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RLOC > SEC Filings for RLOC > Form 10-Q on 6-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for REACHLOCAL INC

Form 10-Q for REACHLOCAL INC


6-Nov-2012

Quarterly Report


Item 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Cautionary Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

In this document, ReachLocal, Inc. and its subsidiaries are referred to as "we," "our," "us," the "Company" or "ReachLocal."

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our condensed consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and our 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K.

This quarterly report on Form 10-Q contains "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The statements contained in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are often identified by the use of words such as, but not limited to, "anticipate," "believe," "can," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "will," "plan," "project," "seek," "should," "target," "will," "would," and similar expressions or variations intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the beliefs and assumptions of our management based on information currently available to management. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results and the timing of certain events to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified below, and those discussed in the section titled "Risk Factors" included in our 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K. Furthermore, such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements.

Overview

Our mission is to help small and medium-sized businesses, or SMBs, acquire, maintain and retain customers via the Internet. We offer a comprehensive suite of online marketing and reporting solutions, including search engine marketing (ReachSearch), Web presence (ReachCast), display advertising (ReachDisplay), display retargeting (ReachRetargeting), online marketing analytics (TotalTrack), an out-of-the-box assisted chat service (TotalLiveChat), and other related products and services, each targeted to the SMB market. We deliver these solutions to SMBs through a combination of our proprietary platform, the RL Platform, and our direct, "feet-on-the-street" sales force of Internet Marketing Consultants, or IMCs, and select third-party agencies and resellers.

We use our RL Platform to create advertising campaigns for SMBs to target potential customers in their geographic area, optimize those campaigns in real time and track tangible results. Through a single Internet advertising budget, we enable our clients to reach local customers-whether using traditional computing devices or mobile devices-across the Internet, including through all of the major search engines and leading general interest and vertically focused online publishers. In 2010, we expanded the RL Platform to include ReachCast, our full-service Web presence and social media solution, and in September 2012, we launched ReachRetargeting, a ReachDisplay product targeting local consumers who have recently searched for an SMB's business keywords as well as those who have recently visited their website. We continue to expand the RL Platform to include additional advertising products designed specifically for the needs of our SMB clients. Empowered by the RL Platform, our IMCs, which are based in or near the cities in which our clients operate, establish a direct consultative relationship with our clients and provide our solutions to achieve their marketing objectives.

We generate revenue by providing online advertising solutions for our clients through our portfolio of online marketing and advertising solutions. We sell ReachSearch and ReachDisplay based on a package pricing model in which our clients commit to a fixed fee that includes the media; the optimization, reporting and tracking technologies of the RL Platform; and the personnel dedicated to support and manage their campaigns. We also generate revenue from digital marketing solutions for our clients that do not include the purchase of third-party media, including ReachCast, TotalTrack and TotalLiveChat. Generally, our products are sold to our clients in a single budget to simplify the purchasing process.

We offer our products and services through two primary channels. Our IMCs sell our products and services directly to SMBs, which we refer to as our Direct Local channel. We also sell our products and services through third-party agencies and resellers, and to national or regional businesses with multiple locations, such as franchisors, which we refer to as national brands. Because the sale to agencies, resellers and national brands involves negotiations with businesses that generally represent an aggregated group of SMB advertisers, we group them together as our National Brands, Agencies and Resellers channel.


In 2006, we entered our first market outside of North America through a joint venture in Australia, and in 2009, we acquired the remaining interest in the joint venture. We entered the United Kingdom and Canada in 2008, Germany and the Netherlands in 2011, and Japan and Brazil in 2012. We also serve clients in New Zealand, Slovakia and Poland through our resellers, including a franchisee. In 2010, we commenced campaign management and provisioning operations in India.

Business Model and Operating Metrics

Our Direct Local channel represents the majority of our revenue. As a percentage of revenue, Direct Local revenue has increased to 79% for the nine months ended September 30, 2012, from 78% for the nine months ended September 30, 2011. Growth in Direct Local revenue is primarily driven by the growth in the number of IMCs, the maturity of our IMCs, the increase in the number of international IMCs as a percentage of our total IMCs, and the increase in IMC productivity. Underclassmen expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011 were $33.8 million and $32.7 million, respectively.

Number of IMCs

Our ongoing investment in increasing the number of our IMCs has been the principal engine for our growth. Typically, each month, we hire 40-60 IMCs worldwide, with the hiring weighted towards the first ten months of the year. We refer to IMCs with 12 months or less of experience as Underclassmen. In particular, our revenue growth is driven by the increase in the number of our Upperclassmen, who are significantly more productive than our Underclassmen. As such, we believe that our ability to grow our business is highly dependent on our ability to grow the number of our Upperclassmen. Beyond our hiring practices, which determine the number of IMCs to be hired as well as the rate at which we hire them, the increase in the number of Upperclassmen depends primarily on the productivity of Underclassmen, as the majority of Underclassmen attrition has been involuntary and is based on performance relative to a standard level of revenue growth and other performance metrics determined by us. We do not expect all Underclassmen to become Upperclassmen, and our investment decisions anticipate the cost of attrition. Our revenue growth is also driven by the increase in the number of our international IMCs as our international IMCs are on average more productive than our IMCs in North America, which we attribute to lower levels of competition and lower existing online advertising consumption by SMBs in those markets. The ongoing increase in the number of international IMCs is a result of our international expansion.

At September 30, 2012, we had 407 Upperclassmen and 450 Underclassman, for a total of 857 IMCs, as compared to 344 Upperclassmen and 464 Underclassman, for a total of 808 IMCs, as of September 30, 2011.

Underclassmen Expense

Underclassmen do not, in the aggregate, make a positive contribution to operating income. Our largest operating expenses include the hiring, training and retention of Underclassmen in support of our goal of developing more Upperclassmen.

Underclassmen Expense is a number we calculate to approximate our investment in Underclassmen and is comprised of the selling and marketing expenses we allocate to Underclassmen during a reporting period. The amount includes the direct salaries and allocated benefits of the Underclassmen (excluding commissions), training and sales organization expenses, including depreciation, allocated based on relative headcount and marketing expenses allocated based on relative revenue. While we believe that Underclassmen Expense provides useful information regarding our approximate investment in Underclassmen, the methodology we use to arrive at our estimated Underclassmen Expense was developed internally by management, is not a concept or method recognized by GAAP and other companies may use different methodologies to calculate or approximate measures similar to Underclassmen Expense. Accordingly, our calculation of Underclassmen Expense may not be comparable to similar measures used by other companies.

We determine the amount to invest in Underclassmen based on our objectives for development of the business and the key factors affecting IMC productivity described above. The increase in Underclassmen Expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 as compared to the preceding year period was primarily attributable to our international expansion, partially offset by a reduced investment in North America.


Active Advertisers and Active Campaigns

We track the number of Active Advertisers and Active Campaigns to evaluate the growth, scale and diversification of our business. We also use these metrics to determine the needs and capacity of our sales forces, our support organization, and other personnel and resources.

Active Advertisers is a number we calculate to approximate the number of clients directly served through our Direct Local channel as well as clients served through our National Brands, Agencies and Resellers channel. We calculate Active Advertisers by adjusting the number of Active Campaigns to combine clients with more than one Active Campaign as a single Active Advertiser. Clients with more than one location are generally reflected as multiple Active Advertisers. Because this number includes clients served through the National Brands, Agencies and Resellers channel, Active Advertisers includes entities with which we do not have a direct client relationship. Numbers are rounded to the nearest hundred.

Active Campaigns is a number we calculate to approximate the number of individual products or services we are managing under contract for Active Advertisers. For example, if we were performing both ReachSearch and ReachDisplay campaigns for a client, we consider that two Active Campaigns. Similarly, if a client purchased ReachSearch campaigns for two different products or purposes, we consider that two Active Campaigns. Numbers are rounded to the nearest hundred.

At September 30, 2012, we had approximately 22,100 Active Advertisers and 32,900 Active Campaigns, as compared to approximately 18,700 Active Advertisers and 27,000 Active Campaigns as of September 30, 2011. Active Advertisers and Active Campaigns increased over the period due to an increase in the number and maturity of IMCs, an increase in the number of products available for our IMCs to sell, and an increase in the productivity of our National Brands, Agencies and Resellers channel.

Recent Transactions

On July 3, 2012, we acquired certain assets and liabilities and hired certain employees of RealPractice, Inc. The acquisition provided us with a technology team with expertise in marketing automation. At closing, we paid $2.6 million in cash of the estimated $2.9 million purchase price. The remaining amount of $0.3 million is payable in cash on the 18-month anniversary of the closing date, subject to adjustment. We issued 150,292 restricted stock units to the hired employees.

On July 6, 2012, we completed a transaction with OxataSMB B.V., in which we entered into a franchise agreement with OxataSMB permitting it to operate and resell our services under the ReachLocal brand in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia. Pursuant to the franchise agreement, OxataSMB will receive access to the RL platform, training, marketing and branding materials, media purchasing, campaign management and provisioning, sourcing of telephony, and technical support. In addition, we entered into a market development loan agreement with OxataSMB pursuant to which we agreed to provide financing to OxataSMB of up to 2.9 million ($3.7 million), of which 1.45 million ($1.9 million) has been advanced. The ability to draw down the remaining loan amount is dependent on OxataSMB achieving certain milestones. The loan has a two-year term and accrues interest at 4% per annum, but does not require principal or interest payments for two years, and can be extended for an additional 24 months based on achievement of certain milestones. In addition, we have an option to buy OxataSMB at an independently-determined fair value at the end of the initial loan term, subject to extension.

Basis of Presentation

Discontinued Operations

As a result of the winding down of the operations of Bizzy, we have reclassified and presented all related historical financial information as "discontinued operations" in the Consolidated Balance Sheets, Consolidated Statements of Operations and Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows. In addition, we have excluded all Bizzy-related activities from the following discussions, unless specifically referenced.

Sources of Revenue

We derive our revenue principally from the provision and sale of online advertising to our clients. Revenue includes (i) the sale of our ReachSearch, ReachDisplay, and other products based on a package pricing model in which our clients commit to a fixed fee that includes the media, optimization, reporting and tracking technologies of the RL Platform, and the personnel dedicated to support and manage their campaigns; (ii) the sale of our ReachCast, TotalTrack, TotalLiveChat, and other products and services; and (iii) set-up, management and service fees associated with these products and other services. We distribute our products and services directly through our sales force of IMCs, who are focused on serving SMBs in their local markets through an in-person, consultative process, which we refer to as our Direct Local channel, as well as a separate sales force targeting our National Brands, Agencies and Resellers channel. The sales cycle for sales to SMBs ranges from one day to over a month. Sales to our National Brands, Agencies and Resellers clients generally require several months.


We typically enter into multi-month agreements for the delivery of our ReachSearch, ReachDisplay and ReachCast products. Under our agreements, our SMB clients typically pay, in advance, a fixed fee on a monthly basis, which includes all charges for the included technology and media services, management, third-party content and other costs and fees. We record these prepayments as deferred revenue and only record revenue for income statement purposes as we purchase media and perform other services on behalf of clients. Generally, when at least 85% of requisite purchases and other services have occurred and an additional campaign cycle remains under the agreement, we make an additional billing or automatic collection for the next campaign cycle.

Our National Brands, Agencies and Resellers clients enter into agreements of various lengths or that are indefinite. Our National Brands, Agencies and Resellers clients either pay in advance or are extended credit privileges with payment generally due in 30 to 60 days. There were $4.0 million and $3.8 million of accounts receivables related to our National Brands, Agencies and Resellers at September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.

Cost of Revenue

Cost of revenue consists primarily of the costs of online media acquired from third-party publishers. Media cost is classified as cost of revenue in the period in which the corresponding revenue is recognized. From time to time, publishers offer the Company rebates based upon various factors and operating rules, including the amount of media purchased. We record these rebates in the period in which they are earned as a reduction to cost of revenue and the corresponding payable to the applicable publisher, or as an other receivable, as appropriate. Cost of revenue also includes third-party telephone and information services costs, data center and third-party hosting costs, credit card processing fees, third-party content and other direct costs.

In addition, cost of revenue includes costs to initiate, operate and manage clients' campaigns, other than costs associated with the Company's sales force, which are reflected as selling and marketing expenses. Cost of revenue includes salaries, benefits, bonuses and stock-based compensation for the related staff, including the cost of Web Presence Professionals who are the principal service providers for the Company's ReachCast product, and allocated overhead such as depreciation expense, rent and utilities, as well as an allocable portion of our technical operations costs. Cost of revenue also includes the amortization and impairment charges on certain acquired intangible assets.

Operating Expenses

Selling and Marketing. Selling and marketing expenses consist primarily of personnel and related expenses for our selling and marketing staff, including salaries and wages, commissions, benefits, bonuses and stock-based compensation; travel and business costs; training, recruitment, marketing and promotional events; advertising; other brand building and product marketing expenses; and occupancy, technology and other direct overhead costs. A portion of the compensation for IMCs, sales management and other employees in the sales organization is based on commissions. In addition, the cost of agency commissions is included in selling and marketing expenses.

Product and Technology. Product and technology expenses consist primarily of personnel and related expenses for our product development and technology staff, including salaries, benefits, bonuses and stock-based compensation, and the cost of certain third-party service providers and other expenses, including occupancy, technology and other direct overhead costs. Technology operations costs, including related personnel and third-party costs, are included in product and technology expenses. We capitalize a portion of costs for software development and, accordingly, include amortization of those costs as product and technology expenses as the RL Platform addresses all aspects of our activities, including supporting the IMC selling and consultation process, online publisher integration, efficiencies and optimization, providing insight to our clients into the results and effects of their online advertising campaigns and supporting all of the financial and other back-office functions of our business.


Product and technology expenses also include the amortization of the technology obtained in acquisitions and expenses of the deferred payment obligations related to acquisitions attributable to product and technology personnel.

General and Administrative. General and administrative expenses consist primarily of personnel and related expenses for executive, legal, finance, human resources and corporate communications, including wages, benefits, bonuses and stock-based compensation, professional fees, insurance premiums and other expenses, including occupancy, technology and other direct overhead, public company costs and other corporate expenses.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

The preparation of our condensed consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP, requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the condensed consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses. We continually evaluate our estimates, judgments and assumptions based on available information and experience. Because the use of estimates is inherent in the financial reporting process, actual results could differ from those estimates.

There have been no material changes to our critical accounting policies. For further information on our critical and other significant accounting policies, see our 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K.

We believe that the following critical accounting policies involve our more significant judgments, assumptions and estimates and, therefore, could have the greatest potential impact on our condensed consolidated financial statements:

Revenue recognition

Software development costs

Goodwill

Long-lived and intangible assets

Stock-based compensation

Variable interest entities

Revenue Recognition

We recognize revenue for our services when all of the following criteria are satisfied:

persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists;

services have been performed;

the selling price is fixed or determinable; and

collectability is reasonably assured.

We recognize revenue as the cost for the third-party media is incurred, which is upon delivery of the advertising on behalf of our clients. We recognize revenue for our ReachSearch product as clicks are recorded on sponsored links on the various search engines and for our ReachDisplay products when the display advertisements record impressions or as otherwise provided in our agreement with the applicable publisher. We recognize revenue for our ReachCast product on a straight line basis over the applicable service period for each campaign. We recognize revenue when we charge set-up, management service or other fees on a straight line basis over the term of the related campaign contract or the completion of any obligation for services, if shorter. When we receive advance payments from clients, we record these amounts as deferred revenue until the revenue is recognized. When we extend credit, we record a receivable when the revenue is recognized.

When we sell through agencies, we either receive payment in advance of services or in some cases extend credit. We pay each agency an agreed-upon commission based on the revenue we earn or cash we receive. Some agency clients that have been extended credit may offset the amount otherwise due to us by any commissions they have earned. We evaluate whether it is appropriate to record the gross amount of campaign revenue or the net amount earned after commissions. As we are the primary party obligated in the arrangement, subject to the credit risk, with discretion over both price and media, management recognizes the gross amount of such sales as revenue and any commissions are recognized as a selling and marketing expense.

We also have a small number of resellers, including a franchisee. Resellers integrate our services, including ReachSearch, ReachDisplay and TotalTrack, into their product offerings. In each case, the resellers integrate with the our RL Platform through a custom Application Programming Interface (API). Resellers are responsible for the price and specifications of the integrated product offered to their clients. Resellers pay us in arrears, net of commissions and other adjustments. We recognize revenue generated under reseller agreements net of the agreed-upon commissions and other adjustments earned or retained by the reseller, as we believe that the reseller has retained sufficient control and bears sufficient risks to be considered the primary obligor in those arrangements.


We offer future incentives to clients in exchange for minimum commitments. In these circumstances, we estimate the amount of the future incentives that will be earned by clients and defer a portion of the otherwise recognizable revenue. Estimates are based upon a statistical analysis of previous campaigns for which such incentives were offered. Should a client not meet its minimum commitment and no longer qualify for the incentive, we recognize the revenue previously deferred related to the estimated incentive.

Software Development Costs

We capitalize our costs to develop internal-use software when management has determined the development efforts will result in new or additional functionality or results in new products. Costs incurred prior to meeting these criteria and costs associated with ongoing maintenance are expensed as incurred. We track our costs by project and by each release and objectively determine which projects resulted in additional functionality or new products for which we can improve our offerings and market presence. Our developers, engineers and quality assurance staff currently record their time spent on various projects on a weekly basis so we may determine the approximate amount of costs that should be capitalized. Our senior management team reviews these estimates to determine the appropriate level of capitalization. We monitor our existing capitalized software and reduce its carrying value as the result of releases that render previous features or functions obsolete or otherwise reduce the value of previously capitalized costs.

Costs capitalized as software development costs are amortized on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of the software of three years. Amortization of those costs is included in product and technology expenses as the RL Platform addresses all aspects of our activities, including supporting the IMC selling and consultation process, online publisher integration, efficiencies and optimization, providing insight to our clients into the results and effects of their online advertising campaigns and supporting all of the financial and other back office functions of our business.

Goodwill

Our total goodwill of $42.1 million and $41.8 million as of September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively, is related to our acquired businesses. In accordance with Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 280, Segment Reporting, and have identified one segment and two reporting units-North America and Australia-for purposes of evaluating goodwill. These reporting units each constitute a business or group of businesses for which discrete financial information is available and is regularly reviewed by segment management. At September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011, assigned-goodwill was $9.7 million for North America and $32.4 million for Australia, and $9.4 million for North America and $32.4 million for Australia, respectively. We review the carrying amounts of goodwill for possible impairment whenever events or changes in circumstance indicate that the related carrying amount may not be recoverable. We perform our annual assessment of goodwill impairment as of the first day of each fourth quarter.

We apply the guidance of ASC 350-20, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other. Entities are provided with the option of first performing a qualitative assessment on any . . .

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