Inuvo reports 2016 revenue of $71.5 million, expects double-digit growth this year

by Jennifer Joyner (JJoyner@nwabj.com) 63 views 

Inuvo, a publicly traded advertising technology and digital publishing company in Little Rock, in 2017 expects double-digit growth in business and about $15 million in revenue from its recent $5.6 million NetSeer acquisition in 2017, the company reported in a shareholders conference call on Monday (Feb. 13).

The company also reported 2016 revenue at $71.5 million, up 2% year-over-year, the company reported.

“2016 was a very busy year at Inuvo, marked by successes and some challenges,” said Chairman and CEO Rich Howe.

The executive said “advertising issues” held the company back in early 2016, but it made up that ground in the second half of the year showing, 12% growth revenue in both the third and fourth quarters.

The company also showed $612,000 (or $0.02) per share in adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter, up 46% from the third quarter, according to the company.

The ad technology piece of the company grew 86% between the beginning and the end of 2016, garnering $9.8 million in revenue during the fourth quarter, according to Inuvo. The company credits strong demand in its partner ads operation as well as “greater acceptance” by digital publishers of the company’s SearchLinks artificial intelligence ad technology.

The NetSeer acquisition now falls into the ad technology side of Inuvo’s business. Inuvo purchased the Sunnydale, Calif.-based company earlier this month for 3.53 million shares of Inuvo’s common stock at $1.60 a share, Howe said.

Moving forward, the company expects 20% of earnings to come from NetSeer’s licensed products, including the company’s in-image ad technology, which delivers ad customized ad content based on images and videos on a page. The technology compliments Inuvo’s SearchLinks product, which also customizes ad content, but is based on written content.

Thanks to the acquisition, Inuvo also has new advertising revenue sources. In the past, the company turned to Google and Yahoo for access to ads, but NetSeer has more direct relationships with advertisers and ad agencies.

Inuvo works with about 1,000 web publishers including Reuters and Healthline, said Wally Ruiz, Inuvo CFO. The acquisition added about 200 new publishers to the company’s client list.

It is also in the digital publishing business, as owner of Alot, a site that features articles on a broad range of topics, from health, travel, finance, to education. The company uses the Alot sites as a testing lab for its ad technology.

In addition to new products and ad revenue sources, Inuvo now has a much broader collection of consumer data for behavioral-targeted advertising, which is drawn from web-browsing habits.

Meanwhile in 2016, the company’s digital publishing segment posted $9.8 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $14.8 million to the same time in 2015, showing a 34% decrease. The company attributed the drop to a focus on the ad technology side.

The company said it lowered marketing costs in the fourth quarter of 2016 after raising them in the first half of the year. Inuvo spent about 24% less in overall operating expenses at $11.9 million in the fourth quarter than it did the year before.

Operating expenses for the entire year increased from $44.6 million in 2015 to $51 million in 2016, a 14% increase.

2016 FULL YEAR & FOURTH QUARTER FINANCIALS

  • Fourth Quarter 2016 revenue increased 12% sequentially to $19.7 million.
  • Fourth Quarter 2016 Adjusted EBITDA increased 46% sequentially to $612 thousand, or $0.02 per share.
  • Fourth Quarter 2016 GAAP net loss was $309 thousand or $0.01 net loss per share.
  • 2016 revenue increased 2% year-over-year to $71.5 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA for 2016 was $2.6 million.
  • 2016 GAAP net loss was $773 thousand or $0.03 net loss per share.
  • Cash balance at December 31, 2016 was $3.9 million.
  • There was no bank debt at December 31, 2016.
  • Balance sheet current ratio improved 12.5% year-over-year, to 0.99 at December 31, 2016.
  • Inuvo commenced a stock repurchase program in the fourth quarter 2016.

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