DHI Group, Inc. (NYSE:DHX) Q1 2023 Earnings Convention Name Could 10, 2023 5:00 PM ET
Todd Kehrli – MKR Investor Relations
Artwork Zeile – Chief Government Officer
Kevin Bostick – Chie Monetary Officer
Convention Name Members
Eric Martinuzzi – Lake Road
Zach Cummins – B. Riley Securities
Good afternoon, and welcome to the DHI Group First Quarter 2023 Monetary Outcomes Convention Name. All individuals will likely be in listen-only mode. [Operator Instructions] After immediately’s presentation, there will likely be a chance to ask questions. [Operator Instructions] Please be aware this occasion is being recorded.
I might now like to show the convention over to Todd Kehrli with MKR Investor Relations. Please go forward.
Thanks, operator, and good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to DHI Group’s 2023 first quarter earnings convention name. With me on immediately’s name are DHI’s CEO, Artwork Zeile; and CFO, Kevin Bostick. Earlier than I flip the decision over to Artwork, I would wish to cowl a number of fast gadgets. This afternoon, DHI issued a press launch asserting its 2023 first quarter monetary outcomes. The discharge is offered on the corporate’s web site at dhigroupinc.com. This name is being broadcast dwell over the Web for all events, and the webcast will likely be archived on the Investor Relations web page of the corporate’s web site.
I need to remind everybody that in immediately’s name, administration will make forward-looking statements that contain dangers and uncertainties. Please be aware that apart from the historic data, statements on immediately’s name might represent forward-looking statements inside the which means of the federal securities legal guidelines. These forward-looking statements mirror DHI administration’s present views regarding future occasions and monetary efficiency and are topic to dangers and uncertainties. And precise outcomes might differ materially from the outcomes contained in any forward-looking statements. Elements that would trigger these forward-looking statements to vary from precise outcomes embrace the dangers and uncertainties mentioned within the firm’s periodic reviews on Type 10-Okay and 10-Q and different filings with the Securities and Alternate Fee. DHI undertakes no obligation to replace or revise any forward-looking statements.
Lastly, throughout immediately’s name, administration will likely be referring to particular monetary measures, together with adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin and adjusted diluted earnings per share that aren’t ready in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Details about and reconciliations of those non-GAAP measures to probably the most immediately comparable GAAP measures can be found in our earnings launch, a duplicate of which you could find on our web site at dhigroupinc.com within the Investor Relations part.
I am going to now flip the convention over to Artwork Zeile, CEO of DHI Group.
Thanks, Todd. Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to our 2023 first quarter earnings convention name. Thanks for becoming a member of us immediately. We’re happy to report that we delivered 12% income progress within the first quarter as employers continued to make use of our subscription-based providing to seek out, entice, have interaction and rent the best high quality tech professionals. There continues to be a big demand for technologists even on this tough atmosphere as firms proceed to put money into expertise initiatives. Throughout the first quarter, employers in america posted job openings for about 813,000 tech jobs. And the tech unemployment price remained close to all-time lows at 2.3% in April, with roughly two job openings for each one tech employee on the lookout for employment. Our two subscription-based choices, Cube and ClearanceJobs, are profession marketplaces which are targeted on serving the expertise job market and have candidate profiles that incorporate technology-specific abilities. Subscribers, that are both staffing or recruiting corporations, massive enterprises or authorities businesses, use our proprietary tech abilities mapping taxonomy and search algorithms to seek out the proper match for his or her job posting from our 7.4 million technologist profiles.
Now let me dig into the efficiency of our two manufacturers through the first quarter. Beginning with Cube. Income for the quarter elevated 9% year-over-year. Given the uncertainty inherent in immediately’s economic system, we refined our gross sales technique as we entered the brand new yr. First, we targeted on present shopper relationships. A lot of our purchasers have been with us for over 10 years. They know our worth proposition. Final yr, we developed a buyer well being rating to trace a number of engagement KPIs and be sure that purchasers are seeing the utmost worth from our platforms. If a shopper’s well being rating drops, we dive in to diagnose the issue. Consequently, our total Cube income renewal and retention charges remained stable at 92% and 105%, respectively. The attrition now we have seen continues to be targeting purchasers with lower than $10,000 in annual spend. These are typically smaller staffing and recruiting corporations.
The second shift was to be laser-focused in our new enterprise group’s gross sales concentrating on efforts. As I wish to say to our group, we have to promote to the shoppers which are shopping for. We use the Lightcast job evaluation information feed to know in actual time which corporations have vital tech hiring wants. 4 industries are persevering with to rent technologists aggressively even in a recessionary atmosphere: aerospace protection, enterprise consulting, finance banking and healthcare. We’ve requested our new enterprise groups to focus in on these particular verticals. For the quarter, we introduced on new purchasers like Edward Jones, Bechtel and the Division of Transportation.
The third refinement has been to promote to bigger, extra steady clients. We all know that bigger purchasers can journey out a troublesome economic system rather more efficiently than smaller ones. The optimistic outcomes of this technique are seen in our Cube annual contract worth, growing once more this quarter by 11% in comparison with Q1 of 2022. It is a difficult financial atmosphere, however we’re constructing a greater go-to-market technique and, finally, a extra helpful firm by means of the modifications now we have made. Cube bookings grew at 2% year-over-year through the quarter. As a result of we maintained a wholesome income renewal price, this metric is a mirrored image of recent enterprise gross sales cycles persevering with to be longer than what we would usually expertise within the non-recessionary economic system.
This is sensible as all CFOs are scrutinizing new vendor spend rather more so than they did within the years previous. Cube business accounts continues to be our most important progress alternative with over 100,000 firms in america assembly our superb buyer standards. The staffing and recruiting trade continues to be a big progress alternative for Cube as nicely with over 18,000 staffing and recruiting corporations working in america. The most recent staffing trade analyst forecast for tech staffing spend signifies 5% progress this yr, down from final yr, however nonetheless greater than the pre-pandemic annual progress price.
Now let’s flip our consideration to ClearanceJobs, the place now we have two substantial progress alternatives which are much less impacted by the present state of the economic system. The primary is the federal government contractor market. We presently have roughly 2,000 contractor purchasers, however we all know that over 10,000 cleared employers can use our providers. The second progress alternative is promoting ClearanceJobs subscription choices on to the multitude of U.S. authorities businesses that want extremely certified technologists and are competing in opposition to the personal sector for these candidates. Throughout the first quarter, our CJ income elevated 21% year-over-year, and our income renewal and retention charges remained robust at 95% and 109%, respectively. We had one other stable quarter for bookings, which grew 15% year-over-year, including a number of new purchasers, together with Ciena Company, Jaguar Protection and the Electrical Energy Analysis Institute.
Now let me shortly contact on what we’re doing to drive elevated adoption of our two manufacturers. Throughout the quarter, we launched a brand new function on Cube known as Invite to Apply. With this new function, recruiters can sign to candidates that they’ve the fitting abilities for a specific job. We additionally launched a brand new function on Cube known as Candidate Match Rating. This algorithm appears at a candidate’s abilities and expertise and grades the candidate for the job they’re contemplating. The grading mechanism provides candidates extra confidence to use to a job, and now we have already seen our apply charges bounce consequently. In a decent labor market, we consider some of these options can enhance our recruiters’ means to seek out and entice the best high quality tech expertise.
Given the explosion of curiosity in generative AI, we too began experimenting with ChatGPT to assist candidates write a personalised cowl letter as a part of their utility course of. DHI Group has carried out synthetic intelligence in our platforms for over a decade. In reality, our core search algorithms are based mostly on AI fashions that now we have patented within the U.S. We additionally proceed to give attention to increasing our technologist neighborhood by means of our model promoting campaigns. These campaigns drove roughly 48,000 new Cube candidate registrations every month through the quarter. Consequently, we now have about 6 million Cube members, they usually made 1.7 million visits every month to the location. Including tech professionals to our marketplaces attracts extra employers, which in flip makes our platforms extra helpful to tech professionals, making a virtuous circle.
We additionally continued to ship product innovation in ClearanceJobs through the first quarter, launching a brand new function that enables candidates to lift their hand and categorical curiosity ready. This motion is nicely wanting finishing a complete utility, however is a key sign for recruiters constructing their candidate pipeline for any job search. Regardless of being launched late within the quarter, candidates have already used this new function tens of hundreds of instances, and now we have acquired very optimistic suggestions from recruiters, who’re benefiting from it.
Throughout the quarter, we additionally continued to realize traction with ClearanceJobs enhanced employer profile, which provides employers a bonus by boosting employer branding. Whereas we’re nonetheless within the early phases of rolling out this providing, we efficiently bought a number of employer profiles within the first quarter, producing incremental income for every of those present clients. We’ve simply rolled out an equal enhanced employer profile providing for Cube clients within the second quarter.
As I discussed earlier, we all know from our Lighthouse information feed that the aerospace protection vertical continues to be one of many sectors that’s hiring tech expertise aggressively regardless of this unsure economic system. Consequently, we elevated our ClearanceJobs’ subscription price card pricing at first of the yr. We count on to profit from this larger pricing as elevated protection spending flows to new tasks.
Earlier than I flip the decision over to Kevin, I need to speak about our expectations for the remainder of 2023. We proceed to consider that ClearanceJobs will ship double digit bookings in income progress. We consider Cube will proceed to ship stable income renewal and retention charges, however we’ll additionally possible see prolonged gross sales cycles in deferred resolution making for brand spanking new enterprise relationships. With these headwinds to Cube new enterprise, we now count on full yr DHI Group income to develop between 5% and 6% year-over-year.
With this in thoughts, we too plan to be cautious with our spending on this atmosphere and are dedicated to delivering elevated adjusted EBITDA margins as we transfer by means of the yr. We delivered a 21% adjusted EBITDA margin within the first quarter and we count on that margin to steadily improve every quarter into attain 25% as we exit the yr.
So in abstract, regardless of the difficult macroeconomic atmosphere, demand for technologists continues to be vital. And with our trade main choices in our massive goal markets for each Cube and ClearanceJobs, now we have a number of levers to drive bookings and income progress for years to return.
On that be aware, let me flip the decision over to Kevin, who will take you thru our financials after which we’ll take any questions you’ll have. Kevin?
Thanks, Artwork. And good afternoon everybody. Let me take you thru our monetary outcomes for the quarter.
We reported whole income of $38.6 million, which was down 3% sequentially and up 12% year-over-year.
Complete bookings for the quarter had been $53.6 million, up 6% year-over-year.
Cube income was $26.9 million, which was down 4% on a sequential foundation and up 9% yr over yr. Cube bookings had been $37.6 million, up 2% year-over-year. We ended the quarter with 6,171 Cube recruitment package deal clients, which is down 2% from final quarter and down 1% year-over-year. Our common annual income per Cube recruitment package deal buyer was up 2% sequentially and 11% year-over-year to $15,672. Roughly 85% of Cube income is recurring and comes from annual or multi-year contracts. Our Cube income renewal and retention charges remained robust through the quarter with the income renewal price at 92% and the retention price at 105%. These metrics proceed to exhibit the worth of the Cube merchandise in recruiting expertise professionals.
ClearanceJobs’ income was $11.7 million, up 1% sequentially and 21% year-over-year. Bookings for CJ had been $15.9 million, up 15% year-over-year. We ended the primary quarter with 2078 CJ recruitment package deal clients, which is up 1% from the fourth quarter and up 8% year-over-year. Our common annual income per CJ recruitment package deal buyer was up 3% over final quarter and up 11% year-over-year to $20,520. Roughly 90% of CJ income is recurring and comes from annual contracts.
For the quarter, our CJ income renewal price was 95% and CJ’s retention price was robust at 109%. These excellent renewal charges exhibit the continued worth CJ delivers within the recruitment of cleared professionals.
Turning to working bills first quarter working bills had been $38 million in comparison with $33.7 million within the yr in the past quarter. This improve is because of our funding in our gross sales group in addition to third social gathering advertising and marketing spend to drive will increase in advertising and marketing certified leads. As well as, we continued to put money into our broader model consciousness campaigns to drive technologist’s progress on our platform.
For the quarter, we had an earnings tax advantage of $514,000 and loss earlier than taxes of $54,000. Our tax price for the quarter differed from our regular anticipated price of 25% due primarily to a $472,000 profit from the vesting of shared base compensation.
For the quarter, we had internet earnings of $460,000 or $0.01 per diluted share. For the prior yr quarter, we had internet earnings of $1.3 million or $0.03 per diluted share. Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the quarter was $0.00 in comparison with $0.01 for the prior yr quarter. Diluted shares excellent for the quarter had been 45.2 million in comparison with 47.2 million within the prior yr quarter.
Adjusted EBITDA for the primary quarter elevated 16% to $8.1 million, a margin of 21% in comparison with $6.9 million or a margin of 20% within the first quarter a yr in the past.
Working money circulate for the primary quarter was roughly zero. The primary quarter is historically our highest quarter for working capital consumption. There are a number of causes for this. First, we pay out our annual bonuses in February. Secondly, we paid December and January commissions within the first quarter, each months of that are the best reserving months within the yr. Third, first quarter is when roughly 80% of our worker fairness grants vest, which in flip drives share purchases by DHI to cowl the earnings tax withholdings. Along with these concerns this yr, we additionally had our CARES Act fee due in January, which was a deferment of worker taxes through the pandemic.
From a liquidity perspective, on the finish of the quarter we had $5.4 million in money and whole debt of $46 million underneath our $100 million revolver. Web borrowings through the quarter was $16 million in comparison with $10 million in borrowings within the prior yr quarter. The distinction between the 2 quarters was largely pushed by the truth that we paid a portion of our 2021 bonuses in December of 2021 for tax functions. Borrowings are presently down $5 million to $41 million, as we proceed to generate optimistic working capital. We proceed to focus on roughly one instances leverage for the enterprise.
Deferred income on the finish of the quarter was $58.8 million, up 4% from the primary quarter of final yr.
Our whole dedicated contract backlog on the finish of the quarter was $124.2 million, which was up 17% from the primary quarter final yr. Quick-term backlog was $97.5 million, a rise of $9.7 million or 11% year-over-year. Lengthy-term backlog, that’s income to be acknowledged in 13 or extra months, was $26.7 million, a rise of $8.5 million or 47% from the prior yr.
Throughout the quarter, underneath our share buyback program, we bought roughly 743,000 shares for $3.5 million, a mean worth of $4.76 per share. As a reminder, through the first quarter, we completed our beforehand approved $15 million buyback program and began a brand new $10 million program that runs by means of February, 2024. Of the $10 million approved $8.2 million remained obtainable on the finish of the quarter.
As well as, we bought roughly 899,000 shares for $5.3 million to cowl earnings tax withholdings related to the vesting of worker shares through the quarter.
As Artwork talked about, the present financial uncertainty continues to elongate our gross sales cycle and affect our new enterprise groups. As such, for 2023, we now count on our whole income to develop within the 5% to six% vary year-over-year with the second quarter income rising at 4% to five% year-over-year.
Like most different firms, we’re persevering with to handle our bills carefully as we give attention to EBITDA and money circulate for the stability of the yr. With that, we count on adjusted EBITDA margins within the second quarter to be just like the 21% we had in Q1 with margins anticipated to increase at 25% as we exit the yr. We additionally count on to proceed lowering our debt excellent all year long.
To wrap up, we’re more than happy to see our retention charges stay robust driving our income progress in 2023. Our clients acknowledge the worth of our platform and their want to remain on it to achieve success.
Moreover, the truth that we proceed so as to add a big variety of new technologists every quarter to our market additional validates our providing, including worth to the marketplaces that now we have constructed, setting us up for continued bookings and income progress for years to return. And with that, let me flip the decision again to Artwork.
Thanks, Kevin. I wish to thank all of our workers once more for his or her exhausting work this previous quarter. It’s a pleasure to be a part of such an amazing group. With that, we’re completely happy to take your questions.
We are going to now start the question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] Our first query is from Eric Martinuzzi with Lake Road. Please go forward.
Hey guys. So excellent news on Q1 and dangerous information on the information. If we return 90 days in the past whenever you gave the outlook for 2023, it was a difficult atmosphere whenever you gave that view. So simply curious to know what occurred within the subsequent 90 days so far as what you heard from the gross sales drive, perhaps what you heard from the prospects as a result of it sounds prefer it was a brand new enterprise problem versus a retention problem?
That’s precisely proper. Simply to place the large image on the market, you nailed it, Eric. We consider that our present clients have been renewing on the identical primary vary that we have seen within the final two years since we have made substantial enhancements to our account administration processes. So it is a phenomena that’s undoubtedly targeted on new enterprise group exercise and what we’re seeing is that the gross sales cycles continued to be lengthened.
And what we did for our forecast this quarter, which is slightly bit completely different than what we did for our final forecast that we introduced was we took the low level by way of bookings, efficiency for the brand new enterprise groups through the quarter and we flatlined it for the rest of the yr. Our earlier forecast mainly had an anticipation that there can be a greater atmosphere within the again half of 2023. We have mainly eradicated that, that a part of the forecast.
And Kevin, when you’ve got any further ideas, please bounce in there.
No, that is – that is utterly correct.
Okay. And then you definately talked about areas, wholesome industries. I used to be sort of stunned perhaps to listen to that banking and finance you characterize as wholesome. There’s undoubtedly at the least within the regional banks the final two months have been sort of a banking disaster there. Do you’re feeling like that the oldsters you are speaking to within the banking finance, is that this a unique a part of the market that you simply’re seeing wholesome banking finance versus what I might’ve assumed was a tougher vertical?
Truly, now we have seen that the banking trade acknowledges that they are moved to on-line and cellular person expertise is mission important for them. And so we have seen a wholesome quantity of pipeline exercise and precise transformed purchasers this primary quarter. We did point out one identify within the banking trade, however we picked up about, I would say 10 banks as new clients within the first quarter. And clearly it’s an space that’s underneath addressed repeatedly, however I feel that this, there’s a wholesome view of what’s mission important for the long-term success of those banks that truly do survive, and we’ve not picked up any regional banks, simply to let you realize.
Okay. After which I do know you talked about gross sales cycles lengthening resulting from macroeconomic considerations, however do now we have problems with gross sales execution or do you’re feeling just like the group’s doing one of the best they will, given the atmosphere?
Sure. That is all the time an amazing query as as to whether or not it’s execution or it’s a matter of simply the general atmosphere and so we consider that the group is executing as finest as they will. I might inform you that what we have seen is that any lead that we enter into our system is now labored as exhausting as potential as a result of there’s virtually a sense that it is a treasured – a treasured commodity for us.
Okay. After which the money outlook for – given the revised forecast for the yr, we had been – our money from ops in Q1 was roughly breakeven. What are we occupied with for FY23?
Sure. So we do not present particular steerage on elements of the assertion of money flows, however we do assume as a information right here that we are going to get right down to roughly that one instances leverage. So we predict we’ll generate sufficient money to proceed de-leveraging. We additionally will generate sufficient money that we are going to proceed to execute the buyback program, which is predicated on a grid, however that 8.2 million remaining might be a reasonably honest proxy of what we are going to spend for the stability of this yr or perhaps even slightly bit into 2024 because it does expire in mid-February of 2024.
Obtained it. Okay. Nicely, thanks for taking my questions and good luck.
Thanks very a lot, Eric. Admire it.
[Operator Instructions] The following query is from Zach Cummins with B. Riley Securities. Please go forward.
Okay. Hello Artwork and Kevin. Thanks for taking my questions. I imply, simply beginning off with Cube, good to see the renewal charges there, however little little bit of a downtick in your total buyer rely. I imply, are you able to simply converse to, is it actually simply extra of a lack of clients on the decrease finish of the market and never sufficient to backfill that or how are you occupied with total Cube buyer rely transferring ahead?
It’s precisely that. I feel that we’re seeing the identical phenomena that we noticed through the COVID interval of 2020 when the economic system mainly shook the tree and the smallest clients fell out, and that is what we’re seeing with Cube particularly. We are able to – we all know that the churn is related to these accounts which are lower than 10,000, so they’re actually two-thirds of our common account dimension on Cube. These are the – these firms are typically the smaller staffing recruiting corporations, however is precisely as you are describing it, Zach.
Obtained it. And relating to your extra focused method for Cube, I imply, are you able to speak concerning the progress by way of concentrating on these 4 verticals which are nonetheless hiring tech expertise at this level?
Sure. I am going to inform you that now we have this information feed known as Lightcast and it mainly tells us on a day by day, weekly, month-to-month foundation the variety of tech job openings by firm in america. So we take a look at the highest of the checklist and we all know that the highest of the checklist largely consists of these 4 verticals. Now what are we doing? We’re tuning our advertising and marketing and our gross sales method to these 4 verticals. As one instance, now we have campaigns – digital advertising and marketing campaigns which are vertical particular which are going out to our numerous digital channels like Google 360 and LinkedIn.
We even have tailor-made our advertising and marketing supplies in order that they’re vertical particular. We’ve our e mail drip campaigns now geared in the direction of these 4 verticals. So we’re attempting to align all of our advertising and marketing actions in the direction of these verticals to encourage these resolution makers inside them to primarily attain out, fill out a type on our web site and that is when the gross sales group jumps in and begins to have interaction.
Understood. After which shifting over to ClearanceJobs, proceed to see good efficiency from that enterprise. It seems like simply given the place of energy that you simply’re in proper now, you had been in a position to implement further worth will increase, so I am simply curious of how that would doubtlessly affect our ARPU as we hold progressing within the coming quarters?
Nicely, we hope that it completely does enhance our ARPU and simply to just be sure you’re conscious, Zach, that is for brand spanking new enterprise exercise, so we’re not going again to reprice up the present buyer accounts. That is what the brand new enterprise group is promoting as a part of the relationships that they are constructing. In order that ARPU change will happen over the course of time, nevertheless it was supposed to primarily be sure that we’re getting the complete worth for what we have delivered by way of capabilities on CJ.
Sure. I used to be simply going so as to add coloration. It is also will likely be embedded in our retention charges for present clients, Zach. So we do to Artwork’s level, we do not instantly exit to present clients, nevertheless it turns into sort of that new pricing threshold as we renew contracts annually.
Understood. That is useful. After which ultimate query for me is, is simply given the challenges that you simply’re seeing on the highest line, good to see the adjusted EBITDA margin enlargement that is anticipated right here particularly within the second half of the yr. So are you able to simply speak about a few of the areas that perhaps you are dialing again funding proper now and the way that is going to circulate by means of into higher margins as we exit this yr?
Sure. So I am going to hit on a pair factors, Zach. First we’re evaluating each a part of third-party spend, and so whether or not that is completely different software program agreements, whether or not that’s issues like T&E. We’re evaluating all of that. We’re our advertising and marketing spend and understanding what’s the applicable spend on this atmosphere. For example, a big quantity of our advertising and marketing spend is definitely round getting technologists onto our platform. And sorry, there’s an emergency occurring right here in Denver with a storm.
However we consider that we need not spend as a lot advertising and marketing spend to get technologists onto our platform on this atmosphere. The opposite factor I might say is we do take a look at the folks facet, so we scrutinize the construction of the group, span of management, areas like that and so we are going to, as folks depart the corporate we consider backfills. What I might say proper now now we have only a few open backfills as a result of we notice we are able to change into a greater, smarter firm. So we’re wanting throughout the board in any respect of our bills and actually concentrating on people who we consider will likely be impactful on the monetary facet, however not impactful on the enterprise facet.
Understood. That is useful. Nicely thanks for taking my questions and better of luck with the remainder of the quarter.
Actually admire it, Zach. Take care.
This concludes our question-and-answer session. I wish to flip the convention again over to Artwork Zeile for any closing remarks.
Nicely, thanks Garry, and thanks all for becoming a member of us immediately. As all the time, when you’ve got any questions on our firm or wish to converse with the administration group, myself and Kevin, please attain out to Todd Kehrli and he’ll enable you organize for a gathering. And thanks everyone in your curiosity in DHI Group and have an amazing day.
The convention has now concluded. Thanks for attending immediately’s presentation. You could now disconnect.