deliver revenue growth that exceeds the growth rate of the industry as we gain market share with best-in-class proprietary solutions. With strong gross margin and rigorous expense management, our bottom line grew faster than our top line and we utilized our robust cash generation to invest in technology for future growth and return capital to shareholders. Our management team has delivered consistent financial and operational results in spite of macro challenges. This is a testament to our team, our focus on execution and our loyal global customer base that continues to embrace our solutions.

The part of our business related to cybersecurity and revenue generating solutions for customers is increasingly durable, while we navigate increased volatility in areas of our business related to modernization. Our focus on critical network infrastructure and security solutions continues to drive our growth. Even when CapEx investments are moderated due to economy or interest rates, our solutions are prioritized. This is evident in the 14% product revenue growth in the quarter and the fact that we delivered strong growth in key regions such as the Americas and Asia Pacific. On a trailing 12-month basis, our product revenue is up 17%. As we have said in the past, and evidenced by performance in the fourth quarter, we are not reliant on any single geographic region and in fact, we are generating growth on a constant currency basis in nearly every region of the world where we operate.

We have done our best to build a risk mitigated business model, which we believe is largely insulated from volatility in any specific region, product category or customer type. This diversification is evident in our top customers. Looking at 10% customers by quarter, only three companies appeared on that list in 2022. In fact 22 different customers contributed revenue that could then in our top 10 at least once. I'd like to highlight two wins that demonstrate A10's successful land and expand commercial strategy. Rooted in our ability to capture market share through our technical superiority and performance criteria in head-to-head testing for critical customer needs. We were able to displace a competitive security incumbent in Japan with our DDoS protection solution.

Having a long-proven track record with the customer with our ADC and CGN solutions, a cloud service provider in Japan chose our DDoS protection to protect the environment, while providing significant zero-day automated protection, which was a differentiator for the sale. We discussed last quarter a deal with one of world's top digital advertising platform company. As a reminder, this customer had an urgent need to rapidly upgrade their infrastructure in order to support added features and enhanced functionality, including efficient and rapid infrastructure build up. As a result, our high throughput, low latency solution was chosen to help ensure the customers' existing revenue streams, while expanding their ability to generate new revenue streams.

These expansion orders are a reflection of our ability to continue growing with our large installed base, representing the most significant durable opportunity for continued growth. Diversification does not make us immune from economic challenge, but we believe we are positioned to navigate these situations better than our peers. Like many, we are seeing extended cycles. In addition, while many of our peers are reporting results, that compared to low growth periods last year, our team has continued to deliver several quarters consecutively robust growth. Most importantly, we are increasingly confident in our ability to achieve our profitability targets. Our EPS performance in the fourth quarter is also due in part to our ability to react quickly to increased volatility by managing expenses and allocating resources to ensure consistent and predictable profitability.

Our differentiation and technical strength enables us to maintain non-GAAP gross margins exceeding 80% for the full year, this was 80.3%. In addition, we are effectively allocating our operating expenses, while continuing to invest in the business especially in our technology. In the fourth quarter, our operating expenses increased 7.7%, compared to prior year and for the full-year our operating expenses increased by $13.2 million or 9.1%, against a 12.1% revenue growth. The result is accelerating profitability and EPS growth. Our adjusted EBITDA was a record $22.3 million for the fourth quarter and $75.1 million for the year. A10 earning power is clear. During 2022, we returned more than $95 million to shareholders in the form of cash dividend and stock repurchases and ended the year with nearly $151 million in cash and no debt.

This is approximately $2 in cash per share. We continue to manage and maintain a balance sheet. We also continue to maintain a disciplined, flexible and opportunistic capital allocation strategy. Today, our Board approved a quarterly dividend of $0.06 per share. We enter 2023 expecting full-year revenue growth that outpaces our peer set, while still delivering on our profitability goals in terms of adjusted EBITDA and EPS. With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Brian for a detailed review of the quarter and the year. Brian?

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Brian Becker: Thank you, Dhrupad. Fourth quarter revenue was a record $77.6 million, up 9.9% year-over-year. Product revenue for the quarter was $49.6 million, representing (ph) of total revenue, up 13.5% year-over-year. Services revenue, which includes maintenance and support revenue, was $28.1 million or 36.1% of total revenue. Moving to our revenue from a geographic standpoint. Revenue from North America was $41.2 million, up 21.8%. On a constant currency basis, revenue in Japan increased approximately 8% year-over-year in Q4. As you can see on our balance sheet, our deferred revenue was $127 million as of December 31, 2022, up 45 year-over-year. On a constant currency basis, deferred revenue would have increased 8% year-over-year.

This is a result of the geographic mix and the alignment with our global growth targets. For the exception of revenue, all of the metrics discussed on this call on a non-GAAP basis unless otherwise stated. A full reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP results are provided in our press release and on our website. Gross margin in the fourth quarter was 80.3%. As Dhrupad mentioned, we believe we successfully mitigated the impact of industry-wide global supply chain constraints and input cost increases during Q4. We reported $19.8 million in non-GAAP operating income, a record result, up 13%, compared with $17.6 million in the year ago quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $22.3 million for the quarter, also a record reflecting 28.7% of revenue. Non-GAAP net income for the quarter was up 12% year-over-year to $18.4 million or $0.24 on a per share basis.

From net income of $16.4 million or $0.20 per share in the fourth quarter last year. Diluted weighted shares used for computing non-GAAP EPS for the fourth quarter were approximately 75.4 million shares, compared to 80.3 million shares in the year ago quarter. On a GAAP basis, net income for the quarter was $18 million or $0.24 per share, compared with net income of $10.7 million or $0.13 per share in the year ago quarter. Turning to the full-year results. Revenue was a record $280.3 million, up 12.1% year-over-year. Product revenue for the year was $173.2 million, representing 61.8% of total revenue. Services revenue, which includes maintenance and support revenue was $107.1 million or 38.2% of total revenue. Non-GAAP gross margin for the year was 80.3%.

We reported $67 million in non-GAAP operating income, compared to $54 million last year. Adjusted EBITDA was $75.1 million for the year, compared to $62.4 million last year. Non-GAAP net income for the year was $57.7 million or $0.74 on a per share basis, compared to net income of $50.1 million or $0.63 per share last year. With Q3 2022 non-GAAP EPS of $0.20 and Q4 2022 non-GAAP EPS of $0.24. A10 generated $0.44 of non-GAAP EPS in the second half of 2022, up from $0.37 in the second half of 2021. Non-GAAP EPS exceeded consensus in all fourth quarters of 2022. Full-year 2022 non-GAAP EPS was $0.74 versus $0.63 last year. Excluding the non-recurring income tax benefit of $65.4 million, which represented approximately $0.82 on a per share basis for non-GAAP.

On a GAAP basis, net income for the year was $46.9 million or $0.60 per share, compared with net income of $94.9 million or $1.19 per share last year. Turning to the balance sheet, as of December 31, 2022, we had $151 million in total cash and cash equivalents, compared to $185 million at the end of 2021. During the year, we repurchased 6.1 million shares at an average price of $13.01 for a total of $79.3 million and repaid $15.9 million in cash dividends. We continue to carry no debt. The Board has approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.06 per share to be paid on March 1, 2023, the shareholders on record as of February 17, 2023. As Dhrupad mentioned, we expect full-year 2023 revenue growth to be faster than our peer set average and that we will deliver on our profitability targets.

I'll now turn the call back over to Dhrupad for closing comments.

Dhrupad Trivedi: Thank you, Brian. A10 is a diversified differentiated company with significant earnings power. Our revenue growth outpaces that of our market. Revenue growth also significantly exceeds expense growth, leading to acceleration of EBITDA, net income and cash flow. We continue to navigate economic headwinds and supply chain constraints. Our highly differentiated technical platform combined with our ability to achieve diversification in all aspects of our business has mitigated these impacts on our business, enabling us to deliver consistent performance. Our solutions are exceedingly well aligned with durable secular catalysts, which results in sustainable performance. I'm excited about A10's future and want to thank all our investors customers and employees for their support. Operator, you can now open the call up for questions.

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