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FORR > SEC Filings for FORR > Form 10-K on 13-Mar-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for FORRESTER RESEARCH, INC.



Annual Report

Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations


We derive revenues from memberships to our research and data products and services, performing advisory services and consulting projects, and hosting events. We offer contracts for our research products that are typically renewable annually and payable in advance. Research revenues are recognized as revenue ratably over the term of the contract. Accordingly, a substantial portion of our billings are initially recorded as deferred revenue. Clients purchase advisory services independently and/or to supplement their memberships to our research. Billings attributable to advisory services and consulting projects are initially recorded as deferred revenue. Advisory service revenues, such as workshops, speeches and advisory days, are recognized when the customer receives the agreed upon deliverable. Consulting project revenues, which generally are short-term in nature and based upon fixed-fee agreements, are recognized as the services are provided. Event billings are also initially recorded as deferred revenue and are recognized as revenue upon completion of each event.

Our primary operating expenses consist of cost of services and fulfillment, selling and marketing expenses and general and administrative expenses. Cost of services and fulfillment represents the costs associated with the production and delivery of our products and services, including salaries, bonuses, employee benefits and stock-based compensation expense for research and consulting personnel and all associated editorial, travel, and support services. Selling and marketing expenses include salaries, sales commissions, bonuses, employee benefits, stock-based compensation expense, travel expenses, promotional costs and other costs incurred in marketing and selling our products and services. General and administrative expenses include the costs of the technology, operations, finance, and human resources groups and our other administrative functions, including salaries, bonuses, employee benefits, and stock-based compensation expense. Overhead costs such as facilities and annual fees for cloud-based information technology systems are allocated to these categories according to the number of employees in each group.

Deferred revenue, agreement value, client retention, dollar retention, enrichment and number of clients are metrics we believe are important to understanding our business. We believe that the amount of deferred revenue, along with the agreement value of contracts to purchase research and advisory services, provide a significant measure of our business activity. We define these metrics as follows:

Deferred revenue - billings in advance of revenue recognition as of the measurement date.

Agreement value - the total revenues recognizable from all research and advisory service contracts in force at a given time (but not including advisory-only contracts), without regard to how much revenue has already been recognized. No single client accounted for more than 2% of agreement value at December 31, 2013.

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Client retention - the percentage of client companies with memberships expiring during the most recent twelve-month period that renewed one or more of those memberships during that same period.

Dollar retention - the percentage of the dollar value of all client membership contracts renewed during the most recent twelve-month period to the total dollar value of all client membership contracts that expired during the period.

Enrichment - the percentage of the dollar value of client membership contracts renewed during the most recent twelve-month period to the dollar value of the corresponding expiring contracts.

Clients - we count as a single client the various divisions and subsidiaries of a corporate parent and we also aggregate separate instrumentalities of the federal, state, and provincial governments as single clients.

Client retention, dollar retention, and enrichment are not necessarily indicative of the rate of future retention of our revenue base. A summary of our key metrics is as follows (dollars in millions):

                                   As of               Absolute         Percentage
                                December 31,           Increase          Increase
                             2013         2012        (Decrease)        (Decrease)
        Deferred revenue    $ 152.9      $ 150.5      $       2.4                 2 %
        Agreement value     $ 216.5      $ 220.4      $      (3.9 )              (2 %)
        Client retention         73 %         77 %             (4 )              (5 %)
        Dollar retention         86 %         90 %             (4 )              (4 %)
        Enrichment               97 %         95 %              2                 2 %
        Number of clients     2,471        2,462                9                 -

                                   As of               Absolute         Percentage
                                December 31,           Increase          Increase
                             2012         2011        (Decrease)        (Decrease)
        Deferred revenue    $ 150.5      $ 148.0      $       2.5                 2 %
        Agreement value     $ 220.4      $ 221.1      $      (0.7 )               -
        Client retention         77 %         80 %             (3 )              (4 %)
        Dollar retention         90 %         90 %              -                 -
        Enrichment               95 %        101 %             (6 )              (6 %)
        Number of clients     2,462        2,495              (33 )              (1 %)

Deferred revenue at December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012 both increased 2% compared to the prior years. However when including the amount of future invoicing for contracts at each period end, the combined amount of deferred revenue and future invoicing was flat at both December 31, 2013 and 2012 compared to the prior years. The change in deferred revenue plus future invoicing is essentially consistent with the change in agreement value at December 31, 2013 and 2012 compared to the prior years and both metrics are reflective of flat contract bookings in both 2013 and 2012 compared to prior years. Enrichment, client retention and dollar retention rates at December 31, 2013 have all trended downward from 2011 levels. The enrichment and client retention rates include a 12-month period and as such the rates in 2013 and 2012 reflect the negative effects from the challenges associated with the implementation of the sales reorganization in early 2012, high sales employee attrition during 2013 and 2012, a difficult selling environment in Europe during 2013 and 2012 and weaker demand for our data subscription products in 2013, in part due to the phasing out of our standalone Technology Marketing Navigator data product.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Management's discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"). The preparation of these financial statements requires us to

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make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our policies and estimates, including but not limited to, those related to our revenue recognition, stock-based compensation, non-marketable investments, goodwill and intangible assets, income taxes, and valuation and impairment of marketable investments. Management bases its estimates on historical experience, data available at the time the estimates are made and various assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

We consider the following accounting policies to be those that require the most subjective judgment or that involve uncertainty that could have a material impact on our financial statements. If actual results differ significantly from management's estimates and projections, there could be a material effect on our financial statements. This is not a comprehensive list of all of our accounting policies. In many cases, the accounting treatment of a particular transaction is specifically dictated by GAAP, with no need for management's judgment in its application. There are also areas in which management's judgment in selecting any available alternative would not produce a materially different result. For a discussion of our other accounting policies, see Note 1 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page F-7.

Revenue Recognition. Effective January 1, 2011 we adopted Update No. 2009-13, "Multiple-Deliverable Revenue Arrangements - a consensus of the FASB Emerging Issues Task Force" (ASU 2009-13). ASU 2009-13 updates the previous multiple-element revenue arrangements guidance. The revised guidance primarily provides three significant changes: 1) it eliminates the need for objective and reliable evidence of the fair value for the undelivered element in order for a delivered item to be treated as a separate unit of accounting; 2) it eliminates the residual method to allocate the arrangement consideration; and 3) it modifies the fair value requirements of EITF Issue 00-21 by providing "best estimate of selling price" in addition to vendor specific objective evidence and vendor objective evidence for determining the selling price of a deliverable. The adoption of ASU 2009-13 did not have a material impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

We generate revenues from licensing memberships to our research (including our data subscription products), performing advisory services and consulting projects and hosting events. We execute contracts that govern the terms and conditions of each arrangement. Revenues are recognized when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the fee is fixed or determinable, services have been provided to the customer, and collectability is reasonably assured. Our contracts may include either a single product or service or a combination of multiple products and services. Revenues from contracts that contain multiple products or services are allocated among the separate units of accounting based on their relative selling prices; however, the amount recognized is limited to the amount that is not contingent on future performance conditions. For example, when a discount off of list price is provided in a multiple element contract, the discount is applied ratably to the research and data products only (which commence delivery on the first day of the contract), as the undelivered products in the contract (advisory services or events) would be refundable to the customer at list price if not delivered. We obtain the selling prices of our products and services based upon an analysis of standalone sales of these products and services during the year. Research services revenues are recognized ratably over the term of the contract. Advisory services revenues, such as workshops, speeches and advisory days, are recognized when the customer receives the agreed upon deliverable and consulting project revenues are recognized as the services are provided. Reimbursed out-of-pocket expenses are recorded as advisory services revenue. Event revenues are recognized upon completion of the event.

Annual subscriptions to our RoleView research include access to all or a designated portion of our research, and depending on the type of license, membership in one or more of our Forrester leadership boards, unlimited phone or email analyst inquiry, unlimited participation in Forrester Webinars, and the right to attend one event. Contracts for RoleView research entered into prior to the adoption of ASU 2009-13 on January 1, 2011, were accounted for as one unit of accounting and recognized ratably as research services revenue over the membership period. Contracts for RoleView research entered into or

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significantly modified after January 1, 2011 are accounted for as two units of accounting: 1) the event ticket and 2) the remaining research services that are delivered throughout the contract period based on the new guidance that permits alternative methods of determining selling prices as it relates to the components that we do not sell on a standalone basis, such as research services in our case. Arrangement consideration is allocated to each element based upon its relative selling price, which is determined based on standalone sales of event tickets and the estimated selling price of the remaining research services. Annual subscriptions to our data subscription products include access to designated survey data products and access to a data specialist, which are delivered throughout the year, and are accounted for as one unit of accounting and recognized ratably as research services revenue over the membership period. Beginning in February 2013, we discontinued our policy of offering our clients a service guarantee. Service guarantees had provided our clients the right to cancel their contracts prior to the end of the contract term and receive a refund for unused products or services. Furthermore, our revenue recognition determines the timing of commission expenses, as commissions are earned during the month a contract is booked and are deferred and recognized as expense as the related revenue is recognized. We evaluate the recoverability of deferred commissions at each balance sheet date.

Stock-Based Compensation. Stock-based compensation is recognized as an expense based upon the fair value of the award at the time of grant. The determination of the fair value of stock-based compensation requires significant judgment and the use of estimates, particularly surrounding assumptions such as stock price volatility, expected option lives, dividend yields and forfeiture rates. These estimates involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management judgment. As a result, if circumstances change and we use different assumptions, our stock-based compensation expense could be materially different in the future.

Expected volatility is based, in part, on the historical volatility of our common stock as well as management's expectations of future volatility over the expected term of the awards granted. The development of an expected life assumption involves projecting employee exercise behaviors (expected period between stock option vesting dates and stock option exercise dates). Expected dividend yields are based on expectations of current and future dividends, if any. We are also required to estimate future forfeitures of stock-based awards for recognition of compensation expense. We will record additional expense if the actual forfeitures are lower than estimated and will record a recovery of prior recognized expense if the actual forfeitures are higher than estimated. In addition, for our performance-vested restricted stock units, we make estimates of the performance outcome at each period end in order to estimate the actual number of shares that will be earned. The actual expense recognized over the vesting period will only be for those awards that vest. If our actual forfeiture rate or performance outcomes are materially different from our estimates, or if our estimates of forfeitures or performance outcomes are modified in a future period, the actual stock-based compensation expense could be significantly different from what we have recorded in the current period. For example, during 2011 we modified our estimates of the performance outcome for RSUs issued during 2009 and 2010 that resulted in a credit of $0.9 million being recorded in 2011 related to expense recognized in prior periods related to these RSUs.

Non-Marketable Investments. We hold minority interests in technology-related investment funds with a book value of $5.7 million at December 31, 2013. These investment funds are not publicly traded, and, therefore, because no established market for these securities exists, the estimate of the fair value of our investments requires significant judgment. Investments that are accounted for using the cost method are valued at cost unless an other-than-temporary impairment in their value occurs. For investments that are accounted for using the equity method, we record our share of the investee's operating results each period. We review the fair value of our investments on a regular basis to evaluate whether an other-than-temporary impairment in the investment has occurred. We record impairment charges when we believe that an investment has experienced a decline in value that is other-than-temporary. Future adverse changes in market conditions or poor operating results of underlying investments could result in losses or an inability to recover the carrying value of the investments that may not be reflected in an investment's current carrying value, thereby possibly requiring an impairment charge in the future.

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Goodwill, Intangible Assets and Other Long-Lived Assets. As of December 31, 2013, we had $85.8 million of goodwill and intangible assets with finite lives recorded on our Consolidated Balance Sheet. Goodwill is required to be measured for impairment at least annually or whenever events indicate that there may be an impairment. In order to determine if an impairment exists, we compare each of our reporting unit's carrying value to the reporting unit's fair value. Determining the reporting unit's fair value requires us to make estimates of market conditions and operational performance. Absent an event that indicates a specific impairment may exist, we have selected November 30 as the date to perform the annual goodwill impairment test. The annual assessment of goodwill can be based on either a quantitative or qualitative assessment, or a combination of both. We completed the annual goodwill impairment testing as of November 30, 2013 utilizing a qualitative assessment and concluded that the fair values of each of our reporting units more likely than not continues to exceed their respective carrying values. Future events could cause us to conclude that impairment indicators exist and that goodwill associated with our acquired businesses is impaired. Any resulting impairment loss could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations.

Intangible assets with finite lives consist of acquired customer relationships and technology and are valued according to the future cash flows they are estimated to produce. These assigned values are amortized on a basis which best matches the periods in which the economic benefits are expected to be realized. Tangible assets with finite lives consist of property and equipment, which are depreciated and amortized over their estimated useful lives. We continually evaluate whether events or circumstances have occurred that indicate that the estimated remaining useful life of our intangible and long-lived tangible assets may warrant revision or that the carrying value of these assets may be impaired. To compute whether intangible assets have been impaired, the estimated undiscounted future cash flows for the estimated remaining useful life of the assets are compared to the carrying value. To the extent that the future cash flows are less than the carrying value, the assets are written down to their estimated fair value.

Income Taxes. We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates for the effect of temporary differences between book and tax bases of assets and liabilities as well as operating loss carryforwards (from acquisitions). Such amounts are adjusted as appropriate to reflect changes in the tax rates expected to be in effect when the temporary differences reverse. We record a valuation allowance to reduce our deferred taxes to an amount we believe is more likely than not to be realized. We consider future taxable income and prudent and feasible tax planning strategies in assessing the need for a valuation allowance.

As a global company, we use significant judgment to calculate and provide for income taxes in each of the tax jurisdictions in which we operate. In the ordinary course of our business, there are transactions and calculations undertaken whose ultimate tax outcome cannot be certain. Some of these uncertainties arise as a consequence of transfer pricing for transactions with our subsidiaries and potential challenges to nexus and credit estimates. We estimate our exposure to unfavorable outcomes related to these uncertainties and record a liability based on the probability for such outcomes in accordance with current accounting guidelines.

Although we believe our estimates are reasonable, no assurance can be given that the final tax outcome will not be different from what is reflected in our historical income tax provisions, returns, and accruals. Such differences, or changes in estimates relating to potential differences, could have a material impact on our income tax provision and operating results in the period in which such a determination is made.

Valuation and Impairment of Marketable Investments. Our investment portfolio may at any time contain investments in U.S. Treasury and U.S. government agency securities, taxable and/or tax exempt municipal notes, corporate notes and bonds, commercial paper and money market funds.

In accordance with the accounting standard for fair value measurements, we have classified our marketable investments as Level 1, 2 or 3 within the fair value hierarchy. Fair values determined by Level 1 inputs utilize quoted prices in active markets for identical assets. Fair values determined by Level 2 inputs utilize data points that are observable, either directly or indirectly, such as quoted prices for similar assets, quoted prices in markets that are not active or other inputs that are observable or can be

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corroborated by observable market data for substantially the full term of the assets. Fair values determined by Level 3 inputs utilize unobservable data points.

At December 31, 2013, we held $87.3 million of marketable investments that were valued using Level 2 inputs. Our marketable investments consist solely of high credit quality corporate and municipal bonds with a weighted average credit rating of AA and do not include difficult to value features. The majority of our marketable investments are in large corporate notes. Level 2 investments are initially valued at the transaction price and subsequently valued, at the end of each reporting period, by our investment managers utilizing third party pricing services, which consists of one price per instrument. We do not obtain pricing or quotes from brokers directly and historically we have not adjusted prices obtained from our investment managers. We verify the pricing information obtained from our investment managers by periodically repricing the securities from independent sources, obtaining an understanding of the pricing methodology and inputs utilized by the pricing services to value our particular investments, as well as an understanding of the controls and procedures utilized by our investment managers to both ensure the accurate recording and to validate the pricing of our investments obtained from the pricing services on an annual basis.

At December 31, 2013 we held no marketable investments that were valued using Level 3 inputs.

We conduct periodic reviews to identify and evaluate each investment that has an unrealized loss, in accordance with the meaning of other-than-temporary impairment and its application to certain investments, as required under current accounting standards. An unrealized loss exists when the current fair value of an individual security is less than its amortized cost basis. Unrealized losses on available-for-sale securities that are determined to be temporary, and not related to credit loss, are recorded, net of tax, in accumulated other comprehensive income.

For available-for-sale debt securities with unrealized losses, management performs an analysis to assess whether we intend to sell or whether we would more likely than not be required to sell the security before the expected recovery of the amortized cost basis. Where we intend to sell a security, or may be required to do so, the security's decline in fair value would be deemed to be other-than-temporary and the full amount of the unrealized loss would be recorded within gains (losses) on investments, net in the Consolidated Statements of Income. Regardless of our intent to sell a security, we perform additional analysis on all securities with unrealized losses to evaluate losses associated with the creditworthiness of the security. Credit losses are identified where we do not expect to receive cash flows sufficient to recover the amortized cost basis of a security and are recorded within gains (losses) on investments, net in the Consolidated Statements of Income.

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Results of Operations for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011

The financial results for the year ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 included in this report differ from those included in our earnings release issued February 12, 2014 in that the earnings release did not reflect the revision of our prior period financial statements for errors in income taxes that we identified subsequent to the issuance of our earnings release. As described in Notes 2 and 14 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, we have revised our prior period financial statements to reflect the correction of the errors in the applicable prior periods. The effect of the revision on the previously reported amounts in our earnings release was (1) an increase in net income for the three months and year ended December 31, 2013 of $0.2 million and $0.3 million, respectively, with a corresponding increase in basic and diluted earnings per share for the year ended December 31, 2013 of $0.01 and (2) an increase (decrease) in net income for the three months and year ended December 31, 2012 of $(0.1) million and $0.3 million, respectively, with a corresponding increase in basic and diluted earnings per share for the year ended December 31, 2012 of $0.02. This change did not affect our pro forma net income or pro forma earnings per share as reported in our earnings release as we utilized a fixed 39% tax rate for pro forma purposes in both the 2013 and 2012 periods.

The following table sets forth our Consolidated Statements of Income as a percentage of total revenues for the years noted.

                                                         Years Ended
                                                        December 31,
                                               2013         2012         2011
         Research services                       68.1 %       69.3 %       67.6 %
         Advisory services and other             31.9         30.7         32.4

         Total revenues                         100.0        100.0        100.0
         Operating expenses:
         Cost of services and fulfillment        39.3         38.0         36.6
         Selling and marketing                   36.0         34.6         35.8
         General and administrative              12.9         12.6         11.7
. . .
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