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Zendesk (ZEN) Q4 Earnings Miss Estimates, Revenues Beat

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Zacks Equity Research
·5 min read
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Zendesk Inc ZEN reported fourth-quarter 2020 earnings of 11 cents per share that missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 26.7%. However, the bottom line increased 10% on a year-over-year basis. Shares of Zendesk moved up 1.6% and closed at $158 on Feb 5 following the announcement of fourth-quarter results.

Revenues of $283.5 million rallied 23% from the year-ago quarter’s levels and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.2%. The year-over-year upside was driven by robust adoption of the company’s offerings by new and existing clients.

The company also announced that CFO Elena Gomez will step down from her role in the upcoming months. The company is looking for her replacement.

Zendesk, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Zendesk, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Zendesk, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Zendesk, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Zendesk, Inc. Quote

Quarter in Details

Geographically, revenues from the United States, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Other contributed 51.2%, 28.9%, 10.5% and 9.3%, respectively, to net sales.

Percentage of Support MRR from customers with 100 or more Support agents — a key metric to gauge the company’s growth — was 44% compared with 43% reported in the year-ago quarter.

Percentage of total annualized recurring revenues (ARR) from customers with ARR of $100,000 or more stood at 49% at the end of fourth-quarter 2020.

Total remaining performance obligations (RPO) increased 44% year over year in the quarter under review to $925 million.

At the end of fourth-quarter 2020, paid customer accounts were nearly 173,600, up 4,000 sequentially. The company’s dollar-based net expansion rate was at 112%.

Operating Details

Non-GAAP gross margin expanded 270 basis points (bps) on a year-over-year basis to 79.4%. Gross margin benefited from higher revenues and improved hosting efficiencies as well as customer success optimization.

Non-GAAP research & development (R&D), sales & marketing (S&M) and general & administrative (G&A) expenses surged 26.4%, 26.7% and 19.5%, respectively.

However, as a percentage of revenues, R&D expenses remained unchanged on a year-over-year basis at 19%. S&M expenses, as a percentage of revenues, increased 10 bps to 42%. G&A expenses, as a percentage of revenues, declined 10 bps year over year to 11%.

Non-GAAP operating income increased 58.9% year over year to $18.5 million, while non-GAAP operating margin expanded 140 bps to 6.5%.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Metrics

As of Dec 31, 2020, Zendesk’s cash and cash equivalents came in at $405.4 million compared with $383.3 million as of Sep 30, 2020.

In the fourth quarter, cash provided by operating activities stood at $46.3 million compared with $33.4 million generated in the previous quarter.

Free cash flow (non-GAAP) generated came in at $38.2 million compared with $24.8 million reported in third-quarter 2020.

2020 Numbers at a Glance

Zendesk reported revenues of $1.03 billion in 2020, up 26% from 2019 tally.

Non-GAAP earnings per share were 52 cents, up 67.7% from 31 cents reported in 2019.

Non-GAAP gross margin expanded 340 bps to 78.7%, while non-GAAP operating margin surged 370 bps to 7%.

For 2020, Zendesk generated free cash flow (non-GAAP) of $26.5 million compared with $42.3 million in the previous year.

Guidance

For first-quarter 2021, Zendesk expects revenues between $291 and $296 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is currently pegged at $289.5 million.

Non-GAAP operating income is expected in the range of $15-$19 million for the first quarter.

For 2021, Zendesk expects revenues between $1.28 billion and $1.305 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is currently pegged at $1.27 billion.

Non-GAAP operating income is expected in the range of $90-$105 million and free cash flow is expected between $85 million and $100 million.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Zendesk has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are CDW Corporation CDW, CrowdStrike CRWD and Broadcom AVGO. All the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

CDW, Broadcom and CrowdStrike are scheduled to release earnings on Feb 10, Mar 4 and Mar 16, respectively.

Long-term earnings growth rate for CDW, CrowdStrike and Broadcom are currently pegged at 13.1%, 25%, and 12.9%, respectively.

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