Nuance Reports Latest Financial Results; Will Spin-Off Automotive Business

Nuance Communications today reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year. For its fourth quarter, Nuance reported revenue of $532.9 million, up 14 percent compared to $465.9 million a year ago and a net loss of $35.1 million, or $0.12 per share, compared to a loss of $65.4 million, or $0.23 per share, with both versus the fourth quarter a year ago. Recurring revenue represented 71 percent of total revenue, consistent with the year-ago period. Cash flow from operations was $149.4 million, compared to a loss of $3.5 million for fourth-quarter 2017

Fiscal Year Performance

For its fiscal 2018 year, Nuance reported revenue of $2,051.7 million, up 6 percent compared to $1,939.4 million reported for fiscal 2017. Recurring revenue made up 71 percent of total revenue, compared to 73 percent in fiscal-year 2017. For the full year, Nuance reported a net loss of $159.9 million, or $0.55 per share, compared to a loss of $151.0 million, or $0.52 per share, for fiscal-year 2017

For fiscal-year 2018, the firm incurred a goodwill and other intangible asset impairment of $170.9 million related to SRS business disruption in the second quarter, as well as the fourth-quarter decision to wind down Nuance’s SRS and Devices businesses

Cash flow from operations was $444.4 million, compared to $378.9 million for fiscal-year 2017. Total cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities was $473.5 million, versus $874.1 million as of September 30, 2017.

Nuance CEO Mark Benjamin commented: “The success of our fourth quarter can be measured equally by our strong financial performance as well as the tremendous progress we’ve made toward simplifying our structure, rationalizing our portfolio, enhancing our governance, and improving our internal culture. We met or exceeded our fourth-quarter  expectations within each of our core metrics, and are pleased with what we accomplished over these last six months to enhance shareholder value.  We made significant changes to our board, bringing fresh perspectives, skills, and diversity of thought to the Company, and appointed an independent chairman to best represent shareholder interests.  We also continued to pivot our capital allocation toward debt pay-down and share buybacks to further enhance shareholder value.  Perhaps most importantly, we conducted our strategic portfolio reviews and made definitive business decisions that will accelerate our future growth.

“As we define this new era for Nuance, we are sharply focused on building a global, conversational AI business that is capable of sustainable, long-term revenue and earnings growth.  We are transitioning to cloud-based, intelligence-driven solutions, and allocating resources to ensure maximum success in our high-growth core markets.  Executing on these defined strategic priorities will enable Nuance to maintain its leadership as a truly intelligent engagement company, and we look forward to sharing our continued progress.”

Spin-Off of Automotive Business and Sale of Imaging Business

Nuance announced that it would be spinning off its Automotive segment, which provides” critical enabling technology for transforming the passenger experience.”  Nuance will spin-off its Automotive segment into a new, independent, publicly traded company.

Nuance had also announced earlier this month that it’s selling its Imaging business to Kofax for $400 million in a transaction that’s expected to close by the end of second-quarter 2019.

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