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Fluent Announces Second Quarter 2019 Financial Results

  • Q2 2019 revenue of $70.6 million, up 24% over Q2 2018
  • Net income from continuing operations of $0.7 million, or $0.01 per share
  • Media margin of $22.9 million, up 4% over Q2 2018 and representing 32% of revenue
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $9.7 million, representing 14% of revenue
  • Adjusted net income of $4.6 million, or $0.06 per share

NEW YORK, Aug. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fluent, Inc. (FLNT), a leading data-driven performance marketing company, today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019.

Ryan Schulke, Fluent’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our second quarter results reflect strong top-line growth of 24% year-over-year, stemming from increased demand from some of our highest-profile advertiser clients. We believe this demand validates the effectiveness of our performance marketing solutions with leading-edge advertisers, with whom we saw an opportunity in Q2 to strategically capture share for the long-term. At the same time, as we moved in real-time to fulfill that demand, the media we acquired to do so came at a higher cost. Building a business around high-quality clients often comes at a lower margin in the short term, but as we invest into newer supply channels and optimize to improve our yields, we are working to build value for the long term. Our updated outlook for 2019 reflects these investments."

Second Quarter Highlights

  • Revenue of $70.6 million, an increase of 24% over Q2 2018
  • Net income from continuing operations of $0.7 million, or $0.01 per share, compared to $2.6 million, or $0.03 per share, in Q2  2018
  • Media margin of $22.9 million, an increase of 4% over Q2 2018 and representing 32% of revenue
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $9.7 million, representing 14% of revenue
  • Adjusted net income of $4.6 million, or $0.06 per share

Media margin, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income are non-GAAP financial measures. Media margin is defined as revenue minus cost of revenue (exclusive of depreciation and amortization) attributable to variable costs paid for media and related expenses. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income (loss) from continuing operations, excluding (1) income taxes, (2) interest expense, net, (3) depreciation and amortization, (4) share-based compensation expense, (5) acquisition-related costs, (6) restructuring and certain severance costs, (7) certain litigation and related costs, and (8) one-time items. Adjusted net income is defined as net income (loss) from continuing operations, excluding (1) share-based compensation expense, (2) acquisition-related costs, (3) restructuring and certain severance costs, (4) certain litigation and related costs, and (5) one-time items. Adjusted net income is also presented on a per share (basic and diluted) basis. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures are provided below.

Business Outlook - 2019

Fluent is providing updated revenue, media margin and Adjusted EBITDA guidance for full-year 2019 as follows:

  • Revenue is anticipated to be $277-$285 million, representing growth of 11%-14% over full-year 2018, and as compared with $285-$293 million previously.
  • Media margin is anticipated to be in the range of $93-$98 million, as compared with $100-$106 million previously.
  • Adjusted EBITDA is anticipated to be in the range of $37-$42 million, as compared with $46-$50 million previously.

Fluent is not able to provide a reconciliation of projected media margin or adjusted EBITDA to the most directly comparable expected GAAP results, due to the unknown effect, timing and potential significance of certain operating costs and expenses, share-based compensation expense, depreciation and amortization expense, interest expense (net), and the provision for (benefit from) income taxes.

Conference Call

Fluent, Inc. will host a conference call on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 4:30 PM ET to discuss its 2019 second quarter financial results. To listen to the conference call on your telephone, please dial (888) 339-0797 for domestic callers, or (412) 317-5248 for international callers. To access the live audio webcast, visit the Fluent website at investors.fluentco.com. Please login at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the call to ensure adequate time for any downloads that may be required. Following completion of the earnings call, a recorded replay of the webcast will be available for those unable to participate. To listen to the telephone replay, please dial (877) 344-7529 or (412) 317-0088 with the replay passcode 10133583. The replay will also be available for one week on the Fluent website at investors.fluentco.com.

About Fluent, Inc.

Fluent (FLNT) is a leading performance marketing company with expertise in creating meaningful connections between consumers and brands. Leveraging our proprietary first-party database of opted-in consumer profiles, Fluent drives intelligent growth strategies that deliver superior outcomes. Founded in 2010, the company is headquartered in New York City. For more information, visit www.fluentco.com.

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

The matters contained in this press release may be considered to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations or anticipations of Fluent and members of our management team. Factors currently known to management that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include the following: compliance with a significant number of governmental laws and regulations, including those laws and regulations regarding privacy and data; failure to safeguard the personal information and other data contained in our database; failure to compete effectively against other online marketing and advertising companies; dependence on third-party publishers, internet search providers and social media platforms for a significant portion of visitors to our websites; dependence on our key personnel; dependence on emails, text messages and telephone calls, among other channels, to reach users for marketing purposes; competition we face for web traffic; ability to compete and manage media costs in an industry characterized by rapidly-changing internet media and advertising technology, evolving industry standards, regulatory uncertainty, and changing user and client demands; liability related to actions of third-party publishers; limitations on our or our third-party publishers’ ability to collect and use data derived from user activities; ability to remain competitive with the shift of online interactions from computers to mobile devices; dependence on third-party service providers; management of the growth of our operations, including the integration of the AdParlor business and other acquired business units or personnel; management of unfavorable publicity and negative public perception about our industry; failure to meet our clients’ performance metrics or changing needs; failure to detect click-through or other fraud on advertisements; achievement of some or all of the benefits that we expect to achieve as a stand-alone company; failure to adequately protect intellectual property rights or allegations of infringement of intellectual property rights; compliance with the covenants of our credit agreement; and the potential for failures in our internal control over financial reporting. These and additional factors to be considered are set forth under “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fluent undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results or expectations.

 
FLUENT, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(Amounts in thousands, except share and per share data)
(unaudited)
           
  June 30, 2019     December 31, 2018  
ASSETS:          
Cash and cash equivalents $ 21,836     $ 17,769  
Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts of $461 and $1,751, respectively 45,705     48,652  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 2,493     1,971  
Total current assets 70,034     68,392  
Restricted cash 1,480     1,480  
Property and equipment, net 3,025     1,380  
Operating lease right-of-use assets 10,271      
Intangible assets, net 56,583     61,812  
Goodwill 159,791     159,791  
Other non-current assets 435     414  
Total assets $ 301,619     $ 293,269  
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY:          
Accounts payable $ 6,426     $ 7,855  
Accrued expenses and other current liabilities 16,654     21,566  
Deferred revenue 646     444  
Current portion of long-term debt 5,380     3,500  
Current portion of operating lease liability 2,184      
Total current liabilities 31,290     33,365  
Long-term debt, net 47,645     51,972  
Operating lease liability, net 9,647      
Other non-current liabilities 766     766  
Total liabilities 89,348     86,103  
Shareholders' equity:          
Preferred stock - $0.0001 par value, 10,000,000 shares authorized; 0 shares issued and outstanding at June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018      
Common stock - $0.0005 par value, 200,000,000 shares authorized; 78,534,774 and 76,525,581 shares issued at June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, respectively; and 76,749,285  and 75,292,383 shares outstanding at June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, respectively 39     38  
Treasury stock, at cost, 1,785,489 and 1,233,198 shares at June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, respectively (6,351 )   (3,272 )
Additional paid-in capital 402,192     395,769  
Accumulated deficit (183,609 )   (185,369 )
Total shareholders' equity 212,271     207,166  
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $ 301,619     $ 293,269  
           


FLUENT, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(Amounts in thousands, except share and per share data)
(unaudited)
 
  Three Months Ended June 30,
  Six Months Ended June 30,
  2019
  2018
  2019
  2018
Revenue $ 70,560     $ 56,935     $ 137,121     $ 112,924  
Costs and expenses:                      
Cost of revenue (exclusive of depreciation and amortization) 49,133     35,757     93,962     73,376  
Sales and marketing 3,058     3,167     6,492     6,269  
Product development 2,287     1,142     4,445     1,876  
General and administrative 10,294     8,953     20,329     15,612  
Depreciation and amortization 3,306     3,338     6,623     6,669  
Spin-off transaction costs             7,708  
Total costs and expenses 68,078     52,357     131,851     111,510  
Income from operations 2,482     4,578     5,270     1,414  
Interest expense, net (1,767 )   (1,933 )   (3,545 )   (4,327 )
Income (loss) before income taxes from continuing operations 715     2,645     1,725     (2,913 )
Income tax benefit         35      
Net income (loss) from continuing operations 715     2,645     1,760     (2,913 )
Discontinued operations:                      
Loss from operations of discontinued operations, net of $0 income taxes             (2,084 )
Loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of $0 income taxes             (19,040 )
Net loss from discontinued operations             (21,124 )
Net income (loss) $ 715     $ 2,645     $ 1,760     $ (24,037 )
Basic income (loss) per share:                      
Continuing operations $ 0.01     $ 0.03     $ 0.02     $ (0.04 )
Discontinued operations $     $     $     $ (0.28 )
Net income (loss) $ 0.01     $ 0.03     $ 0.02     $ (0.32 )
Diluted income (loss) per share:                      
Continuing operations $ 0.01     $ 0.03     $ 0.02     $ (0.04 )
Discontinued operations $     $     $     $ (0.28 )
Net income (loss) $ 0.01     $ 0.03     $ 0.02     $ (0.32 )
Weighted average number of shares outstanding:                      
Basic 79,388,383     78,196,959     79,297,599     74,885,746  
Diluted 81,132,304     78,196,959     80,443,530     74,885,746  
                       
(1) Amounts include share-based compensation expense as follows:                      
Sales and marketing expenses 160     742     529     1,408  
Product development 277     193     522     351  
General and administrative expenses 2,517     1,679     4,178     2,094  
Spin-off transaction costs             5,409  
Discontinued operations             15,713  
Total share-based compensation expense 2,954     2,614     5,229     24,975  
 


FLUENT, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(Amounts in thousands)
(unaudited)
 
  Six Months Ended June 30,
  2019
  2018
CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:          
Net income (loss) $ 1,760     $ (24,037) )
Net loss from discontinued operations     21,124  
Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) from continuing operations to net cash provided by operating activities:          
Depreciation and amortization 6,623     6,669  
Non-cash interest expense and related amortization 648     1,079  
Share-based compensation expense 5,229     9,262  
Provision for bad debt 189     93  
Allocation of expenses to Red Violet     (325 )
Changes in assets and liabilities:          
Accounts receivable 2,758     (1,793 )
Prepaid expenses and other current assets (522 )   (173 )
Other non-current assets (21 )   541  
Operating lease assets and liabilities, net 1,560      
Accounts payable (1,551 )   (208 )
Accrued expenses and other current liabilities (3,762 )   (2,366 )
Deferred revenue 202     578  
Net cash provided by operating activities from continuing operations 13,113     10,444  
Net cash used in operating activities from discontinued operations     (5,835 )
Net cash provided by operating activities 13,113     4,609  
CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:          
Acquisition of property and equipment (1,894 )   (92 )
Capitalized costs included in intangible assets (978 )   (512 )
Capital contributed to Red Violet     (19,728 )
Net cash used in investing activities from continuing operations (2,872 )   (20,332 )
Net cash used in investing activities from discontinued operations     (1,386 )
Net cash used in investing activities (2,872 )   (21,718 )
CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:          
Proceeds from issuance of shares, net of issuance costs     13,392  
Proceeds from debt obligations, net of debt costs     67,182  
Repayments of long-term debt (3,095 )   (67,982 )
Taxes paid related to net share settlement of restricted stock units and issuance of restricted stock (3,079 )   (1,979 )
Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities (6,174 )   10,613  
Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash 4,067     (6,496 )
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at beginning of period 19,249     16,564  
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of period $ 23,316     $ 10,068  
           

Definitions, Reconciliations and Uses of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The following non-GAAP measures are used in this release:

Media margin is defined as revenue minus cost of revenue (exclusive of depreciation and amortization) attributable to variable costs paid for media and related expenses. Media margin is also presented as percentage of revenue.

Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income (loss) from continuing operations, excluding (1) income taxes, (2) interest expense, net, (3) depreciation and amortization, (4) share-based compensation expense, (5) acquisition-related costs, (6) restructuring and certain severance costs, (7) certain litigation and other related costs, and (8) one-time items.

Adjusted net income is defined as net income (loss) from continuing operations, excluding (1) share-based compensation expense, (2) acquisition-related costs, (3) restructuring and certain severance costs, (4) certain litigation and other related costs, and (5) one-time items. Adjusted net income per share is defined as adjusted net income per basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding. Adjusted net income is also presented on a per share (basic and diluted) basis.

Below is a reconciliation of media margin from net income (loss) from continuing operations, which we believe is the most directly comparable GAAP measure.

 
  Three Months Ended June 30,
  Six Months Ended June 30,
(In thousands) 2019
  2018
  2019
  2018
Net income (loss) from continuing operations  $ 715     $ 2,645     $ 1,760     $ (2,913 )
Income tax benefit         (35 )    
Interest expense, net 1,767     1,933     3,545     4,327  
Spin-off transaction costs             7,708  
Depreciation and amortization 3,306     3,338     6,623     6,669  
General and administrative 10,294     8,953     20,329     15,612  
Product development 2,287     1,142     4,445     1,876  
Sales and marketing 3,058     3,167     6,492     6,269  
Non-media cost of revenue (1) 1,475     813     2,836     1,756  
Media margin $ 22,902     $ 21,991     $ 45,995     $ 41,304  
Revenue $ 70,560     $ 56,935     $ 137,121     $ 112,924  
Media margin % of revenue 32.5 %   38.6 %   33.5 %   36.6 %
 


(1) Represents the portion of cost of revenue (exclusive of depreciation and amortization) not attributable to variable costs paid for media and related expenses.

Below is a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA from net income (loss) from continuing operations, which we believe is the most directly comparable GAAP measure.

 
  Three Months Ended June 30,
  Six Months Ended June 30,
(In thousands) 2019
  2018
  2019
  2018
Net income (loss) from continuing operations $ 715     $ 2,645     $ 1,760     $ (2,913 )
Income tax benefit         (35 )    
Interest expense, net 1,767     1,933     3,545     4,327  
Depreciation and amortization 3,306     3,338     6,623     6,669  
Share-based compensation expense 2,954     2,614     5,229     9,262  
Acquisition-related costs 448     140     448     557  
Restructuring and certain severance costs 250     269     360     2,591  
Certain litigation and other related costs 227         716     46  
One-time items         168      
Adjusted EBITDA $ 9,667     $ 10,939     $ 18,814     $ 20,539  
 

Below is a reconciliation of adjusted net income and the related measure of adjusted net income per share from net income (loss) from continuing operations, which we believe is the most directly comparable GAAP measure.

       
  Three Months Ended June 30,
  Six Months Ended June 30, 
(In thousands, except share data)  2019
  2018
  2019
  2018 
Net income (loss) from continuing operations  $ 715     $ 2,645     $ 1,760     $ (2,913 )
Share-based compensation expense   2,954       2,614       5,229       9,262  
Acquisition-related costs   448       140       448       557  
Restructuring and certain severance costs   250       269       360       2,591  
Certain litigation and other related costs   227             716       46  
One-time items               168        
Adjusted net income $ 4,594     $ 5,668     $ 8,681     $ 9,543  
Adjusted net income per share:              
Basic $ 0.06     $ 0.07     $ 0.11     $ 0.13  
Diluted $ 0.06     $ 0.07     $ 0.11     $ 0.13  
Weighted average number of shares outstanding:              
Basic 79,388,383     78,196,959     79,297,599     74,885,746  
Diluted 81,132,304     78,196,959     80,443,530     74,885,746  
                       

We present media margin, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share as supplemental measures of our financial and operating performance because we believe they provide useful information to investors. More specifically:

Media margin, as defined above, is a measure of the efficiency of the Company’s operating model. We use media margin and the related measure of media margin as a percentage of revenue as primary metrics to measure the financial return on our media and related costs, specifically to measure the degree by which the revenue generated from our digital marketing services exceeds the cost to attract the consumers to whom offers are made through our services. Media margin is used extensively by our management to manage our operating performance, including evaluating operational performance against budgeted media margin and understanding the efficiency of our media and related expenditures. We also use media margin for performance evaluations and compensation decisions regarding certain personnel.

Adjusted EBITDA, as defined above, is another primary metric by which we evaluate the operating performance of our business, on which certain operating expenditures and internal budgets are based and by which, in addition to media margin and other factors, our senior management is compensated. The first three adjustments represent the conventional definition of EBITDA, and the remaining adjustments are items recognized and recorded under GAAP in particular periods but might be viewed as not necessarily coinciding with the underlying business operations for the periods in which they are so recognized and recorded. These adjustments include certain severance costs associated with department-specific reorganizations and certain litigation and other related costs associated with extraordinary legal matters. Items are considered one-time in nature if they are non-recurring, infrequent or unusual and have not occurred in the past two years or are not expected to recur in the next two years, in accordance with SEC rules. Adjusted EBITDA for the six months ended June 30, 2019 excluded as one-time items $0.2 million of costs associated with the move of our corporate headquarters. There were no other adjustments for one-time items in the periods presented.

Adjusted net income, as defined above, and the related measure of adjusted net income per share exclude certain items that are recognized and recorded under GAAP in particular periods but might be viewed as not necessarily coinciding with the underlying business operations for the periods in which they are so recognized and recorded. Adjusted net income for the six months ended June 30, 2019 excluded as one-time items $0.2 million of costs associated with the move of our corporate headquarters. There were no other adjustments for one-time items in the periods presented. We believe adjusted net income affords investors a different view of the overall financial performance of the Company than adjusted EBITDA and the GAAP measure of net income from continuing operations.

Media margin, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share are not intended to be performance measures that should be regarded as an alternative to, or more meaningful than, net income (loss) from continuing operations as indicators of operating performance. None of these metrics are presented as measures of liquidity. The way we measure media margin, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies and may not be identical to corresponding measures used in our various agreements.

Contact Information:
Investor Relations
Fluent, Inc.
(917) 310-2070
InvestorRelations@fluentco.com