The more I look under the hood, at this company’s now three years of public reporting history (a project I am just getting started on, truthfully) — the more I think we should all simply use GAAP metrics, to have consistently meaningful period to period comparators. Specifically, these folks pay out a ton in stock based compensation, and if they do manage to engineer an M&A deal or otherwise sell the company, those amounts will balloon. [Of course — I well understand the argument for excluding stock comp, in newer company “adjusted EPS” results, but most of those no longer apply to Textura — it is now a maturing public company, with a second generation of leadership at the helm.]
And (to that point) — if they have to “go it alone,” on a going-forward basis — a declining stock price will mean (per force) that they will need to issue ever-more shares, just to keep the executive talent from walking away. Now add that the stock has fallen from the middle $20’s to the middle teens, and I’d be nervous about ignoring the stock compensation’s impact on operations — it was a negative 24 cents per share of “simply ignored” downramp, in the company’s “as adjusted” fourth quarter 2015 results, alone.
People, do be careful betting on this one — as the company’s guidance (and thus its motivational focus, truth be told) really steers away from looking at GAAP numbers. But in order to defend any real lasting long term stock price appreciation, the company WILL have to show GAAP earnings per share from continuing operations. Otherwise, this is (like so many others) just a dot.com 2.0 bubble type play.
You’ve been warned. The independent stock analysts on the webcast are clearly spooked — as well they should be — by this recent cliff-fall, in Textura’s NASDAQ prices. And… the webcast call is now done — as am I.
On the brighter side of things (to be fair), at least the GAAP per share trend-line is heading in the right direction, generally — away from ongoing losses.
[As a footnote, I’ll point out that my guesses of last night, on EPS, did NOT include the effect of the stock based compensation. From now on, I will — and it is clear that the company lost about what I thought it would lose, in the quarter just ended. I just think the road to acheiving consistent GAAP EPS quarter by quarter, is longer than the management is willing to admit, at least as of tonight’s webcast. Ugh.]