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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington D.C. 20549
For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2012
For the transition period from to
Commission File Number: 001-35215
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
1011 W. Fifth Street, Suite 300
Austin, Texas 78703
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)
(Registrants telephone number, including area code)
Indicate by check mark whether registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. x Yes ¨ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). x Yes ¨ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). ¨ Yes x No
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuers classes of stock, as of the latest practicable date.
(In thousands, except for share and per share information)
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.
(In thousands, except for per share information)
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.
1. Description of Business
HomeAway, Inc. (the Company) operates an online vacation rental property marketplace that enables property owners and managers to market properties available for rental to vacation travelers who rely on the Companys websites to search for and find available properties. These owners and managers pay the Company to publish detailed property listings, including photographs, descriptions, location, pricing, availability and contact information. The Company sells complementary products as well, including travel guarantees and property management software and services. Travelers use the network of websites to search for vacation rentals that meet their desired criteria including location, size and price. Travelers that find properties that meet their requirements through the Companys marketplace are able to contact owners and managers directly by phone or through form-based communication tools on the Companys websites.
The Company is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Austin, Texas.
2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements include the accounts of HomeAway, Inc. and all of its wholly owned subsidiaries and have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, or GAAP, for interim financial reporting and applicable quarterly reporting regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. All significant intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated in consolidation. In the opinion of the Companys management, the accompanying interim unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as the audited consolidated financial statements and include all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments and those items discussed in these Notes, necessary for a fair presentation of the Companys financial position, as of March 31, 2012, the results of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, the cash flows for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, and stockholders equity for the three months ended March 31, 2012. Certain information and disclosures normally included in the notes to the annual financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP have been omitted from these interim condensed consolidated financial statements pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC. Accordingly, these unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011. Operating results for this interim period are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2012 or for any other period.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires management 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 financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. Actual results could differ from those estimates. These differences could have a material effect on the Companys future results of operations and financial position. Significant items subject to those estimates and assumptions include certain revenue, allowance for doubtful accounts, fair value of short-term investments, carrying amounts of goodwill and other indefinite lived intangible assets, depreciation and amortization, valuation of stock options and deferred income taxes.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
The authoritative guidance on fair value measurements for financial assets and liabilities establishes a three-tiered fair value hierarchy that prioritizes inputs to valuation techniques used in fair value calculations. The three levels of inputs are defined as follows:
Level 1: Unadjusted quoted prices for identical assets or liabilities in active markets accessible by the Company.
Level 2: Inputs that are observable in the marketplace other than those inputs classified as Level 1.
Level 3: Inputs that are unobservable in the marketplace and significant to the valuation.
The following section describes the valuation methodologies used to measure different financial assets and financial liabilities at fair value.
Money Market Funds and Short-Term Investments
In order to determine fair value of the Companys money market funds and short-term investments, quoted prices in active markets for identical assets are used. Therefore, the Companys money market funds and short-term investments are considered Level 1 items. At March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, the Company did not have any financial instruments that qualified as Level 2 or Level 3 items.
Short-term investments include marketable equity securities and U.S. government agency bonds and are classified as available for sale and reported at fair value using the specific identification method. Unrealized gains and losses are excluded from earnings and reported as a component of other comprehensive income (loss), net of related estimated tax provisions or benefits. Additionally, the Company periodically assesses whether an other than temporary impairment loss on investments has occurred due to declines in fair value or other market conditions. Declines in fair value that are considered other than temporary are recorded as an impairment of investments in the consolidated statement of operations. The Company did not record any impairments of its investments for any of the periods presented.
The carrying amounts of certain of the Companys financial instruments, including cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, prepaid expenses and other current assets, accounts payable, accrued liabilities and deferred revenue approximate fair value at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively, because of the relatively short maturity of these instruments.
The following table summarizes the basis used to measure certain financial assets and liabilities at fair value on a recurring basis in the Companys consolidated balance sheets at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 (in thousands):
The Company has one operating and reporting segment consisting of various products and services that are all related to its online marketplace of vacation rental listing websites. The Companys chief operating decision maker is considered to be the Chief Executive Officer. The chief operating decision maker allocates resources and assesses performance of the business and other activities at the single reporting segment level.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include investments in money market funds and certificates of deposit that are readily convertible into cash. Cash and cash equivalents are stated at cost, which approximates fair value. The Company considers all highly liquid investments purchased with an original maturity date of three months or less to be cash equivalents.
Restricted cash of $978,000 and $1,283,000 at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively, was held in a money market fund owned by the Company. Amounts totaling $312,000 were restricted to collateralize a letter of credit issued by the Company in conjunction with one of the Companys corporate office leases in Austin, Texas at December 31, 2011. The Company was allowed to release this $312,000 of restricted cash in 2012 following the termination of the office lease. Amounts totaling $248,000 and $244,000 were restricted in conjunction with a lease for office space in Geneva, Switzerland at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively. Amounts totaling $730,000 and $728,000 were restricted to secure credit card availability and reimbursable direct debits due from the Company at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.
Short-term investments generally consist of marketable securities that have remaining maturities of less than one year from the respective balance sheet dates. Investments in which the Company has the ability and intent, if necessary, to liquidate in order to support its current operations (including those with contractual maturities greater than one year from the date of purchase) are classified as short-term. The Companys investment securities are classified as available-for-sale and are presented at estimated fair value with any unrealized gains and losses included in other comprehensive income (loss). Fair values are based on quoted market prices. Short-term investments consisted of the following at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 (in thousands):
The mutual fund securities do not have contractual maturities. All of the $3,000,000 invested in U.S. government agency bonds at December 31, 2011 have contractual maturities longer than one year. Of the amounts invested in corporate bonds at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, $14,415,000 and $26,304,000 have contractual maturities longer than one year, and $34,079,000 and $19,464,000 have contractual maturities within one year, respectively. Of the amounts invested in municipal bonds at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, $6,355,000 and $5,469,000 have contractual maturities longer than one year, and $8,338,000 and $11,449,000 have contractual maturities within one year, respectively.
Accounts receivable are generated from three sources. Amounts due from credit card merchants who process the Companys credit card sales from property listings and remit the proceeds to the Company are the primary source of accounts receivable. Accounts receivables are also generated from Internet display advertising amounts due in the ordinary course of business as well as amounts due to the Company for property listings or other products purchased on account. Accounts receivable from Internet display advertising revenue and products purchased on account are recorded at the invoiced amount and are non-interest bearing. Accounts receivable outstanding longer than the contractual payment terms are considered past due. The Company determines its allowance by estimating losses on receivables based on known troubled accounts and historical experience of losses incurred.
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment are recorded at cost. Ordinary maintenance and repairs are charged to expense, while expenditures that extend the physical or economic life of the assets are capitalized. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the related assets. Equipment, computer hardware and purchased computer software are depreciated over three years. Furniture and fixtures are depreciated over five to ten years. Leasehold improvements are amortized on a straight-line basis over the shorter of the term of the related lease or estimated life of the leasehold improvement. Upon disposal, property and equipment and the related accumulated depreciation are removed from the accounts and the resulting gain or loss is reflected in the statements of operations.
The Company capitalizes certain internally developed software costs in accordance with authoritative guidance. These capitalized costs were approximately and $20,068,000 and $18,364,000 at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively, and are included in property and equipment, net, in the balance sheet with depreciation expense in the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 of approximately $827,000 and $734,000, respectively. The internally developed software costs are amortized over five years.
Goodwill and Intangible Assets
Goodwill arises from purchase business combinations and is measured as the excess of the cost of the business acquired over the sum of the acquisition-date fair values of tangible and identifiable intangible assets acquired, less any liabilities assumed.
Tests for impairment of goodwill are performed on an annual basis, or at any other time, if events occur or circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of goodwill may not be recoverable. The Company annually evaluates goodwill for impairment as of October 1.
Under new accounting guidance adopted for fiscal 2011, the Company evaluates qualitative factors (including macroeconomic conditions, industry and market considerations, cost factors, and overall financial performance) to determine whether it is necessary to perform the first step of the two-step goodwill test. This step is referred to as the Step 0 analysis. If it is determined that it is more likely than not (a likelihood of more than 50% impairment) that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, then the entity will need to proceed to the first step (Step One) of the two-step goodwill test. In evaluating whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, relevant events and circumstances as discussed above shall be assessed. If, after assessing the totality of events or circumstances, an entity determines that it is not more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, then the first and second steps of the impairment test are unnecessary.
Circumstances that could trigger an impairment test outside of the annual test include but are not limited to: a significant adverse change in the business climate or legal factors; adverse cash flow trends; an adverse action or assessment by a regulator; unanticipated competition; loss of key personnel; decline in stock price; and results of testing for recoverability of a significant asset group within a reporting unit. If the carrying amount of the reporting units goodwill exceeds the implied fair value of that goodwill, an impairment loss is recorded. As of October 1, 2011, the Company evaluated goodwill using a Step 0 analysis and determined that it was more likely than not (a likelihood of more than 50% impairment) that the fair value of our sole reporting unit exceeded its carrying amount by a substantial margin and consequently did not proceed to Step One of the test. The Company determined that no triggering event occurred in any of the periods presented.
Identifiable intangible assets consist of acquired trade names, customer listings, technology, domain names and contractual non-compete agreements associated with acquired businesses. In assessing the fair value of indefinite lived intangible assets, a relief from royalty methodology and a discounted cash flow methodology were used.
The determination of whether or not goodwill or indefinite lived intangible assets have become impaired involves a significant level of judgment in the assumptions underlying the approach used to determine the value of the reporting unit or intangible assets. Changes in the Companys strategy and/or market conditions could significantly impact these judgments and require adjustments to recorded amounts of goodwill or intangible assets.
No impairment of goodwill or indefinite-lived intangible assets was identified in any of the periods presented.
Intangible assets with definite lives are amortized over their estimated useful lives on a straight-line basis and reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that an assets carrying value may not be recoverable (see Note 3). The straight-line method of amortization represents the Companys best estimate of the distribution of the economic value of the identifiable intangible assets.
Impairment of Long-lived Assets
The Company evaluates long-lived assets, such as property and equipment, for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable. An impairment loss is recognized when estimated future undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use of the asset plus net proceeds expected from disposition of the asset, if any, are less than the carrying value of the asset. When an impairment loss is recognized, the carrying amount of the asset is reduced to its estimated fair value in the period in which the determination is made. No significant impairments of long-lived assets have been recorded during any of the periods presented.
The Company recognizes revenue when persuasive evidence of an agreement exists, delivery has occurred, the sales price is fixed or determinable and collectability is reasonably assured.
The Company generates substantially all its revenue from customers that pay fees for online advertising listing services related to the listing of their properties for rent, primarily on a subscription basis, over a fixed-term. The Company also generates revenue from fees based on the number of traveler inquiries and reservation bookings, local and national Internet display advertisers, license of property management software and ancillary products and services.
Payments for term-based subscriptions received in advance of services being rendered are recorded as deferred revenue and recognized ratably on a straight-line basis over the listing period. Revenue for inquiry-based contracts are determined on a fixed fee-per-inquiry stated in the arrangement and recognized when the service has been performed.
Internet display advertising revenue is generated primarily from advertisements appearing on the Companys websites. There are several types of Internet advertisements, and the way in which advertising revenue is earned varies among them. Depending upon the terms, revenue might be earned each time an impression is delivered, each time a user clicks on an ad, each time a graphic ad is displayed, or each time a user clicks-through on the ad and takes a specified action on the destination site. The Company recognizes advertising revenue on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) impression basis whereby advertisers pay the Company based on the number of times their ads appear on the Companys websites.
The Company sells gift cards with no expiration dates to travelers and does not charge administrative fees on unused cards. There is a portion of the gift card obligation that, based on historical redemption patterns, will never be used or required to be remitted to relevant jurisdictions, or breakage. At the point of sale, the Company recognizes breakage as deferred income and amortizes that over 48 months based on historical redemption patterns. The Company also records commission revenue for each gift card sale over the same 48-month redemption period.
The Company earns a commission for online reservations revenue calculated as a percentage of the value of the reservation. This revenue is included in other revenue in the consolidated statement of operations.
Through its professional software for bed and breakfasts and professional property managers, the Company makes selected, online bookable properties available to online travel agencies and channel partners. The Company receives a percentage of the transaction value or a fee from the property manager for making this inventory available, which is recognized when earned. This revenue is included in other revenue in our consolidated statement of operations.
The Company generates revenue from the licensing of software products, from the sale of maintenance agreements and from the sale of hosted software solutions. For software license sales, typically one year of maintenance is included as part of the initial purchase price of the bundled offering with annual renewals of the maintenance component of the agreement following in subsequent years.
The Company considers delivery of its software to have occurred and recognizes revenue from the sale of perpetual licenses when risk of loss transfers to the customer, which is generally upon electronic transfer of the license key that provides immediate availability of the product to the purchaser.
As software is usually sold with maintenance, the amount of revenue allocated to the software license is determined by allocating the fair value of the maintenance and subtracting it from the total invoice or contract amount. Vendor-specific objective evidence, or VSOE, of the fair value of maintenance services is determined by the standard published list pricing for maintenance renewals, as the Company generally charges list prices for maintenance renewals. In determining VSOE, the Company requires that a substantial majority of the selling price for maintenance services fall within a reasonably narrow pricing range. Maintenance and support revenue is recognized ratably over the term of the agreement beginning on the activation date. Amounts that have been invoiced are recorded in accounts receivable and in deferred revenue or revenue, depending on whether the revenue recognition criteria have been met.
Sales of hosted software solutions are generally for a one-year period. Revenues are recognized on a straight-line basis over the contract term. Certain implementation services related to the hosting services are essential to the customers use of the hosting services. For sales of these hosting services where the Company is responsible for implementation, the Company recognizes implementation revenue ratably over the estimated period of the hosting relationship, which the Company considers to be three years. Recognition starts once the product has been activated.
Training and consulting revenue is recognized upon delivery of the training course or consulting services to the end customer.
The Company accounts for sales incentives to customers as a reduction of revenue at the time that the revenue is recognized from the related product sale. The Company also reports revenue net of any sales tax collected.
The cost of stock-based transactions is recognized in the financial statements based upon the fair value of the Companys common stock on the date of grant. The fair value of restricted stock awards is determined based on the number of shares granted and the fair value of the Companys common stock as of the grant date. The fair value of stock options is determined as of the grant date using the BlackScholes valuation model. Fair value is generally recognized as an expense on a straight-line basis, net of estimated forfeitures, over the employee requisite service period. Accordingly, stock-based compensation for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 has been reduced for estimated forfeitures. When estimating forfeitures, the Company considers voluntary termination behaviors as well as trends of actual option forfeitures.
The Company uses the with and without approach in determining the order in which tax attributes are utilized. As a result, the Company only recognizes a tax benefit from stock-based awards in additional paid-in capital if an incremental tax benefit is realized after all other tax attributes currently available to the Company have been utilized. When tax deductions from stock-based awards are less than the cumulative book compensation expense, the tax effect of the resulting difference (shortfall) is charged first to additional paid-in capital to the extent of the Companys pool of windfall tax benefits with any remainder recognized in income tax expense. The Company has determined that it has a sufficient windfall pool available. In addition, the Company accounts for the indirect effects of stock-based awards on other tax attributes, such as the research tax credit, through the consolidated statements of operations.
The benefits of tax deductions in excess of recognized compensation costs are reported as financing cash flows, but only when such excess tax benefits are realized by a reduction to current taxes payable. The Company recognized a tax benefit of approximately $603,000 and $241,000 during the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively, from the exercise of stock options. This tax benefit has been recorded as additional paid-in capital on the Companys consolidated balance sheets as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011.
The Company recognizes income taxes using an asset and liability approach. This approach requires the recognition of deferred tax liabilities and assets for the future tax consequences of events that have been recognized in the Companys consolidated financial statements or tax returns. The measurement of deferred taxes is based on provisions of the enacted tax law and the effects of future changes in tax laws or rates are not anticipated.
A valuation allowance is recognized if, based on the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax asset will not be realized. Evaluating the need for an amount of a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets requires judgment and analysis of all the positive and negative evidence available to determine whether all or some portion of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Based on the available evidence and judgment, the Company has determined that it is more likely than not that certain loss carryforwards will not be realized; therefore, the Company has established a valuation allowance for such deferred tax assets to reduce the loss carryforward assets to amounts expected to be utilized.
The Company is subject to income tax audits by the respective tax authorities in all of the jurisdictions in which the Company operates. The Company is currently undergoing an audit at one of its subsidiaries in France. The Company recognizes the benefit of uncertain income tax positions only if these positions are more likely than not to be sustained. Also, the recognized income tax benefit is measured at the largest amount that is more than 50% likely of being realized. Changes in recognition or measurement are reflected
in the period in which the change in judgment occurs. The Company records interest and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits as a component of income tax expense. The material jurisdictions in which the Company may be subject to potential examination by tax authorities throughout the world include such major jurisdictions as the United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Brazil, and Australia.
The calculation of the Companys tax liabilities involves the inherent uncertainty associated with the application of complex tax laws. As a multinational corporation, the Company conducts its business in many countries and is subject to taxation in many jurisdictions. The taxation of the Companys business is subject to the application of various and sometimes conflicting tax laws and regulations as well as multinational tax conventions. The Companys effective tax rate is highly dependent upon the geographic distribution of its worldwide earnings or losses, the tax regulations and tax rates in each geographic region, the availability of tax credits and carryforwards, and the effectiveness of its tax planning strategies. The application of tax laws and regulations is subject to legal and factual interpretation, judgment and uncertainty. Tax laws themselves are subject to change as a result of changes in fiscal policy, changes in legislation, and the evolution of regulations and court rulings. Consequently, taxing authorities may impose tax assessments or judgments against the Company that could materially impact its tax liability and/or its effective income tax rate. The Company believes it has adequately provided in its financial statements for additional taxes that it estimates may be assessed by the various taxing authorities. While the Company believes that it has adequately provided for all uncertain tax positions, amounts asserted by tax authorities could be greater or less than the Companys accrued position. These tax liabilities, including the interest and penalties, are adjusted pursuant to a settlement with tax authorities, completion of audit or expiration of various statutes of limitation.
Foreign Currency Translation
The functional currency of the Companys foreign subsidiaries is generally their respective local currency. The financial statements of the Companys international operations are translated into U.S. dollars using the exchange rate at each balance sheet date for assets and liabilities, the historical exchange rate for stockholders equity, and a weighted average exchange rate for each period for revenues, expenses, and gains and losses. Foreign currency translation adjustments are recorded as a separate component of stockholders equity. Gains and losses from foreign currency denominated transactions are recorded in other income in the Companys consolidated statements of operations. For the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, the Company recorded transaction losses of approximately $751,000 and $105,000, respectively.
Derivative Financial Instruments
As a result of the Companys international operations, it is exposed to various market risks that may affect its consolidated results of operations, cash flows and financial position. These market risks include, but are not limited to, fluctuations in currency exchange rates. The Companys primary foreign currency exposures are in Euros and British Pound Sterling, in which it conducts a significant portion of business activities. As a result, the Company faces exposure to adverse movements in currency exchange rates as the financial results of its operations are translated from local currency into U.S. dollars upon consolidation. Additionally, foreign exchange rate fluctuations on transactions denominated in currencies other than the functional currency result in gains and losses that are reflected in income.
The Company may enter into derivative instruments to hedge certain net exposures of nonfunctional currency denominated assets and liabilities, primarily related to intercompany loans, even though it does not elect to apply hedge accounting or hedge accounting does not apply. Gains and losses resulting from a change in fair value for these derivatives are reflected in income in the period in which the change occurs and are recognized on the consolidated statement of operations in other income (expense). Cash flows from these contracts are classified within net cash provided by operating activities on the consolidated statements of cash flows.
The Company does not use financial instruments for trading or speculative purposes. The Company recognizes all derivative instruments on the balance sheet at fair value and its derivative instruments are generally short-term in duration. Derivative contracts were not material as of March 31, 2012, and no derivative contracts were outstanding as of December 31, 2011. The Company is exposed to the risk that counterparties to derivative contracts may fail to meet their contractual obligations.
Net Income (Loss) Per Share
Basic income (loss) per share is computed by dividing the net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders is reduced (increased) by cumulative preferred stock dividends earned and accretion of preferred stock to redemption values during the period. Diluted income (loss) per share is computed by dividing the net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders by the weighted average common shares outstanding plus potentially dilutive common shares.
Restricted stock awards provide the holder of unvested shares the right to participate in dividends declared on the Companys common stock. Accordingly, these shares are included in the weighted average shares outstanding for the computation of basic earnings per share in periods of undistributed earnings. Restricted stock awards are excluded from the basic earnings per share in periods of undistributed losses as the holders are not contractually obligated to participate in the losses of the Company.
Comprehensive Income (Loss)
Comprehensive income (loss) consists of net income (loss), cumulative foreign currency translation adjustments, and unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale securities.
Recently Issued Accounting Standards
In 2011, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued two Accounting Standard Updates (ASU), which amend guidance for the presentation of comprehensive income. The amended guidance requires an entity to present components of net income and other comprehensive income in one continuous statement, referred to as the statement of comprehensive income, or in two separate, but consecutive statements. The current option to report other comprehensive income and its components in the statement of stockholders equity has been eliminated. Although the new guidance changes the presentation of comprehensive income, there are no changes to the components that are recognized in net income or other comprehensive income under existing guidance. The Company adopted these ASUs using two consecutive statements in Q1 2012 for all periods presented.
3. Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
Changes in the Companys goodwill balance for the year ended December 31, 2011 and the period ended March 31, 2012 are summarized in the table below (in thousands):
The Companys intangible assets, excluding goodwill, consist of intangible assets acquired primarily in business combinations and were recorded at their estimated fair values on the date of acquisition. The finite-lived intangible assets that are being amortized are summarized in the table below (in thousands):
Amortization of non-compete agreements is recorded over the term of the agreements.
Amortization expense for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 was approximately $2,448,000 and $2,863,000, respectively.
The Company has the following indefinite-lived intangible assets recorded in its consolidated balance sheet as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively (in thousands):
4. Accrued Expenses
The Companys accrued expenses are comprised of the following at March 31, 2012, and December 31, 2011 (in thousands):
5. Commitments and Contingencies
The Company leases its facilities and certain office equipment under non-cancellable operating leases. Rental expense was approximately $1,004,000 and $1,026,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively.
The Company offers two guarantee products to travelers: Basic Rental Guarantee and Carefree Rental Guarantee. The Basic Rental Guarantee is offered to travelers that book a vacation rental property listed on any one of the Companys websites to protect 50% of their vacation rental payments up to $1,000 against
Internet fraud. Travelers additionally may purchase additional protection to cover 100% of vacation rental payments up to $10,000 against Internet fraud, misrepresentation, wrongful denial of entry, wrongful deposit loss or, beginning in 2012, losses from phishing claims by the purchase of the Carefree Rental Guarantee. The Company does not maintain insurance from any third party against claims under the guarantees, and any amounts payable for claims made under these guarantees are payable by the Company. Amounts recorded for estimated future claims under the guarantees are based on historical experience and estimates of potential future claims made by the Company are recorded in general and administrative expense in the Companys consolidated statement of operations. At March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, the Company had recorded approximately $516,000 and $247,000, respectively, as an accrued expense for potential future claims.
Changes for the traveler guarantees, which are presented as a current liability in the Companys consolidated balance sheets, for the period ended March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 are summarized in the table below (in thousands):
The Company maintains a guarantee of £5,000,000 (approximately $7,974,000 as of March 31, 2012) in favor of a bank in the United Kingdom for extending credit to the Company in connection with the wholly owned United Kingdom subsidiarys business of collecting its subscription revenues in advance via credit card payments.
From time to time, the Company is involved in litigation relating to claims arising in the ordinary course of business. The Company assesses its potential liability by analyzing specific litigation and regulatory matters using available information. Views on estimated losses are developed by management in consultation with inside and outside counsel, which involves a subjective analysis of potential results and outcomes, assuming various combinations of appropriate litigation and settlement strategies. After taking all of the above factors into account, the Company determines whether an estimated loss from a contingency related to litigation should be accrued by assessing whether a loss is deemed probable and can be reasonably estimated. The Company further determines whether an estimated loss from a contingency related to litigation should be disclosed by assessing whether a loss is deemed probable and material. Such disclosures will include an estimate of the additional loss or range of loss or will state that such an estimate cannot be made.
Management believes that there are no claims or actions pending or threatened against the Company, the ultimate disposition of which would have a material impact on the Companys consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
6. Stockholders Equity and Stock-Based Compensation
The Companys amended and restated certificate of incorporation, as amended in July 2011, authorizes 350,000,000 shares of common stock with a par value of $0.0001 per share. At March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, there were 81,999,284 and 80,685,391 shares of common stock outstanding, respectively. Additionally, the amended certificate of incorporation authorizes the Companys board of directors, without action by stockholders, to designate and issue up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series. The board of directors may also designate the rights, preferences and privileges of each series of preferred stock, any or all of which may be greater than the rights of the common stock.
Stock Compensation Plans
The Company has historically maintained two stock-based compensation plans, the 2004 Stock Option Plan (the 2004 Plan) and the 2005 Stock Plan (the 2005 Plan). In May 2011, the Company adopted the 2011 Equity Incentive Plan (the 2011 Plan), which is described below.
At March 31, 2012, there were 9,342,909 options outstanding under the 2004 Plan. Following the effectiveness of the Companys 2011 Plan in May 2011, no further awards will be made under the 2004 Plan, although each option previously granted under the 2004 Plan will remain outstanding subject to its terms. Any such shares of common stock that are subject to awards under the 2004 Plan which are forfeited or lapse unexercised and would otherwise have been returned to the share reserve under the 2004 Plan instead will be available for issuance under the 2011 Plan.
As of March 31, 2012, there were no options outstanding under the 2005 Plan. Following the effectiveness of the Companys 2011 Plan in May 2011, no further awards will be made under the 2005 Plan.
In May 2011, the Company adopted the 2011 Plan, providing for the granting of incentive stock options, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, to employees and for the grant of non-statutory stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance units and performance shares to employees, directors and consultants. The 2011 Plan also provides for the automatic grant of option awards to our non-employee directors. Shares of common stock reserved for issuance under the 2011 Plan consist of 15,500,373 shares of common stock. In addition, the number of shares available for issuance under the 2011 Plan will be increased annually on the first day of the Companys fiscal year by an amount equal to the least of (a) four percent of the outstanding shares of the Companys common stock as of the last day of the Companys immediately preceding fiscal year or (b) such other amount as the Companys board of directors may determine. At March 31, 2012, there were 1,760,969 options and 636,984 restricted stock units outstanding under the 2011 Plan.
Accounting for Stock Based Compensation
The Company uses the BlackScholes option pricing model in valuing its stock options. The BlackScholes model requires estimates regarding risk-free rate of return, dividend yields, expected term of the award, volatility and estimated forfeitures of awards during the service period.
The risk-free interest rate assumption used by the Company is based on observed market interest rates appropriate for the term of the Companys employee options. During the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, the Company estimated expected term based on historical experience of similar awards, giving consideration to the contractual terms of the stock-based awards, vesting schedules and expectations of future employee behavior. The dividend yield assumption is based on historical and expected dividend payouts. Since the Company was a private entity prior to its IPO in July 2011 with no historical data regarding the volatility of its common stock price, the Company based the expected volatility on the historical and implied volatility of comparable companies from a representative industry peer group. The Company determined expected volatility of options granted using an average of the historical volatility measures of this peer group of companies.
The Company uses historical data to estimate pre-vesting option forfeitures and records share-based compensation expense only for those awards that are expected to vest. Changes in estimated forfeitures will be recognized through a cumulative catch-up adjustment in the period of change and will also impact the amount of stock compensation expense to be recognized in future periods. For options granted, the Company amortizes the fair value on a straight-line basis over the vesting period of the options.
During the three months ended March 31, 2012, the Company issued an aggregate of 622,944 shares of common stock pursuant to restricted stock awards under the 2011 Stock Plan at a value of $25.59 per share for an aggregate fair value of $15,941,000. Additionally, the Company issued an aggregate of 1,340,409 options to purchase common stock under the 2011 Stock Plan for an aggregate fair value of $17,340,000.
The fair value of stock option grants has been estimated at the date of grant using the BlackScholes option pricing model with the following weighted average assumptions:
The following table summarizes the total stock-based compensation expense that the Company recorded for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 (in thousands):
7. Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss)
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) consists of the following at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively (in thousands):
8. Income Taxes
For the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, the Company recorded income tax expense of $890,000 and benefit of $854,000, respectively, resulting in an effective tax rate of 27.0% and (125.8)%, respectively. At March 31, 2012, the Companys effective tax rate estimate for the year ended December 31, 2012 differed from the statutory rate primarily due to the benefit of disqualifying dispositions of incentive stock options, which is partially offset by non-deductible stock compensation charges, state taxes and the effect of different statutory tax rates in foreign jurisdictions. At March 31, 2011, the Companys effective tax rate estimate for the year ended December 31, 2011 differed from the statutory rate primarily due to non-deductible stock compensation charges, the effect of different statutory tax rates in foreign jurisdictions, partially offset by the release in the period ended March 31, 2011 of reserves for uncertain tax positions of $1,310,000 due to the completion of audits of two of the Companys foreign subsidiaries.
9. Net Income (Loss) Per Share
The following table sets forth the computation of basic and diluted net income (loss) per share of common stock (in thousands):
The following common equivalent shares were excluded from the calculation of net income (loss) per share as their inclusion would have been anti-dilutive (in thousands):
10. Subsequent Events
In April 2012, the Company acquired 100% of the outstanding stock of Top Rural S.L., the leading site for independently-owned rural accommodations in Southern Europe, for cash consideration of approximately $19,277,000, including an adjustment for net working capital. Approximately $2,670,000 of the cash consideration purchase price was deposited in escrow as security for the benefit of the Company against breaches of representations and warranties, covenants and certain other expressly enumerated matters by the sellers. The escrow funds will be released in two equal payments on the first and second anniversary dates of the acquisition.
Safe Harbor Cautionary Statement
This quarterly report on Form 10-Q contains forward-looking statements that are based on our managements beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. 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. Such statements may be signified by terms such as anticipates, believes, could, seeks, estimates, expects, intends, may, plans, potential, predicts, projects, should, will, would or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the 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 other documents we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Given these risks and uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Also, forward-looking statements represent our managements beliefs and assumptions only as of the date of this quarterly report on Form 10-Q. You should read this quarterly report on Form 10-Q completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect. We hereby qualify our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our interim condensed consolidated financial statements contained elsewhere in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q and in our other Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, filings including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and subsequent reports on Form 8-K, which discuss our business in greater detail.
We operate the worlds largest online marketplace for the vacation rental industry. Our marketplace brings together millions of travelers seeking vacation rentals online with hundreds of thousands of owners and managers of vacation rental properties located in 168 countries around the world. During the three months ended March 31, 2012, according to our internal metrics, our websites attracted 160 million website visits and as of March 31, 2012, our global marketplace included more than 699,000 paid listings.
During the first quarter of 2012, we continued to follow our strategy and focused our efforts in providing the greatest selection of properties to travelers and the most qualified inquiries to property owners and managers.
For our property owners and managers, we continued to see positive results from pricing changes introduced in 2011. Tiered pricing is currently available on HomeAway.com to new and renewing customers and allows them to improve their position in search results by purchasing a higher subscription level or tier. We believe more owners and managers will elect to purchase higher tiers, which would increase overall average revenue per listing in future periods, while keeping base prices as low as possible to promote growth of the number of paid listings. Although we plan to launch tiered pricing on our other websites as well, we may use different strategies as we enter new markets and geographies or attempt to further penetrate the professional property manager market. Despite growth in average revenue per listing due to tiered pricing on HomeAway.com, there were other factors during the quarter which resulted in a decrease in the average revenue per listing compared to the comparable first quarter of 2011. These factors included additional listings from property managers which were sold on a pay-per performance basis, lower priced listings on our Australia website and the negative impact of foreign exchange rates.
Our online payments platform, called Reservation Manager, which was launched in 2011 and is currently available to our HomeAway.com and VRBO.com owners and managers in the United States, continued to gain traction with increasing adoption rates during the first quarter of 2012. The product is not currently available outside of the United States. We believe that adoption of this product over time will allow us to earn more revenue from ancillary products while providing a safe and secure payment mechanism for travelers. We plan to introduce new products and services for travelers, property owners and managers, which will provide further opportunities to generate revenue through our marketplace.
For our travelers, we continued to invest in upgrading the traveler experience on our websites such as improved functionality on VRBO.com in the United States where we added more efficient sorting of search results. Additionally, we increased our investment in trust and security on our websites and added phishing coverage to our Carefree Rental Guarantee in an effort to provide both our travelers and our owners confidence in the security of our marketplace.
We believe that attracting travelers to our online marketplace is necessary to attract and retain vacation rental owners and managers. In addition to increasing the number of visitors to our websites, it is critical for us to increase the rate at which these visitors inquire about renting and choose to book a vacation rental with our property owners and managers. To meet these challenges, we are focused on a combination of marketing tactics, including pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, and broad reach marketing, with a goal of driving visits to our sites as well as increasing the exposure of the vacation rental category. We are also investing in product enhancements to make it easier for travelers visiting our websites to search and find the right property, to inquire and to book their stay. We believe this will increase the travelers interactions with our vacation rental owners and managers, which will in turn increase the satisfaction levels of the owners and managers.
Key Financial Highlights
We have achieved significant growth since our commercial launch in 2005. Our revenue growth is attributable to our acquisitions of other online listings businesses, the organic growth in the number of listings that property owners and managers purchase from us, increases in the average revenue we receive per listing due to additional features and price increases, and the introduction of additional products and services related to our marketplace. We view our market opportunity as global and have historically generated strong cash flows. Additionally, we have had predictable financial results because of our advance payment, subscription-based model and our high annual listing renewal rates.
Key financial highlights for the three months ended March 31, 2012 include the following:
For further discussion regarding Adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow and pro forma net income, please see the information under the caption Discussion Regarding Adjusted EBITDA, Free Cash Flow and Pro Forma Net Income and Reconciliation to GAAP in Item 2 of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.
Since our inception in 2004, we have acquired 18 businesses as part of our growth strategy. Each of these acquisitions has been accounted for using the acquisition method of accounting. Accordingly, the financial statements for these businesses have been included in our consolidated financial results since the applicable acquisition dates. The most recent acquisition was in April 2012, subsequent to the results reported in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q (see Note 10 to the Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 1 of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q), when we acquired Top Rural S.L. in Spain. This acquisition further solidifies our market presence in Spain and Southern Europe and extends our reach to a desirable European traveler segment that seeks long weekend holidays to small towns or countryside destinations.
Our acquisitions have presented, and certain of them continue to present, significant integration challenges. They have required us to integrate new operations, offices and employees and to formulate and execute on marketing, product and technology strategies associated with the acquired businesses. In some cases, we continue to manage multiple brands and technology platforms of the acquired businesses, which has increased our cost of operations. Challenges of this nature are likely to arise if we acquire businesses in the future.
Growth Opportunities and Trends
Our ability to continue to grow our revenue will depend largely on increasing the number of paid listings, increasing revenue per listing and increasing other revenues from other products and services through our marketplace. We continually assess opportunities for strategic acquisitions. We also use indirect and direct marketing as well as telesales to reach owners and professional property managers. We believe that the growing awareness of vacation rentals, as a favorable alternative to hotels, has and will continue to support growth of our business.
We continue to monitor the weakened economic environment in Europe and the corresponding impact on our business. Visits to our European websites are outpacing broader search engine growth for certain European vacation rental terms, but the growth rates have been negatively impacted in the first quarter of 2012. We believe that our ability to deliver high quality inquiries to our customers in spite of the broader economic challenges in Europe will help mitigate any negative visit trends to our websites.
Our expenses are primarily composed of salaries and related expenses, marketing and professional fees. Our expenses from quarter to quarter may fluctuate due to timing of specific events or projects. We will continue to increase expenses across the organization on an annual basis to support our growth but expect our cost of revenue to remain relatively steady or grow only slightly as a percentage of revenue for the year ended December 31, 2012. We expect to incur higher expenses for product development as we hire additional personnel to develop new features and products, but expect product development expenses to remain flat or increase slightly as a percentage of revenue for the year ended December 31, 2012. We expect to incur higher expenses for sales and marketing as we continue to build our sales team to address the professional property managers and continue to build brand and category awareness, but expect sales and marketing expenses to remain relatively steady or decline slightly as a percentage of revenue for the year ended December 31, 2012. We expect to incur higher expenses for general and administrative expenses to support the growth of our business and the requirements of being a publicly traded company, but expect general and administrative expenses to remain flat or decline slightly as a percentage of revenue for the year ended December 31, 2012. We plan for our investment in capital expenditures to grow moderately as a percentage of revenue as compared to 2011. We are in the process of reorganizing our global corporate structure, which we believe will lower our tax expense over the longer term.
Key Business Metrics
In addition to traditional financial and operational metrics, we use the following business metrics to monitor and evaluate results.
Paid Listings. In the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, 84.2% and 86.9% of our revenue was derived from paid listings, respectively. We regularly track paid listings as a key revenue growth indicator and to identify trends in our business and industry. From March 31, 2011 to March 31, 2012, ending paid listings increased by 21.5%, contributing to listing revenue growth of 19.5%. The growth in paid listings was due to our marketing and selling new and additional listings to professional property managers, cross-selling listings to multiple websites to existing owners and managers, as well as organic growth from owners and managers who become aware of our websites and choose to market their properties. Growth in new listings is partially offset by loss of listings through attrition. As the number of paid listings increases, we believe that we will generate additional revenue while also expanding the value of the marketplace to travelers, thus increasing the likelihood that travelers will find a property that is suitable to their needs. We define a paid listing as a fee to list a property advertisement on one or more websites in our marketplace. A paid listing allows a property owner or manager to include a description of the property, along with location, pricing, availability, a specified number of photos and contact information. We also provide tools to enable them to manage their listings and rental business. Most listings are sold on a subscription basis, and some listing packages may include listings on more than one of our websites. Listings are also sold on a pay-for-performance basis to property managers. When purchased at the same time in one bundle, we count this as one paid listing. It is possible that a specific property may be listed on more than one of our websites without indicating that the multiple listings refer to the same property. We have used various technologies to estimate the number of unique properties and are implementing systems and processes to identify the number of unique properties that comprise our paid vacation rental listings, which we estimate was approximately 594,000 as of March 31, 2012 as compared to approximately 480,000 as of March 31, 2011.
Average Revenue per Listing. We believe that trends in revenue per listing, over an extended period, are important to understanding the value we bring to owners and managers, and the overall health of our marketplace. We use trends in revenue per listing, as well as trends in paid listings, in order to formulate financial projections and make strategic business decisions. At a consolidated level, increases in revenue per listing may increase our earnings or may be leveraged for future investment. The average revenue per listing may fluctuate based on the timing and nature of acquisitions, changes in our base pricing, uptake of listing enhancements, changes in the pricing of enhancements, changes in brand and listing type mix, and the impact of foreign exchange rates on our listing revenue outside of the United States.
Average revenue per listing for the three months ended March 31, 2012 decreased 1.8% as compared to the three months ended March 31, 2011. Excluding the acquisition of realholidays.com.au in Australia and negative impacts of foreign exchange rates, average revenue per listing would have increased 2.1% in the three months ended March 31, 2012 as compared to the three months ended March 31, 2011. We compute average revenue per listing as annualized listing revenue divided by the average of paid listings at the beginning and end of the period. Our paid listings include both subscription listings and pay-for-performance listings to professional property managers. Average revenue per listing may be impacted by changes in mix between listing types, with pay-for-performance listings generally having a dilutive effect on average revenue per listing. The price of listings varies by website and can include various additional fees associated with listing enhancements. We have traditionally relied on increases in base pricing to increase revenue per listing but are now focused on the introduction of tiered pricing to our property owners and managers which may or may not include increases in our base price. In the third quarter of 2011, we began offering tiered pricing alternatives on HomeAway.com in the United States, which allows our property owners and managers to purchase a higher subscription level to increase the position of their listings in search results. As we implement tiered pricing on other sites, or change the prices or structure of tiered pricing, we may see an impact to listing sales in the current period with the impact on revenue seen over the length of the subscription period.
Renewal Rate. Renewal of paid subscription listings is a key driver of revenue for our business. Also, we track renewal rate in order to understand and improve upon the satisfaction of our property owners and managers and to help us more accurately estimate our future revenue and cash flows. While our overall renewal rate increased from 76.1% as of March 31, 2011 to 77.0% as of March 31, 2012, renewal rates vary among our websites and can fluctuate due to a variety of factors, including customer satisfaction, changes in our processes associated with renewal activity, such as the introduction of automatic renewal, and general market conditions. The renewal rate for our subscription listings at the end of any period is defined as the percentage of those paid listings that were active at the beginning of the period that are still active as of the end of such period. We include most brands in our calculation of renewal rate. However, subscriptions to BedandBreakfast.com and HomeAway.com.au remain excluded until we can further develop our database system. However, based on our review of other internal renewal rate data, we do not believe that the exclusion of these brands from the renewal rate calculation materially impacts the result. Property owners and managers satisfaction with our solutions is the primary driver of our renewal rate. We believe that property owners and managers measure their satisfaction with our websites based largely on the number of inquiries and rental bookings that they receive from travelers. When the underlying vacation properties are sold or taken off the market, the owner or manager has no further need for the listings, and this attrition is a natural and ongoing component of non-renewal of listings. We exclude pay-per-lead listings from our renewal rate analysis since they are not sold on a subscription basis.
Visits to Websites. We view visits to websites as a key indicator of growth in our brand awareness among users and our ability to provide our property owners and managers with inquiries from travelers. Growth in visits to websites will be driven by our marketing strategies and has an indirect impact on our financial performance. We use a variety of tools to measure visits to our websites. These tools include solutions from third parties such as Omniture, Google Analytics and eStat. We also use third-party published reports to measure our results against comparable companies; however, these reports are not consistent with our internal measurements. According to our internal measurements using our other solutions, visits to our websites increased by 16.6% from 137 million visits at March 31, 2011 to 160 million visits at March 31, 2012.
Key Components of Our Results of Operations
We derive most of our revenue from paid listings from our property owners and managers. Our customers generally pay for their listings at the beginning of the listing term, and revenue is recognized monthly over the term of the listing, which is generally one year. We offer pay-for-performance listings to professional property managers, which represented 1.7% and 1.6% of our revenue in the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively. This offering is generally taken when a property manager has a marketing budget that is allocated over many managed properties. They can elect to list more properties and pay us each month for the number of inquiries that are generated. We expect to offer more opportunities for pay-for-performance in the future, primarily to meet the needs of our customers who are professional property managers.
To date, our primary source of new property listings has been through the use of search engines such as Google, where property owners and managers search to find vacation rental listings websites. In addition, word-of-mouth referrals, primarily from existing property owners and managers that have been successful in renting their vacation rentals or travelers who have been successful in finding a property to rent using our websites, are another source for new listings. We have an inside sales organization focused on attracting new professional property managers.
We believe that in order to grow our revenue in the future, it will be important to introduce new features and functionality for our property owners and managers, allowing us to keep base prices low while offering expanded distribution and search placement for additional fees. It will also be important for us to continually improve the functionality of our sites to attract a large audience of travelers to help ensure our owners and managers receive sufficient inquiries and bookings.
Deferred revenue consists of payments received from sales of listings in excess of the revenue that we have recognized from the same listings, sales from hosted software solutions and related maintenance for which the estimated period of the hosting relationship is longer than one year and the portion of gift card sales, that we estimate will never be used. Deferred revenue increases as a result of new listings and decreases as a result of the recognition each month of the pro-rata share of revenue from cash collected in previous periods. We expect an increase in deferred revenue as we grow our core listing business, subject to the same seasonality as the rest of the business.
We also earn revenues from the sales of Internet display-based advertising on our websites, property management software licenses and related maintenance, gift cards, and commissions for online reservations. In addition, we offer other services to property owners, managers and travelers that result in revenues and royalties, such as our Carefree Rental Guarantee, travel insurance and property damage protection. We expect revenues and royalties from these products and services to increase as more owners begin to use our ReservationManager and payments platform, thus allowing us the opportunity to offer these products to travelers who have booked a reservation.
Costs and Expenses
A large component of our costs and expenses consists of personnel costs. Personnel costs include salaries, benefits, bonuses and related expenses, including stock-based compensation. We grew from 842 employees at March 31, 2011 to 1,010 at March 31, 2012. We expect that personnel costs will be higher in absolute dollars in 2012 than in 2011 based on an expected increase in the number of employees in 2012.
Cost of Revenue. Cost of revenue consists of customer service personnel and web-hosting personnel costs, merchant fees charged by credit card processors, costs associated with the hosting of our websites and costs associated with payments under our Carefree Guarantee rental program. Personnel costs include salaries, benefits, bonuses and related expenses, including stock-based compensation. To the extent that the number of paid listings on our marketplace grows, we intend to invest additional resources in customer service systems and personnel. Our customer service personnel help our property owners and managers use our websites to list their properties, answer their questions, and perform listing reviews and other processes as a part of our efforts to ensure quality, trust and security. Our merchant fees are based on a contractual rate per transaction and will increase in absolute dollars as sales of listings increase, but for the full year ending December 31, 2012 we expect for them to remain relatively constant and commensurate with 2011 levels, as a percentage of revenue. In general, as we add more features and functionality to our websites and anticipate an increase in the number of travelers accessing our websites, we will increase our spending on hardware and software required for hosting. However, we expect such spending in the coming year to remain at 2011 levels or grow only slightly as a percentage of revenue.
We view the operation of our websites as a foundation upon which different revenue streams are generated. Cost of revenue as described above, which includes the cost of customer service personnel, web hosting and merchant fees, directly supports our listing revenue, which was 84.2% and 86.9% of total revenue in the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively. These same expenses support the overall operation of our websites and therefore our other revenue. There are no other material distinct costs of revenue for any period presented. The reporting of cost of revenue as one category in our consolidated financial statements is consistent with the manner in which we manage our business.
Product Development. Product development expenses consist primarily of personnel costs, third-party contracting and consulting fees associated with our research and development of new services, expenses associated with improvements to, and maintenance of, existing services, and depreciation. We have historically focused our product development efforts on increasing the functionality and enhancing the ease of use of our websites, both for property owners and managers and for travelers. We intend to increase our technology and product resources by hiring additional personnel in future periods as we anticipate an increase in the number of listings and develop new features and products. We expect these additional investments to cause our product development expenses to increase in absolute dollars for the full year ending December 31, 2012, but remain flat or slightly higher as a percentage of revenue, compared to 2011.
Sales and Marketing. Sales and marketing expenses consist primarily of amounts paid for pay-per-click, or PPC, online advertising, broad reach advertising, personnel costs for our marketing, search engine optimization, or SEO, sales staff, and consulting and other services firms fees, expenses associated with email marketing programs, and public relations expenses and depreciation. We utilize PPC advertising primarily to increase the number of travelers to our websites who are seeking properties in specific geographical areas in order to increase the number of inquiries regarding vacation rentals. Our sales and marketing team also focuses on increasing the placement of our websites in search rankings on Google, Bing and other search engines, which results in owner, manager and traveler acquisition at relatively little incremental expense. We intend to significantly increase our sales expense to drive additional listing sales to professional property managers and increase marketing efforts to support our new products, increase the traffic to our websites and increase overall brand awareness. We expect our marketing and sales expenses to increase in absolute dollars, but to remain relatively stable or decline slightly as a percentage of revenue for the full year ending December 31, 2012.
General and Administrative. General and administrative expenses consist of personnel costs for our executive, finance and accounting, and management information systems personnel, professional fees for legal, audit, and other consulting services, allocated facility expenses, depreciation and other corporate overhead expenses. We expect to increase headcount to support our anticipated growth, which will result in an increase in other expenses, such as facilities, office and travel. We also expect to incur incremental costs associated with operating as a public company, including increases in our finance, accounting and legal personnel, additional consulting, legal and audit fees, insurance costs, board of directors compensation, and costs associated with compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other requirements. As a result, we expect our general and administrative expenses to increase in absolute dollars but remain flat or decline slightly as a percentage of revenue for the full year ending December 31, 2012.
Property and equipment, office tenant improvements and software licenses are recorded at cost and are depreciated using the straight-line method over their estimated useful lives. Equipment and computer hardware are depreciated over three years and furniture and fixtures over five to ten years. Leasehold improvements are recorded at cost and amortized over the shorter of the term of the related lease or seven years. We allocate depreciation to expense categories based on the relative number of employees in each category. Based on our current estimated level of capital expenditures, we expect our depreciation expense to increase in absolute dollars but to remain relatively stable as a percentage of revenue for the full year ending December 31, 2012.
Due to our historical acquisitions, we have recorded identifiable intangible assets, which are being amortized over their estimated useful lives. As a result, our amortization expense has grown as we have made acquisitions. We perform annual impairment testing of goodwill and intangibles with indefinite lives with the assistance of a third-party valuation firm, or whenever events or circumstances indicate that impairment may have occurred. Due to our website network and brand consolidation efforts, we expect to begin amortizing certain indefinite lived intangible assets in the second quarter of 2012 which, up to this point, have not been amortized. This change in estimate, along with amortization from the impact of our acquisition of Top Rural S.L. in April 2012, will result in increased amortization expense. As a result, we expect our amortization expenses to increase in absolute dollars in 2012, compared to 2011, but to decrease as a percentage of revenue in the coming year. Amortization expense will depend on our future acquisition activity.
Other Income (Expense)
Interest expense is offset by interest earned on our excess cash, which is invested in short-term instruments. In 2009, we had operations in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. In 2010, we expanded operations to Brazil and Switzerland. In 2011, we expanded operations to Australia and Spain. As a result of operating in multiple countries, we incur gains and losses on foreign currency transactions, primarily related to the valuation of intercompany loans and short-term advances.
We accrue federal, state, and foreign income taxes at the applicable statutory rates adjusted for certain items, including non-deductible expenses, the most significant of which is stock-based compensation and changes in our reserves for uncertain tax positions and deferred tax asset valuation allowance.
Historically, we have generated most of our current taxable income outside of the United States. However, in 2012, we expect to utilize most of our available U.S. NOL carryforward, and therefore expect to generate current taxable income in the United States, In the remainder of 2012, we expect to pay corporate income taxes associated with our operations in the United States as well as in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Australia and Brazil. We will continue to expand our business outside of the United States, in which case, we will become subject to further taxation based on foreign statutory tax rates in those jurisdictions where we operate, and our effective tax rate may fluctuate as a result.
During the second quarter of 2011, we began implementing a restructuring that involves transferring key intellectual property from our existing businesses in Europe and the United States to our new European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Our Swiss and U.S. subsidiaries also entered into an agreement to share the costs of website development going forward. The impact of these transfers and the start-up period in Switzerland negatively impacted tax expense in 2011 and 2012; however, we expect tax savings in future periods as a result of the full implementation of restructuring.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
We prepare our condensed consolidated financial statements in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, costs and expenses and related disclosures. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. In many instances, we could reasonably use different accounting estimates, and in some instances changes in the accounting estimates are reasonably likely to occur from period to period. Accordingly, actual results could differ significantly from the estimates made by our management. To the extent that there are material differences between our estimates and actual results, our future financial statement presentation, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows will be affected.
In many cases, the accounting treatment of a particular transaction is specifically dictated by GAAP and does not require managements judgment in its application, while in other cases, managements judgment is required in selecting among available alternative accounting standards that allow different accounting treatment for similar transactions. We believe that these accounting policies requiring significant management judgment are critical to understanding our historical and future performance, as these policies relate to the more significant areas involving managements judgments and estimates. These critical accounting policies are:
A description of our critical accounting policies that involve significant management judgments appears in our Annual Report on Form 10K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 29, 2012 under Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of OperationsCritical Accounting Policies and Estimates.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In 2011, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued two Accounting Standard Updates (ASU), which amend guidance for the presentation of comprehensive income. The amended guidance requires an entity to present components of net income and other comprehensive income in one continuous statement, referred to as the statement of comprehensive income, or in two separate, but consecutive statements. The current option to report other comprehensive income and its components in the statement of stockholders equity has been eliminated. Although the new guidance changes the presentation of comprehensive income, there are no changes to the components that are recognized in net income or other comprehensive income under existing guidance. We adopted these ASUs using two consecutive statements in Q1 2012 for all periods presented.
Results of Operations
The following table presents our operating results and our operating results as a percentage of revenue for the periods indicated:
Comparison of the Three Months Ended March 31, 2012 and 2011
Revenue was $64.1 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to $52.0 million in the three months ended March 31, 2011, an increase of $12.1 million, or 23.4%. Our U.S. revenue was $40.2 million, or 62.7% of our total revenue during the first quarter of 2012, compared to $31.8 million, or 61.3% of our total revenue in the same quarter during 2011.
Our listing business revenue increased by $8.8 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to the three months ended March 31, 2011, primarily due to an increased number of new listings and continued strength in renewal rates. Paid listings increased from 575,166 at March 31, 2011, to 699,088 at March 31, 2012, an increase of 21.5%. Renewal rates increased from 76.1% at March 31, 2011, to 77.0% at March 31, 2012.
With respect to other revenue, software licensing and related maintenance revenue increased by $618,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2012 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2011 mainly due to increased maintenance revenues. Advertising revenue increased by $1.4 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to the three months ended March 31, 2011. Revenue from our owner reservation tool and the related merchant bank credit card royalties increased by $455,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2012 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2011. The balance of the increased revenue was generated from products focused on travelers, such as trip insurance and the Carefree Rental Guarantee, which generated increased revenues of $805,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.
Cost of Revenue
Cost of revenue was $10.5 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to $8.5 million in the three months ended March 31, 2011, an increase of $2.1 million, or 24.5%. A large part of the increase was due to a $0.9 million increase in salaries, benefits, bonuses and related expenses (including non-cash stock compensation) for our customer service and web-hosting personnel. At March 31, 2012, we had 60 additional customer support personnel and six additional personnel to support our web-hosting operations compared to the number of our customer service and web-hosting personnel at March 31, 2011. With increased customer service employees, as well as increased investment in hosting equipment, we incurred $203,000 in additional expense for facilities and depreciation. Merchant fees are generally incurred as a percentage of credit card receipts and increased by $403,000, relatively consistent on a percentage basis with revenue growth. The balance of the increased expenses included $338,000 related to expenses recorded for new claims under the Carefree Rental Guarantee.
Product development expense was $9.7 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to $7.0 million in the three months ended March 31, 2011, an increase of $2.7 million, or 38.4%. A large part of the increase was due to a $2.0 million increase in salaries, benefits, bonuses and related expenses (including non-cash stock compensation), offset by an increase in capitalized software costs of $143,000. At
March 31, 2012, we had 34 additional employees in product development compared to March 31, 2011. Overall increases in headcount also drove higher facilities and depreciation expense of $166,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2012. Contracting expense increased $473,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to the three months ended March 31, 2011, due to increased use of outsourced technology resources.
Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing expense was $24.7 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to $22.7 million in the three months ended March 31, 2011, an increase of $2.1 million, or 9.1%. Salaries, benefits, bonuses and related expenses (including non-cash stock compensation) increased $1.3 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012, due primarily to an increase in the number of our employees. At March 31, 2012, we had 38 additional employees in sales and marketing compared to March 31, 2011. In the three months ended March 31, 2012, direct marketing expenses increased by $203,000 due to higher expenses associated with pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization costs to support the growth of the overall business. Facilities and depreciation expenses allocated to sales and marketing increased by $128,000 and contracting and travel expenses increased by $184,000.
General and Administrative
General and administrative expense was $12.8 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to $10.3 million in the three months ended March 31, 2011, an increase of $2.6 million, or 24.9%. Salaries, benefits, bonuses and related expenses (including non-cash stock compensation) increased by $1.7 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to the three months ended March 31, 2011. At March 31, 2012, we had 30 additional employees and executives in operations, finance, human resources, legal and various IT areas compared to the number of operations, finance, human resources, legal and various IT personnel at March 31, 2011. Correspondingly to the increase in headcount, recruiting fees increased by $250,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2012.
Consulting, professional fees and contracting expenses increased $138,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2012, due to increased legal, accounting and consulting services to support being a public company. Equipment expenses increased by $501,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2012 to support the overall growth of the business.
Amortization expense was $2.4 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to $2.9 million in the three months ended March 31, 2011, a decrease of $0.4 million, or 14.5%.
The decrease in our amortization expense in the three months ended March 31, 2012 was due to a decrease of $461,000 resulting from certain identifiable intangible assets from prior acquisitions becoming fully amortized, offset by increased amortization from recent acquisitions.
Other Income (Expense)
We recorded $526,000 in gains from foreign currency denominated transactions for the three months ended March 31, 2012. We have engaged in forward contracts to hedge foreign currency impact on certain of our intercompany loans during the three months ended March 31, 2012, which resulted in $1.3 million in losses from foreign currency denominated transactions for the three months ended March 31, 2012. Interest income was $169,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2012 compared to $57,000 for the same period in 2011.
Our income tax expense was $0.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012, compared to an income tax benefit of $0.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2011. The expense in the three months ended March 31, 2012 is primarily due to tax expense of $1.8 million determined using our estimated annual effective tax rate of 55.2% offset by a benefit of $0.9 million due to a 180 disqualifying disposition booked discretely in the three months ended March 31, 2012. The estimated annual effective tax rate at March 31, 2012 differed from the statutory rate primarily due to non-deductible stock-based compensation charges, state taxes and the effect of different statutory tax rates in foreign jurisdictions. The expense in the three months ended March 31, 2011 was due to tax expense of $425,000 determined using an estimated annual effective tax rate of 62.7% offset by a benefit of $1.3 million due to the release of reserves for uncertain tax positions due to the completion of audits of two of our foreign subsidiaries. The estimated annual effective tax rate at March 31, 2011 differed from the statutory rate primarily due to non-deductible stock based-compensation.
Seasonality and Quarterly Results
Our operating results may fluctuate for a variety of reasons, including seasonal factors and economic cycles that influence the vacation travel market. Property owners and managers tend to buy listings at times when travelers are most likely to make vacation plans. The timing depends on whether travelers are taking a winter or summer vacation and tends to vary by country. Historically, we have experienced the highest level of new and renewed listings in the first quarter of the year, which is typically when travelers are making plans for summer vacations in the United States and Europe. The lowest level of new listings and renewals has occurred in the third quarter. By the fourth quarter, we typically see property owners and managers of winter vacation destinations list and renew in time to meet the needs of travelers planning those trips. Other vacation areas outside of the United States and Europe, such as Brazil and Australia, also have seasonality, but the seasonality may not be reflected in the same quarters.
This cyclicality may not be seen as prominently in our revenue due to the ratable recognition of listing revenue. However, the seasonality results in higher cash flows during the first quarter as most listings are annual and fully paid at the time the listing is purchased. As we introduce new products for property owners, managers and travelers, the seasonality of those transactions may vary from the seasonality of our listing sales. We also experience seasonality in the number of visitors to our websites, also with the first quarter having the highest number of visitors. This is reflected in our quarterly financial results when we add customer service staff and hosting capabilities to support the increase.
Our operating results may fluctuate due to a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control. As a result, comparing our operating results on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful and historical results may not be indicative of future performance.
Discussion Regarding Adjusted EBITDA, Free Cash Flow and Pro Forma Net Income and Reconciliation to GAAP
We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss) plus depreciation; amortization of intangible assets; interest expense, net; income tax expense (benefit); stock-based compensation expense, all net of any foreign exchange income or expense.
The following table presents a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA (in thousands):
We define free cash flow as our cash provided by operating activities, adjusted for cash interest expense, and subtracting capital expenditures. For the purpose of calculating free cash flow, we consider purchases of property, equipment, tenant improvements for our offices, and software licenses (including costs associated with internally developed software) as capital expenditures.
The following table presents a summary of cash flows and a reconciliation of cash flows from operating activities to free cash flows (in thousands):
We define pro forma as our net income (loss) plus the after-tax effect of stock-based compensation expense and amortization of intangible assets, utilizing an effective tax rate of 35%. The income tax effect of adjustments to pro forma net income assists investors in understanding the tax provision related to those adjustments and the effective tax rate of 35% related to ongoing operations.
The following table presents a reconciliation of net income to pro forma net income (in thousands):
Adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow and pro forma net income are financial measures that are not calculated in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, or GAAP. However, we believe that the use of Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow are useful to investors in evaluating our operating performance for the following reasons:
Adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow and pro forma net income should not be reviewed in isolation. You should consider them in addition to, and not as substitutes for, measures of our financial performance reported in accordance with GAAP. Our Adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow or pro forma net income may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies and because other companies may not calculate such measures in the same manner as we do. Adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow and pro forma net income have limitations as analytical tools. As an example, although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated or amortized will often need to be replaced in the future, and Adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow and pro forma net income do not reflect any cash requirements for these replacements. In addition, none of these measures reflect future requirements for contractual obligations.
Further limitations of Adjusted EBITDA include:
Supplemental Financial Information
The following tables present stock-based compensation and depreciation included in the respective line items in our Consolidated Statements of Operations (in thousands):
Liquidity and Capital Resources
From our incorporation in 2004 until March 31, 2012, we financed our operations and acquisitions primarily through private placements of our capital stock and bank borrowings, which have been fully repaid, and from cash flows from operations. On July 5, 2011, we completed our initial public offering, which generated net proceeds of approximately $146.2 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and other expenses incurred for the sale of our common stock. As of March 31, 2012, our cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $222.7 million, compared to $184.0 million at December 31, 2011. At March 31, 2012, this amount included assets held in certain of our foreign operations totaling approximately $67.5 million. If these assets were distributed to the U.S., we may be subject to additional U.S. taxes in certain circumstances. We actively monitor the third-party depository institutions and money market funds that hold these assets, primarily focusing on the safety of principal and secondarily maximizing yield on these assets. We diversify our cash and cash equivalents and investments among various financial institutions and money market funds in order to reduce our exposure should any one of these financial institutions or money market funds fail or encounter difficulties. To date, we have not experienced any material loss or lack of access to our invested cash, cash equivalents or short-term investments; however, we can provide no assurances that access to our invested cash, cash equivalents or short-term investments will not be impacted by adverse conditions in the financial markets. We have funds in our operating accounts that are deposited with third party financial institutions. These balances in the U.S. may exceed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance limits. While we monitor the cash balances in our operating accounts, these cash balances could be adversely impacted if the underlying financial institutions fail and could be subject to other adverse conditions in the financial markets.
The following table summarizes our cash flows for the periods indicated:
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities
Net cash provided by operating activities was $33.4 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012 compared to $21.0 million in the comparable prior year period, representing an increase of $12.4 million, or 59.1%.
A key driver of our cash from operations is the upfront collection of fees for new and renewed listing subscriptions. In the three months ended March 31, 2012, cash was generated primarily through an increase in new and renewed listing subscriptions, resulting in higher upfront collection of listing fees and increased deferred revenue of $20.2 million. During the three months ended March 31, 2012, we generated net income of $2.4 million. Included in our net income was depreciation expense of $2.5 million, amortization expense of $2.4 million, non-cash stock-based compensation of $5.2 million, and an increase in non-cash deferred income taxes of $3.5 million. Net income, excluding these non-cash reductions, contributed $16.0 million to cash provided by operating activities.
In the three months ended March 31, 2011, cash was generated primarily through an increase in deferred revenue of $18.0 million. Historically, we have experienced the highest level of new and renewed listings in the first quarter of the year, which is typically when owners advertise to travelers who are planning summer vacations.
The growth in our number of paid listings, the impact of other revenue and expenses, the timing and amount of future working capital changes and tax payments will affect the future amount of cash used in or provided by operating activities.
Net Cash Used in Investing Activities
Net cash used in investing activities was $4.7 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012 compared to $0.6 million in the comparable period in the prior year, representing an increase of $4.1 million, or 736.9%. Our investing activities reflect acquisitions we have made as well as capital expenditures and changes in our short-term investments. We may have acquisitions in the future that could have a material impact on our cash flows and operations.
During the three months ended March 31, 2012, capital expenditures were $5.8 million and included $1.3 million in capitalized software development costs. Proceeds received from the sale of short-term investments, net of purchases of short-term investments, were $2.2 million and cash outflows related to the net settlement of foreign currency forwards were $1.3 million.
During the three months ended March 31, 2011, capital expenditures were $3.2 million and included $1.1 million in capitalized software development costs. Proceeds received from the sale of short-term investments were $4.0 million and cash outflows related to the net settlement of foreign currency forwards were $1.4 million.
As our business expands, we expect to continue to invest in new computers and software for employees, for product development and to support the hosting of our websites. As we expand our facilities, we intend to purchase furniture and fixtures and invest in leasehold improvements. Our planned capital expenditures are not expected to exceed $19.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2012.
Net Cash Provided by Financing Activities
Net cash provided by financing activities was $11.5 million in the three months ended March 31, 2012 compared to $1.3 million in the comparable prior year period, representing an increase of $10.2 million, or 792.5%.
Cash provided by financing activities in each of the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 was comprised of proceeds from the exercise of stock options to purchase common stock. Additionally, in the periods ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, approximately $603,000 and $241,000 of cash provided was related to excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation, respectively.
We believe that our existing cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and cash generated from operations will be sufficient to satisfy our currently anticipated cash requirements through at least the next 12 months.
Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including our rate of revenue growth, the expansion of our marketing and sales activities, the timing and extent of spending to support product development efforts, the timing of introductions of new products and services and enhancements to existing products and services, potential acquisitions and the continuing market acceptance of our products and services. We may need to raise additional capital through future debt or equity financing to the extent necessary to fund such activities. Additional financing may not be available at all or on terms favorable to us. We may enter into arrangements in the future with respect to investments in, or acquisitions of, complementary businesses, products, services or technologies, which could also require us to seek additional equity or debt financing.
Contractual Obligations and Commitments
The majority of our property owners and managers pay for their listings by credit card because it simplifies and expedites the payment process and is a relatively secure form of payment. We have multiple agreements with credit card companies to support these activities. Most of our property owners and managers purchase an annual listing, for which payment is made at the beginning of the listing. There is a risk that we may fail to fully perform our obligations under the listing, which could result in an obligation of the credit card companies to reimburse their customers for a portion or all of the listing fee. We would be obligated to reimburse the credit card companies for all such amounts they pay pursuant to our agreements with them, under which we have obtained our credit card acceptance privileges.
As of March 31, 2012, we have $550,000 held in restricted cash to protect the bank from default on credit cards used in our operations and 200,000 Swiss francs in restricted cash to support a bank guarantee related to our new European headquarters lease in Geneva, Switzerland. As we enter into new leases and as we make changes to our credit card merchants and acquiring banks, we may have increases to restricted cash and deposits.
As of March 31, 2012, we have reserved $5.2 million for uncertain tax positions, including interest and penalties. We are unable to make a reasonably reliable estimate as to when or if cash settlement with taxing authorities will occur for the unrecognized tax benefits. For additional information regarding uncertain tax positions, see Note 11 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
During the three month periods ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, we did not, and we do not currently, have any relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, such as entities often referred to as structured finance or special purpose entities, which would have been established for the purpose of facilitating off-balance sheet arrangements or other contractually narrow or limited purposes that have, or are reasonably likely to have, a current or future material effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations, liquidity, capital expenditures or capital resources.
Foreign currency exchange risk. We have subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Spain, Australia and Brazil. Our subsidiaries generally use the local currency as their functional currency, which we translate into U.S. dollars for consolidation.
Our results of operations and cash flows are subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates involving the British pound, the Euro, the Brazilian Reais, the Swiss Franc and the Australian dollar. We currently enter into forward contracts to hedge fluctuations in the value of certain intercompany debt denominated in foreign currencies but do not enter into any other derivative financial instruments for trading or speculative purposes. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates could harm our business in the future. Because we conduct a significant and growing portion of our business outside the United States but report our results in U.S. dollars, we face exposure to adverse movements in currency exchange rates, which may cause our revenue and operating results to differ materially from expectations. In addition, the results of operations of many of our internationally focused websites are exposed to foreign exchange rate fluctuations as the financial results of the applicable subsidiaries are translated from the local currency into U.S. dollars upon consolidation. A decline in the U.S. dollar relative to foreign currencies would increase our non-U.S. revenue and improve our operating results. Conversely, if the U.S. dollar strengthens relative to foreign currencies, our revenue and operating results would be adversely affected. The effect of an immediate 10% adverse change in exchange rates on foreign denominated cash and receivables as of March 31, 2012, would result in a loss of approximately $0.5 million and a reduction in value on the balance sheet of approximately $7.6 million.
Investments and Interest Rate Sensitivity. The primary objective of our investment activities is to preserve principal while at the same time maximizing yields without significantly increasing risk. To achieve this objective, we invest in short-term, high-quality, interest-bearing securities. To minimize our exposure to an adverse shift in interest rates, we invest in short-term securities and maintain an average maturity of one year or less.
Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures
Our management, with the participation of our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Financial Officer, evaluated the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures as of March 31, 2012. The term disclosure controls and procedures, as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act, means controls and other procedures of a company that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by a company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported, within the time periods specified in the SECs rules and forms. Disclosure controls and procedures include, without limitation, controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by a company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to the companys management, including its principal executive and principal financial officers, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. Management recognizes that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives and management necessarily applies its judgment in evaluating the cost-benefit relationship of possible controls and procedures. Based on the evaluation of our disclosure controls and procedures as of March 31, 2012, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer concluded that, as of such date, our disclosure controls and procedures were effective at the reasonable assurance level.
Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting
The SEC, as required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, adopted rules requiring every company that files reports with the SEC to include a management report on such companys internal control over financial reporting in its annual report. In addition, our independent registered public accounting firm must attest to our internal control over financial reporting. Management will be required to provide an assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012. We believe we will have adequate resources and expertise, both internal and external, in place to meet this requirement. However, there is no guarantee that our efforts will result in managements ability to conclude, or our independent registered public accounting firm to attest, that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as of December 31, 2012.
There were no changes in our internal control over financial reporting that occurred during the three months ended March 31, 2012 that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.
From time to time, we are involved in litigation related to claims arising from the ordinary course of our business. We believe that there are no claims or actions pending or threatened against us, the ultimate disposition of which would have a material adverse effect on us.
Risks Related to Our Business
We are an early-stage company with a limited operating history, which makes it difficult to evaluate our current business and future prospects and may increase the risk of your investment.
We began our operations in February 2005. Our limited operating history may make it difficult to evaluate our current business and our future prospects. We have encountered and will continue to encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly changing industries, including challenges in accurate financial planning and forecasting. You should consider our business and prospects in light of the risks and difficulties we may encounter as an early-stage company.
If we are unable to attract and maintain a critical mass of vacation rental listings and travelers, whether due to competition or other factors, our marketplace will become less valuable to property owners and managers and to travelers, and our revenue and net income could decrease materially.
Currently, substantially all of our revenue is generated when owners or managers of vacation rentals pay us listing fees to list and market vacation rentals to travelers who visit the websites comprising our marketplace. We anticipate generating additional revenue in the future by introducing new services and products on our websites targeted at property owners, managers and travelers. Our success depends on our ability to attract owners, managers, travelers and advertisers to our marketplace. If owners and managers choose not to market their vacation rentals through our websites, or elect to list them with a competitor, we may be unable to offer a sufficient supply and variety of vacation properties to attract travelers to our websites. If we are unable to attract travelers to our websites, advertisers may not purchase display advertising on our websites. Similarly, our volume of new listings and listing renewals may suffer if we are unable to attract travelers to our websites. The perceived usefulness of our online marketplace is likely to decline, and our revenue and net income could decrease materially as a result of any of these events.
Our business depends substantially on property owners and managers renewing their listings. Because we recognize listing revenue over the term of the applicable agreement, the lack of listing renewals may not immediately be reflected in our operating results.
Our business depends substantially on property owners and managers renewing their listings. Any decline in our listing renewals would harm our future operating results. Property owners and managers generally market their vacation rentals on our websites pursuant to annual listings with no obligation to renew them. We may be unable to predict future listing renewal rates accurately, and our renewal rates may decline materially or fluctuate as a result of a number of factors, including owners decisions to sell or cease renting their properties or to utilize the services of our competitors, or dissatisfaction with our pricing, services or websites. For example, our adoption of new features such as property reviews by travelers, which are designed to attract more travelers, have discouraged and may continue to discourage owners and managers from establishing or renewing their listings. Owners and managers may not establish or renew listings if we cannot generate visits from large numbers of travelers seeking and inquiring about vacation rentals. In addition, from time to time we make changes to the features of listings available for purchase and the pricing for the listings and features of our listings. While such changes may be intended to result in customer satisfaction, there can be no guarantee that owners and managers will react positively to the changes and they may choose not to renew their listings. If owners and managers do not renew their listings or we are forced to accept renewals on less favorable terms, our revenue may decline and our business will suffer. Moreover, some of our owners and managers may live in states or countries that give subscribers the right to cancel their subscription agreements prior to the expiration of the terms of their agreements and receive refunds for the unused portions of their subscriptions, which can adversely affect our cash flows.
We recognize listing revenue ratably over the term of the applicable listing agreement, and the majority of our quarterly revenue represents revenue attributable to listings entered into during previous quarters. As a result, the effect of significant downturns in sales or renewals of listings in a particular quarter may not be fully reflected in our results of operations until future periods. Our business model also makes it difficult for any rapid increase in new or renewed listings to increase our revenue in any one period because revenue from new listings must be recognized over the applicable listing term.
We may be unable to effectively manage our growth.
Since our inception, we have experienced rapid growth. As our operations have expanded, we have grown from 87 employees at December 31, 2005 to 1,010 employees at March 31, 2012, of whom 368 were located outside the United States. Our business is becoming increasingly complex, especially in light of the number of acquisitions we have integrated and are in the process of integrating, our limited operating history and our reliance on multiple websites and brands that are currently supported on several different technology platforms. This complexity and our rapid growth have demanded, and will continue to demand, substantial resources and attention from our management. We expect to continue to increase headcount and to hire more specialized personnel in the future as we grow our business. We will need to continue to hire, train and manage additional qualified website developers, software engineers, client and account services personnel, and sales and marketing staff and improve and maintain our technology to properly manage our growth. If our new hires perform poorly, if we are unsuccessful in hiring, training, managing and integrating these new employees or if we are not successful in retaining our existing employees, our business may be harmed.
Further, to accommodate our expected growth we must add new hardware and software and improve and maintain our technology, systems and network infrastructure. Failure to effectively upgrade our technology or network infrastructure to support the expected increased listing and traveler traffic volume could result in unanticipated system disruptions, slow response times or poor experiences for owners, managers or travelers. To manage the expected growth of our operations and personnel and to support financial reporting requirements as a public company, we will need to continue to improve our transaction processing and reporting, operational and financial systems, procedures and controls. These improvements will be particularly challenging if we acquire new operations with different systems. Our current and planned personnel, systems, procedures and controls may not be adequate to support our future operations. If we are unable to expand our operations and hire additional qualified personnel in an efficient manner, it could adversely affect owner, manager or traveler satisfaction and cause our expenses to grow disproportionately relative to our revenue.
Our quarterly financial results are subject to fluctuations. As a result, we could fail to meet or exceed our projections or the expectations of analysts or investors, which could cause our stock price to decline.
Our revenue, expenses, operating results and cash flows have fluctuated from quarter to quarter in the past and are likely to continue to do so in the future. These fluctuations are due to, or may in the future result from, many factors, some of which are outside of our control, including:
Fluctuations in our quarterly operating results may, particularly if unforeseen, cause us to miss any projections we may have provided or may lead analysts or investors to change their long-term models for valuing our common stock. In addition, such fluctuations may cause us to face short-term liquidity issues, impact our ability to retain or attract key personnel or cause other unanticipated issues. Any of these effects could cause our stock price to decline. As a result of the potential variations in our quarterly revenue and operating results, we believe that quarter-to-quarter comparisons of our revenue and operating results may not be meaningful and the results of any one quarter should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance.
If the businesses we have acquired do not perform as expected or we are unable to effectively integrate acquired businesses, our operating results and prospects could be harmed.
We have acquired 18 businesses since our inception. The businesses we have acquired may not perform as well as we expect. Failure to manage and successfully integrate recently acquired businesses and technologies could harm our operating results and our prospects. Our mergers and acquisitions involve numerous risks, including the following:
Moreover, we rely heavily on the representations and warranties provided to us by the sellers of acquired companies, including as they relate to creation, ownership and rights in intellectual property, existence of open source and compliance with laws and contractual requirements. If any of these representations and warranties are inaccurate or breached, such inaccuracy or breach could result in costly litigation and assessment of liability for which there may not be adequate recourse against such sellers, in part due to contractual time limitations and limitations of liability.
If we are not able to maintain and enhance our HomeAway brand and the brands associated with each of our websites, our reputation and business may suffer.
Maintaining and enhancing our HomeAway brand identity and the brand identities we maintain through our other websites are critical to our ability to attract new property owners, managers and travelers to our marketplace, generate advertising revenue and successfully introduce new services and products. We may not be able to successfully build our HomeAway brand identity in the United States and overseas without losing some or all of the value associated with, or decreasing the effectiveness of, our other brand identities. We expect that the promotion of our brands will require us to make substantial investments, and, as our market becomes more competitive, these branding initiatives may become increasingly difficult and expensive. The successful promotion of our brands will depend largely on our marketing and public relations efforts. If we do not successfully maintain and enhance our brands, we could lose traveler traffic, which could, in turn, cause owners and managers of vacation rentals to terminate or elect not to renew their listings with us. Our brand promotion activities may not be successful or may not yield revenue sufficient to offset their cost, which could adversely affect our reputation and business.
If we are unable to continue to drive visitors to our websites from search engines, then traffic to our websites could decrease, which could negatively impact property and manager satisfaction with our websites and therefore cause our revenue to decrease.
Many visitors find our websites by searching for vacation rental information through Internet search engines. A critical factor in attracting visitors to our websites is how prominently we are displayed in response to search queries. Accordingly, we utilize search engine marketing as a means to provide a significant portion of our visitor acquisition. Search engine marketing includes both paid visitor acquisition on a cost-per-click basis and visitor acquisition on an unpaid basis, often referred to as organic search.
One method we employ to acquire visitors via organic search is commonly known as search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO involves developing our websites in a way that enables the websites to rank highly for search queries for which our websites content may be relevant.
The various search engine providers, such as Google and Bing, employ proprietary algorithms and other methods for determining which websites are displayed for a given search query and how highly websites rank. Search engine providers may also launch new features to enhance search results, which may negatively affect the number of visitors to our websites. Search engine algorithms and other methods that determine the display and ranking of results may change from time to time, generally without public announcement or detailed explanation. Therefore, the success of our SEO strategy depends, in part, on our ability to anticipate and respond to such changes in a timely and effective manner through website and content development.
In addition, websites must comply with search engine guidelines and policies. These guidelines and policies are complex and may change at any time. If we fail to follow such guidelines and policies properly, the search engine may cause our content to rank low in search results or could remove the content altogether from its index. If we fail to understand and comply with these guidelines and policies and ensure our websites compliance, our SEO strategy may not be successful.
If we are listed less prominently or fail to appear in search result listings for any reason, including as a result of our failure to successfully execute our SEO strategy, it is likely that we will acquire fewer visitors to our websites, which could adversely impact property owner and manager satisfaction with our websites and, therefore, adversely impact our revenue. We may not be able to replace this traffic with the same volume of visitors or in the same cost-effective manner from other channels, such as cost-per-click search engine marketing or display or other advertising, or at all. An attempt to replace this traffic through other channels may require us to increase our sales and marketing expenditures, which may not be offset by additional revenue, adversely affecting our operating results.
The online vacation rental market is relatively new and is rapidly evolving. If we fail to predict the manner in which our market develops, our business and prospects may suffer materially.
The market for online vacation rentals is relatively new and unproven with little to no data or research available regarding the market and industry. It is uncertain whether this market will continue to develop or if our services will achieve and sustain a level of demand and market acceptance sufficient for us to generate revenue, net income and free cash flow growth. Our success will depend to a substantial extent on the willingness of property owners and managers to use commercial online rental property listing services. Some property managers have developed and use their own proprietary online listing services and, therefore, may be reluctant or unwilling to migrate to our websites. Furthermore, some travelers and property owners and managers may be reluctant or unwilling to use online listing services because of concerns regarding the security of data, the potential for fraud or phishing activity or the integrity of the online marketplace. If property owners and managers do not perceive the benefits of marketing their properties online, then our market may not develop as we expect, or it may develop more slowly than we expect, either of which would significantly harm our business and operating results. Moreover, our success will depend on travelers use of our online marketplace to search, locate and rent vacation rentals, which will depend on their willingness to use the Internet and their belief in the integrity of our websites. In addition, since we operate in unproven and unstudied markets, we have limited insight into trends that may develop in those markets and may affect our business. We may make errors in predicting and reacting to other relevant business trends, which could harm our business.
Unfavorable changes in, or interpretations of, government regulations or taxation of the evolving vacation rental, Internet and e-commerce industries could harm our operating results.
We operate in markets throughout the world, each of which has its own regulatory and taxation requirements. Since we began our operations in 2005, there have been, and continue to be, regulatory developments that affect the vacation rental industry and the ability of companies like us to list those rentals online. For example, some municipalities have adopted ordinances that limit the ability of property owners to rent certain properties for fewer than 30 consecutive days and other cities have introduced or may introduce similar regulations. Some cities also have fair housing or other laws governing the way properties may be rented, which they assert apply to vacation rentals. Many homeowners, condominium and neighborhood associations have adopted regulations that prohibit or restrict short-term rentals. These and other similar developments could reduce the number of listings on our websites, which could harm our business and operating results.
From time to time, we may become involved in challenges by or disputes with government agencies regarding these regulations. For example, some government agencies have asked us directly to comply with their regulations and provide owner and manager data to assist them in their enforcement and audit efforts. Also, each region in which we operate has different regulations with respect to licensing and other requirements for the listing of vacation rentals. If a governmental entity sought to apply applicable regulations in a manner that would limit or curtail our ability or willingness to list properties in that particular region, there can be no assurance that we would be successful in defending against the application of these laws and regulations. Further, if we were required to comply with regulations and government requests that negatively impact our relations with property owners, managers and travelers, our business, operations and financial results could be adversely impacted.
Compliance with laws and regulations of different jurisdictions imposing different standards and requirements is very burdensome for businesses like ours. Our online marketplace is accessed by owners, managers and travelers in multiple states and foreign jurisdictions. Our business efficiencies and economies of scale depend on generally uniform treatment of owners, managers and travelers across all jurisdictions in which we operate. Compliance requirements that vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction impose an added cost to our business and increased liability for compliance deficiencies. In addition, laws or regulations that could harm our business could be adopted, or reinterpreted in a manner that affects our activities, by the U.S. government, state governments, and regulatory agencies or by foreign governments or agencies, including but not limited to the regulation of personal and consumer information and real estate licensing requirements. Violations or new interpretations of these laws or regulations may result in penalties, negatively impact our operations and damage our reputation and business.
Additionally, new, changed, modified or newly interpreted or applied tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could increase our owners and managers and our compliance, operating and other costs, which could deter owners from renting their vacation properties, negatively affect our new subscription listings and renewals, or increase our cost of doing business. Any or all of these events could adversely impact our business and financial performance.
The market in which we participate is highly competitive, and we may be unable to compete successfully with our current or future competitors.
The market to provide listing, search and marketing services for the vacation rental industry is highly competitive and fragmented. All of the services that we provide to property owners, managers and travelers, including listing and search, are provided separately or in combination to our current or potential owners and managers by other companies that compete with us. Our current or new competitors may adopt aspects of our business model, which could reduce our ability to differentiate our services. Furthermore, listings in the vacation rental industry are not typically marketed exclusively through any single channel, and our listing agreements are not typically exclusive. Accordingly, our competitors could aggregate a set of listings similar to ours. Increased competition could result in a reduction in our revenue, the rate of our new listing acquisition, or the loss of existing listings or market share.
There are thousands of vacation rental listing websites in the United States and Europe that compete directly with us for listings, travelers, or both, such as FlipKey, aLeisure, InterHome, James Villas, TripAdvisor and Wyndham Worldwide. Many of these websites offer free or heavily discounted listings or focus on a particular geographic location or a specific type of rental property. Some of them also aggregate property listings obtained through various sources, including the websites of property managers some of whom also market their properties on our websites.
Moreover, we compete with online travel websites, such as Expedia, Hotels.com, Kayak, Priceline, Orbitz and Travelocity, which have traditionally provided comprehensive travel services and some of whom are now expanding into the vacation rental category. We also compete with large Internet companies, such as craigslist, eBay, Google, MSN.com and Yahoo!, which provide listing or advertising services in addition to a wide variety of other products or services.
Some of our current or potential competitors are larger and have more resources than we do. Many of our current and potential competitors enjoy substantial competitive advantages, such as greater name recognition in their markets, longer operating histories and larger marketing budgets, as well as substantially greater financial, technical and other resources. In addition, our current or potential competitors may have access to larger property owner, manager or traveler bases. As a result, our competitors may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards or owner, manager or traveler requirements. Furthermore, because of these advantages, existing and potential owners, managers and travelers might accept our competitors offerings, even if they may be inferior to ours. For all of these reasons, we may not be able to compete successfully against our current and future competitors.
Other companies address the fragmented travel lodging market, such as Airbnb, Inc. in the United States and 9Flats.com in Europe, which list rooms to rent or allow advertisers who want to rent their homes occasionally instead of for a vacation season or full time. Some vacation rental property owners also list on these websites, and consequently these companies compete with us to some extent today and could become more significant competitors in the future.
In addition, competitors such as Perfect Places, Inc. and VacationRoost, Inc. serve the professional management marketplace for vacation rentals exclusively, and therefore have the capability of creating more targeted products and features for property manager constituents.
We believe we compete primarily on the basis of the quantity of our listings, the quality of the direct relationships we have with property owners and managers, the volume of travelers who visit our websites, the number of inquiries provided to our property owners and managers, the global diversity of the vacation rentals available on our websites, the quality of our websites, customer service, brand identity, the success of our marketing programs, and price. If current or potential property owners, managers or travelers choose to use any of these competitive offerings in lieu of ours, our revenue could decrease and we could be required to make additional expenditures to compete more effectively. Any of these events or results would harm our business, operating results and financial condition.
Our long-term success depends, in part, on our ability to expand our owner, manager and traveler bases outside of the United States and, as a result, our business is susceptible to risks associated with international operations.
As our operations have expanded, we have acquired businesses or established offices around the world. As of March 31, 2012, we maintained offices in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Switzerland, Spain and Australia. We have limited experience in operating in some foreign jurisdictions and are making significant investments to build our international operations. We plan to continue our efforts to expand globally, including the acquisition of international businesses and establishment of foreign offices in jurisdictions where we do not currently operate. Managing a global organization is difficult, time consuming and expensive and any international expansion efforts that we may undertake may not be successful. In addition, conducting international operations subjects us to risks that we generally do not face in the United States. These risks include:
Operating in international markets also requires significant management attention and financial resources. We cannot assure you that our international expansion efforts will be successful, and the investment and additional resources required to establish operations and manage growth in other countries may not produce desired levels of revenue or profitability.
If we are unable to introduce new or upgraded services or features that travelers or property owners and managers recognize as valuable, we may fail to drive additional travelers to our websites or retain existing and attract new property owners and managers. Our efforts to develop new and upgraded services and products could require us to incur significant costs.
In order to continue to attract travelers to our online marketplace and retain existing and attract new property owners and managers, we will need to continue to invest in the development of new products, services and features that add value for travelers, property owners and managers, and that differentiate us from our competitors. The success of new products, services and features depends on several factors, including the timely completion, introduction and market acceptance of the product, service or feature. Additionally, new products, services or features we develop for individual property owners may be viewed by professional property managers as harmful to their business if, as a result of these new products, services or features, individual property owners would be less likely to use professional property managers to manage their properties. If travelers, property owners or managers do not recognize the value of our new services or features, they may choose not to utilize or list on our online marketplace.
Developing and delivering these new or upgraded products, services or features may increase our expenses, as this process is costly, and we may experience difficulties in developing and delivering these new or upgraded products, services or features. Moreover, we cannot assure that new or upgraded products, services or features will work as intended or provide value to travelers, property owners and managers. In addition, some new or upgraded products, services or features may be complex and challenging for us to market to customers and may also involve new pricing. We cannot guarantee that our property owners and managers will respond favorably.
In addition, successfully launching and selling a new product, service or feature will require the use of our marketing, sales or customer service resources. Efforts to enhance and improve the ease of use, responsiveness, functionality and features of our existing websites have inherent risks, and we may not be able to manage these product developments and enhancements successfully. If we are unable to continue to develop new or upgraded products, services or features, property owners and managers may choose not to use our online marketplace to market their vacation rentals.
We may choose to license or otherwise integrate applications, content and data from third parties. The introduction of these improvements imposes costs on our business and requires the use of our resources. We may be unable to continue to access these technologies and content on commercially reasonable terms, or at all.
If we are unable to successfully operate our property management software business, our results of operations may be harmed.
In 2010, we acquired the property management software businesses of Escapia, Inc. and Instant Software, Inc., as well as BedandBreakfast.com, Inc., which included reservation management software for innkeepers. Prior to these acquisitions, we did not have any software product or services offerings. We continue to invest in the further development of the software products and services offerings of these businesses and in 2011 we combined our software offerings under our subsidiary, HomeAway Software, Inc. If we are not able to further develop compelling product offerings for property managers and innkeepers and maintain a high level of customer service, we may not be able to keep current software customers or attract new software customers. As a result, our business, financial condition or operating results could be harmed.
In addition, some professional property managers have raised concerns that our entrance into the property management software business could make us more directly competitive with their businesses. If we are not able to demonstrate a commitment to our professional property managers, then some may seek alternative software and listing solutions.
If we are not able to identify and successfully acquire suitable businesses, our operating results and prospects could be harmed.
We have faced limited competition within our industry for acquisitions of businesses, technologies and assets, but, in the future, such competition may become intense. As such, even if we are able to identify an acquisition that we would like to consummate, we may not be able to complete the acquisition on commercially reasonable terms because the target is acquired by another company. We may expend significant cash or incur substantial debt to finance such acquisitions, which indebtedness could result in restrictions on our business and significant use of available cash to make payments of interest and principal. In addition, we may finance or otherwise complete acquisitions by issuing equity or convertible debt securities, which could result in further dilution of our existing stockholders. We may enter into negotiations for acquisitions that are not ultimately consummated. Those negotiations could result in diversion of management time and significant out-of-pocket costs. If we fail to evaluate and execute acquisitions successfully, we may not be able to realize the benefits of these acquisitions, and our operating results could be harmed. If we are unable to successfully address any of these risks, our business, financial condition or operating results could be harmed.
Our business depends on retaining and attracting capable management and operating personnel.
Our success depends in large part on our ability to attract and retain high-quality management and operating personnel. For example, Brian H. Sharples, our Chief Executive Officer, and Carl G. Shepherd, our Chief Strategy and Development Officer, founded our company and have been instrumental in devising and implementing our strategies for growth as well as identifying and securing acquisition targets. Their in-depth knowledge of and deep relationships with the participants in our industry are extremely valuable to us. Our business also requires skilled technical and marketing personnel, who are in high demand and are often subject to competing offers. Competition for qualified employees is intense in our industry, and the loss of even a few qualified employees, or an inability to attract, retain and motivate additional highly skilled employees required for the planned expansion of our business could harm our operating results and impair our ability to grow. To attract and retain key personnel, we use various measures, including an equity incentive program and incentive bonuses for key executive officers and other employees. These measures may not be enough to attract and retain the personnel we require to operate our business effectively.
We also have a number of employees who were granted stock options over the past few years that have an exercise price per share that is significantly lower than the current fair market value of our common stock. These employees may choose to exercise their options and sell the shares, recognizing a substantial gain, and it may be difficult for us to retain these employees. Certain of these employees did choose to leave us after our initial public offering. While we have taken measures to smooth the transition of the roles of the departed employees, there can be no assurance that we will not experience any disruption in our operations. If we are unable to retain our key personnel and manage employee transitions smoothly, our business, financial condition or operating results could be harmed.
If we fail to protect confidential information against security breaches, or if property owners and managers are reluctant to use our online marketplace because of privacy or security concerns, we might face additional costs, and activity on our websites could decline.
As part of our registration process, we collect and use personally identifiable information, such as email addresses (but not passwords) and phone numbers of property owners, managers and travelers choose to include on our websites. Our servers may be vulnerable to computer viruses or physical or electronic break-ins that our security measures may not detect. In addition, third parties may target users of our websites directly with attempts to breach the security of their email accounts or management systems, such as phishing attacks, which are fraudulent identity theft schemes designed to appear as legitimate emails from us or from our property owners and managers. Such phishing attacks are generally not on our systems, however travelers who are victims may nevertheless seek recovery from us of funds they lost. As a result, we may be required to defend ourselves in costly litigation and may suffer harm to our reputation.
We also may suffer harm from breaches of our own technology systems. Anyone that is able to circumvent our security measures could misappropriate confidential or proprietary information, cause interruption in our operations, damage our computers or those of our users, or otherwise damage our reputation and business. We may need to expend significant resources to protect against security breaches or to address problems caused by breaches. Security breaches could damage our reputation and expose us to a risk of loss or litigation and possible liability under various laws and regulations. In addition, industry-wide incidents or incidents with respect to our websites, including misappropriation of third-party information or security breaches, could deter people from using the Internet or our online marketplace to conduct transactions. Concern among prospective owners, managers and travelers regarding our use of personal information collected on our websites could keep prospective owners, managers and travelers from using our online marketplace.
The laws of some states and countries require businesses that maintain personal information about their residents in electronic databases to implement reasonable measures to keep that information secure. Our practice is to encrypt all personal information, but we do not know whether our current practice will be deemed sufficient under these laws. In addition, under certain of these laws, if there is a breach of our computer systems and we know or suspect that unencrypted personal data has been stolen, we are required to inform any user whose data was stolen, which could harm our reputation and business. Complying with the applicable notice requirements in the event of a security breach could result in significant costs. We may also be subject to claims of breach of contract for such disclosure, investigation and penalties by regulatory authorities, and potential claims by persons whose information was disclosed.
Other states and countries have enacted different and often contradictory requirements for protecting personal information collected and maintained electronically. Compliance with numerous and contradictory requirements of the different states and countries is particularly difficult for an online business such as ours, which collects personal information from users in multiple jurisdictions. While we intend to comply fully with these laws, failure on our part to comply with such laws could result in legal liability, cause us to suffer adverse publicity and lose business, traffic and revenue, which could jeopardize our success. If we were required to pay any significant amount of money in satisfaction of claims under these laws, or any similar laws enacted by another jurisdiction, or if we were forced to cease our business operations for any length of time as a result of our inability to comply fully with any such laws, our business, operating results and financial condition could be adversely affected.
In addition, third parties that process credit card transactions between us and property owners and managers maintain personal information collected from these owners and managers, including credit card numbers. Such information could be compromised or accessed as a result of misappropriation or security breaches, and we could be subject to liability as a result. Further, owners and managers may develop a lack of confidence in these third parties or in their ability to securely conduct credit card transactions on our websites or the Internet in general, which would adversely impact our business, revenues and operating results.
We may be subject to liability for the activities of our property owners and managers, which could harm our reputation and increase our operating costs.
We periodically receive complaints related to certain activities on our websites, including disputes over the authenticity of the vacation rental listing, unauthorized use of credit card and bank account information and identity theft, phishing attacks, potential breaches of system security, libel and infringement of third-party copyrights, trademarks or other intellectual property rights. We have also experienced fraud by purported owners or managers listing properties which either do not exist or are significantly not as described in the listing. The methods used by perpetrators of fraud constantly evolve and are complex, and our trust and security measures may not detect all fraudulent activity. Consequently, we expect to continue to receive complaints from travelers and requests for reimbursement of their rental fees, as well as actual or threatened legal action against us if no reimbursement is made.
We may further be subject to claims of liability based on events that occur during travelers stays at the vacation rentals of our property owners and managers, such as for robbery, accidental injury or death or other similar incidents. These incidents may subject us to liability, which would increase our operating costs and adversely affect our business and results of operations. Even if these claims do not result in liability to us, we could incur significant costs in investigating and defending against them. Although the terms and conditions of use of our websites, which are available on all of our websites, state that we are not a party to any rental transaction and specifically exempt us from any liability to travelers in the event of a fraudulent listing, a property not being significantly as described or any other claim by travelers relating to their vacation rental, the enforceability of these terms varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and the laws in this area are consistently evolving. If we are subject to liability or claims of liability relating to the acts of our property owners or managers, or due to fraudulent listings, we may be subject to negative publicity, incur additional expenses and be subject to liability, which could harm our business and our operating results.
If we are unable to adapt to changes in technology, our business could be harmed.
Because owners, managers and travelers can access our websites on a variety of network hardware and software platforms using a standard browser, we will need to continuously modify and enhance our service to keep pace with changes in Internet-related hardware, software, communication, browser and database technologies. We may not be successful in either developing these modifications and enhancements or in timely bringing them to market. Furthermore, uncertainties about the timing and nature of new network platforms or technologies, or modifications to existing platforms or technologies, could increase our research and development expenses more than we have currently planned. Any failure of our online marketplace to operate effectively with future network platforms and technologies could result in dissatisfaction from travelers, property owners, managers and advertisers and harm our business.
Loss or material modification of our credit card acceptance privileges would have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.
A significant percentage of our property owners and managers pay for their listings by credit card because it simplifies and expedites the payment process and is typically a secure form of payment. The loss of our credit card acceptance privileges would significantly limit our ability to renew listings with these owners and managers or secure new owners and managers.
Most of our owners and managers purchase an annual listing, for which payment is made at the beginning of the listing term. In addition, many of our listing renewals are paid by auto-renewal charging the renewal listing fee to the property owners or managers credit card. There is a risk that, if we fail to fully perform our obligations under the listing terms or the property owner or manager objects to the auto-renewal payment made by credit card, the credit card companies could be obligated to reimburse these owners and managers for all or a portion of the listing fee. We would be obligated to pay all such amounts under our agreements under which we have obtained our credit card acceptance privileges. As a result of this risk, credit card companies may require us to set aside additional cash reserves, may not renew our acceptance privileges or may increase the transaction fees they charge us for these privileges.
The card networks, such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express, have adopted rules and regulations that apply to all merchants who process and accept credit cards and include the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, or the PCI DSS. Under the PCI DSS, we are required to adopt and implement internal controls over the use, storage and security of card data to help prevent credit card fraud. We assess our compliance with the PCI DSS on a periodic basis and make necessary improvements to our internal controls. If we fail to comply with the rules and regulations adopted by the card networks, including the PCI DSS, we would be in breach of our contractual obligations to payment processors and merchant banks. Such failure to comply may subject us to fines, penalties, damages and civil liability and could eventually prevent us from processing or accepting credit cards. Further, there is no guarantee that, even if we comply with the rules and regulations adopted by the card networks, we will be able to maintain our compliance. We also cannot guarantee that such compliance will prevent illegal or improper use of our payments systems or the theft, loss or misuse of the credit card data of customers or participants.
The loss of, or the significant modification of, the terms under which we obtain credit card acceptance privileges would have a material adverse effect on our business, revenue and operating results.
Our revenue, expenses and operating results could be affected by changes in travel, real estate and vacation rental markets, as well as general economic conditions.
Our business is particularly sensitive to trends in the travel, real estate and vacation rental markets, which are unpredictable, as well as trends in the general economy. Therefore, our operating results, to the extent they reflect changes in the broader travel, real estate and vacation rental industries, may be subject to significant fluctuations.
For example, changes in the travel industry, such as disruptions caused by war, terrorist attacks or natural disasters, could significantly reduce the willingness of potential travelers to plan vacation and other travel. Downturns in real estate markets may result in decreased new building rates and increases in foreclosures, which could result in fewer vacation rentals available for listing on our websites. Also, since vacation travel is generally dependent on discretionary spending, negative general economic conditions could significantly reduce the overall amount that travelers spend on, and the frequency of, leisure travel, including vacation property rentals. Additionally, property owners may choose or be forced to sell their vacation rentals during periods of economic slowdown or recession. Any or all of these factors could reduce the demand for vacation property rentals and our services, reducing our revenues and could increase our need to make significant expenditures to continue to attract property owners, managers and travelers to our websites.
Seasonal fluctuations in listing renewals or new listing acquisitions could adversely affect our cash flows.
Our cash flows from operations could vary from quarter to quarter due to the seasonal nature of our listing renewals and new listing acquisitions resulting from seasonality in the vacation rental industry. To date, this effect may have been masked by our rapid growth and the effect of our acquisitions, which have significantly increased our revenue growth. While, as a result of our subscription model, this seasonality generally does not have an immediate effect on our revenue, our operating cash flows could fluctuate materially from period to period as a result.
Vacation rentals are often located in popular vacation destinations around the world and utilized on a seasonal basis. Factors influencing the desirability of vacation rentals in a particular region or season could adversely affect our ability to obtain new listings and retain existing listings.
Vacation rentals are often located in popular vacation destinations and utilized on a seasonal basis. As a result, our listings involve properties that are often concentrated in particular regions, and our revenue is dependent upon our ability or willingness to list properties in those regions. Each region has its own commercial and regulatory requirements related to the listing of vacation rentals. If we became unable or unwilling to list properties in a particular region, our listings in the region could decline or cease to grow, and revenue and results of operations could be adversely impacted.
In addition, factors influencing the desirability of vacation rentals in a particular region or during a specific season could adversely affect our ability to obtain new listings and retain existing listings. For example, a significant number of the vacation rentals listed on our websites are located in Florida. Following the oil spill in April 2010 along the Gulf Coast, some of our property owners and managers with vacation rentals in the Gulf Coast area reported to us that their bookings declined. While we are uncertain of the impact of the oil spill on the decisions of our property owners and managers to renew their listings on our websites, the occurrence of this type of event or a significant natural disaster, political turmoil or other regional disturbance could reduce the number of available vacation rentals in that area, reducing our listing base and our revenue. In addition, if we do not have sufficient property listings in a newly popular vacation destination, we could fail to attract travelers to our websites and property owners and managers may opt to list their properties with a competitor having a greater presence in that area.
We could face liability for information on or accessible through our online marketplace.
A significant portion of the information available through our online marketplace, including listing data and photographs, is submitted by property owners and managers and third parties. We also allow third parties to advertise their products and services on our websites and include links to third-party websites. We could be exposed to liability with respect to this information. Owners and managers could assert that information concerning them on our websites contains errors or omissions and third parties could seek damages from us for losses incurred if they rely upon incorrect information provided by our owners, managers or advertisers. We could also be subject to claims that the persons posting information on our websites do not have the right to post such information or are infringing the rights of third parties, such as copyrights in photographs and privacy and publicity rights. Among other things, we might be subject to claims that by directly or indirectly providing links to websites operated by third parties, we are liable for wrongful actions by the third parties operating those websites. Even if these claims do not result in liability to us, we could incur significant costs in investigating and defending against these claims.
In addition, our services feature a property review platform, which allows travelers to post property reviews and other information about properties, property owners and managers. Although this feedback is generated by users and not by us, claims of defamation or other injury have been made against other Internet service providers offering similar forums and may be made against us for content posted in this forum. Our potential liability for information on our websites or distributed by us to others and for the activities of our owners, managers or travelers could require us to implement additional measures to reduce our exposure to such liability, which may require us to expend substantial resources and limit the attractiveness of our online marketplace to users. Our general liability insurance may not cover all potential claims to which we are exposed and may not be adequate to indemnify us for all liability that may be imposed.
Property owner, manager or traveler complaints or negative publicity about our company, our services or our business activities could diminish use of our online marketplace.
Property owner, manager or traveler complaints or negative publicity about our company, our services or our business activities could severely diminish consumer confidence in and use of our online marketplace. Measures we sometimes take to combat risks of fraud and breaches of privacy and security, such as removing suspected fraudulent listings or listings repeatedly reported by travelers to be significantly not as described, can damage relations with our owners and managers. These measures heighten the need for prompt and accurate customer service to resolve irregularities and disputes. Effective customer service requires significant personnel expense, and this expense, if not managed properly, could significantly impact
our profitability. Failure to manage or train our customer service representatives properly could compromise our ability to handle owner, manager and traveler complaints effectively. If we do not handle these complaints effectively, our reputation may suffer, and we may lose our owners, managers and travelers confidence. We may also be the subject of blog or forum postings that include inaccurate statements and create negative publicity. As a result of these complaints or negative publicity, property owners and managers of vacation rentals may discontinue their listing with us or travelers may discontinue their use of our websites, and our business and results of operations could be adversely impacted.
Our failure to achieve and maintain effective internal controls could adversely affect our financial position and lower our stock price.
We are a newly publicly traded company. Since our initial public offering closed on July 5, 2011, we have been subject to reporting and other obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including the requirements of Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley, and starting for our fiscal year ending December 31, 2012, these provisions will require annual management assessments of the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting and a report by our independent registered public accounting firm addressing our assessments. We also operate in a complex environment and expect that these obligations, together with our rapid growth and expansion through acquisitions, place significant demands on our management and administrative resources, including accounting and tax resources. Although we have expanded the size and depth of the finance and accounting staff in our U.S. and European headquarters, we may need to hire additional personnel. If we are unable to conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to attest that our managements report is fairly stated or they are unable to express an opinion on our managements assessment or on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, our investors could lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports.
In connection with the preparation of our financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2010, we and our independent auditors identified a significant deficiency relating to our internal control over income taxes. We believe we have remediated this deficiency by hiring additional personnel with tax and accounting expertise in the United States and Europe, and by completing implementation of new software tools to facilitate preparation of our tax accounting. Despite taking these measures, our internal resources and personnel may in the future be insufficient to avoid accounting errors and there can be no assurance that we will not have deficiencies in the future. Any failure to maintain adequate controls or to adequately implement required new or improved controls could harm our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations.
Changes in our effective tax rate could harm our future operating results.
We are subject to federal and state income taxes in the United States and various foreign jurisdictions. Our effective tax rate is affected by changes in the mix of earnings and losses in jurisdictions with differing statutory tax rates, certain non-tax deductible expenses, including those arising from the requirement to expense stock options and our ability to utilize our net operating losses and other deferred tax assets. In addition, the manner in which we conduct our operations may impact our effective tax rate. For example, we are in the process of a global restructuring plan to streamline our European operations and improve our internal controls, which we believe will result in a reduced overall effective tax rate. We may not be able to establish efficient operations, hire personnel, complete transfer pricing studies, or otherwise execute our restructuring plan in the timeframe or at the cost currently contemplated by us, which could negatively affect our effective tax rate.
In addition, current applicable U.S. and foreign tax rules and regulations and any changes to those rules and regulations could adversely affect our effective tax rate. Recently enacted changes in U.S. tax laws and regulations include limitations on the ability to claim and utilize foreign tax credits and deferral of interest expense deductions until non-U.S. earnings are repatriated to the United States. These and other changes in applicable tax rules and regulations and our ability to effectively execute our restructuring plan, could cause our effective tax rate to be higher than expected, which could harm our operating results.
We are exposed to fluctuations in currency exchange rates.
Because we conduct a significant portion of our business outside the United States but report our results in U.S. dollars, we face exposure to adverse movements in currency exchange rates, which may cause our revenue and operating results to differ materially from expectations. In addition, the results of operations
of many of our internationally focused websites are exposed to foreign exchange rate fluctuations as the financial results of the applicable subsidiaries are translated from the local currency into U.S. dollars upon consolidation. A decline in the U.S. dollar relative to foreign currencies would increase our non-U.S. revenue, when translated into U.S. dollars. Conversely, if the U.S. dollar strengthens relative to foreign currencies, our revenue would be adversely affected. Our operating results could be negatively impacted depending on the amount of expense denominated in foreign currencies. Revenue in the three months ended March 31, 2012 was negatively impacted by foreign currency translation of approximately $0.9 million, while revenue in the three months ended March 31, 2011 was positively impacted by foreign currency translation of approximately $0.1 million. As exchange rates vary, revenue, cost of revenue, operating expenses and other operating results, when translated, may differ materially from expectations. In addition, our revenue and operating results are subject to fluctuation if our mix of U.S. and foreign currency denominated transactions and expenses changes in the future. In addition, we maintain intercompany loans and payables which are subject to translation losses due to foreign exchange fluctuation. We may enter into hedging arrangements in order to manage foreign currency translation but such activity may not completely eliminate fluctuations in our operating results.
If we do not adequately protect our intellectual property, our ability to compete could be impaired.
Our intellectual property includes the content of our websites, our registered domain names, our registered and unregistered trademarks and our patents and patent applications. We believe that our intellectual property is an essential asset of our business and that our HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com, Homelidays.com, Holiday-Rentals.co.uk, Abritel.fr, Fewo-Direkt.de, AlugueTemporada.com.br, BedandBreakfast.com, Escapia.com, InstantSoftware.com and other domain names and our technology infrastructure currently give us a competitive advantage in the online market for vacation rental listings. If we do not adequately protect our intellectual property, our brand and reputation could be harmed, property owners, managers and travelers could devalue the content of the websites comprising our online marketplace, and our ability to compete effectively would be impaired.
To protect our intellectual property we rely on a combination of copyright, trademark, patent and trade secret laws, contractual provisions and our user policy and restrictions on disclosure. Upon discovery of potential infringement of our intellectual property, we promptly take action we deem appropriate to protect our rights. We regularly deliver cease and desist letters to parties who misappropriate our trademarks or content, such as aggregators of vacation rental listing content who use automated technology to download content from our online marketplace and display it on their websites without our permission. We also enter into confidentiality agreements with our employees and consultants and seek to control access to and distribution of our proprietary information in a commercially prudent manner. The efforts we have taken to protect our intellectual property may not be sufficient or effective, and, despite these precautions, it may be possible for other parties to copy or otherwise obtain and use the content of our websites without authorization. We may be unable to prevent competitors from acquiring domain names or trademarks that are similar to, infringe upon or diminish the value of our domain names, service marks and our other proprietary rights. Even if we do detect violations and decide to enforce our intellectual property rights, litigation may be necessary to enforce our rights, and any enforcement efforts we undertake could be time-consuming and expensive, could divert our managements attention and may result in a court determining that our intellectual property rights are unenforceable. A failure to protect our intellectual property in a cost-effective and meaningful manner could have a material adverse effect on our ability to compete.
As of March 31, 2012, we had six patent applications and no issued patents, and no patents may issue with respect to our current or potential patent applications. Any future patents issued to us may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented, may not provide sufficiently broad protection or may not prove to be enforceable in actions against alleged infringers. Furthermore, effective patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret protection may not be available in every country in which our products are available over the Internet. In addition, the legal standards relating to the validity, enforceability and scope of protection of intellectual property rights are uncertain and still evolving.
We may be subject to claims that we violated intellectual property rights of others, which are extremely costly to defend and could require us to pay significant damages and limit our ability to operate.
Companies in the Internet and technology industries, and other patent and trademark holders seeking to profit from royalties in connection with grants of licenses, own large numbers of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets and frequently enter into litigation based on allegations of infringement or other
violations of intellectual property rights. We have received in the past and may in the future receive notices that claim we have misappropriated or misused other parties intellectual property rights. There may be intellectual property rights held by others, including issued or pending patents and trademarks, that cover significant aspects of our technologies, content, branding or business methods. Any intellectual property claim against us, regardless of merit, could be time-consuming and expensive to settle or litigate and could divert our managements attention and other resources. These claims also could subject us to significant liability for damages and could result in our having to stop using technology, content, branding or business methods found to be in violation of another partys rights. We might be required or may opt to seek a license for rights to intellectual property held by others, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Even if a license is available, we could be required to pay significant royalties, which would increase our operating expenses. We may also be required to develop alternative non-infringing technology, content, branding or business methods, which could require significant effort and expense and make us less competitive in the online vacation rental market. If we cannot license or develop technology, content, branding or business methods for any allegedly infringing aspect of our business, we may be unable to compete effectively. Any of these results could harm our operating results.
We currently rely on a small number of third-party service providers to host and deliver a significant portion of our services, and any interruptions or delays in services from these third parties could impair the delivery of our services and harm our business.
We use a combination of third-party data centers located in the United States and the United Kingdom and a third-party co-location hosting center located in the United States to host our websites and core services. We do not control the operation of any of the third-party data center facilities we use. These facilities, including our co-location hosting center, may be subject to break-ins, computer viruses, denial-of-service attacks, sabotage, acts of vandalism and other misconduct. They are also vulnerable to damage or interruption from power loss, telecommunications failures, fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and similar events. We currently do not have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place nor do our systems provide complete redundancy of data storage or processing. As a result, the occurrence of any of these events, a decision by our third-party service providers to close their data center facilities without adequate notice or other unanticipated problems could result in loss of data as well as a significant interruption in our services and harm to our reputation and brand. Additionally, our third-party data center facility agreements are of limited durations, and our third-party data center facilities have no obligation to renew their agreements with us on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. If we are unable to renew our agreements with these facilities on commercially reasonable terms, we may experience delays in the provisioning of our services until an agreement with another data center facility can be arranged. This shift to alternate data centers could take more than 24 hours depending on the nature of the event.
Furthermore, we depend on continuous and uninterrupted access to the Internet through third-party bandwidth providers to operate our business. If we lose the services of one or more of our bandwidth providers for any reason or if their services are disrupted, for example due to viruses or denial-of-service or other attacks on their systems, we could experience disruption in our services or we could be required to retain the services of a replacement bandwidth provider, which could harm our business and reputation.
Our operations are dependent on the availability of electricity, which also comes from third-party providers. If we or the third-party data center facilities that we use to deliver our services were to experience a major power outage, it could result in disruption of our services and harm to our business.
Any errors, defects, disruptions or other performance problems with our services could harm our reputation and may damage our property owners and managers rental businesses. Interruptions in our services would likely reduce our revenue, require us to issue credits to our owners and managers, could cause owners and managers to terminate their listings with us and could adversely affect our renewal rates. Our business and results of operations would be harmed if our current and potential owners and managers believe our services are unreliable.
We will incur increased costs and demands upon management as a result of complying with the laws and regulations affecting public companies, which could harm our operating results.
As a public company, we have incurred and will incur significant legal, accounting, investor relations and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company, including costs associated with public company reporting requirements. We also have incurred and will incur costs associated with current corporate governance requirements, including requirements under Section 404 and other provisions of the
Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as rules implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, and The Nasdaq Global Select Market, or NASDAQ. We expect these rules and regulations to substantially increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more time-consuming and costly. We continue to be unable to currently estimate these costs with any degree of certainty. We also expect that, as a public company, it will continue to be more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage or to accept reduced policy limits and coverage. As a result, it may be more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified individuals to serve on our board of directors or as our executive officers.
We might require additional capital to support business growth, and this capital might not be available.
We intend to continue to make investments to support our business growth and may require additional funds to respond to business challenges, including the need to develop new products or services or enhance our existing products or services, enhance our operating infrastructure and acquire complementary businesses and technologies. Accordingly, we may need to engage in equity or debt financings to secure additional funds. If we raise additional funds through further issuances of equity or convertible debt securities, our existing stockholders could suffer significant dilution, and any new equity securities we issue could have rights, preferences and privileges superior to those of holders of our common stock. Any debt financing secured by us in the future could involve restrictive covenants relating to our capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, which may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities, including potential acquisitions. In addition, we may not be able to obtain additional financing on terms favorable to us, if at all. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or financing on terms satisfactory to us, when we require it, our ability to continue to support our business growth and to respond to business challenges could be significantly limited.
Risks Related to the Ownership of our Common Stock
Our stock price may be volatile.
The market price of our common stock is likely to be highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to, among other things, the risk factors described in this section of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and other factors beyond our control. Factors affecting the trading price of our common stock could include:
Furthermore, the stock markets have experienced price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many companies. These fluctuations often have been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. These broad market and industry fluctuations and general economic, political and market conditions, such as recessions, interest rate changes or international currency fluctuations, may negatively affect the market price of our common stock regardless of our actual operating performance. Each of these factors, among others, could harm the value of our common stock.
In the past, many companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their stock have been subject to securities class action litigation. We may be the target of this type of litigation in the future. Securities litigation against us, regardless of the merits or outcome, could result in substantial costs and divert our managements attention from other business concerns, which could materially harm our business.
If securities analysts do not continue to publish research or publish negative research about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our common stock depends in part on the research and reports that securities analysts publish about us or our business. If one or more of the analysts who covers us downgrades our stock or publishes negative research about our business, our stock price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases coverage of our company or fails to publish reports on us regularly, we could lose visibility in the market for our stock and demand for our stock could decrease, which could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.
The concentration of our capital stock ownership with insiders will likely limit your ability to influence corporate matters.
Our executive officers, directors, current five percent or greater stockholders and affiliated entities together beneficially own approximately 61.8% of our common stock outstanding as of March 31, 2012. As a result, these stockholders, acting together, may be able to control our management and affairs and matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors and approval of significant corporate transactions, such as mergers, consolidations or the sale of substantially all of our assets. Consequently, this concentration of ownership could limit other stockholders ability to influence corporate matters and may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control, including a merger, consolidation or other business combination involving us, or discouraging a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control, even if such a change of control would benefit our other stockholders. This significant concentration of share ownership may adversely affect the trading price for our common stock because investors often perceive disadvantages in owning stock in companies with controlling stockholders.
We do not anticipate paying any dividends on our common stock.
We do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. If we do not pay cash dividends, our stockholders could receive a return on their investment in our common stock only if the market price of our common stock has increased when they sell their shares.
Our charter documents and Delaware law could prevent a takeover that stockholders consider favorable and could also reduce the market price of our stock.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change in control of our company. These provisions could also make it more difficult for stockholders to elect directors and take other corporate actions. These provisions include:
Certain provisions under Delaware law, the provisions listed above, and other provisions included in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws could discourage potential takeover attempts, reduce the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock and result in the market price of our common stock being lower than it would be without these provisions.
(a) Sales of Unregistered Securities
(b) Use of Proceeds from Initial Public Offering of Common Stock
On July 5, 2011, the Company completed its initial public offering (IPO) of 9,200,000 shares of common stock, at $27.00 per share, before underwriting discounts and commissions. The Company sold 5,931,335 shares and existing stockholders sold an aggregate of 3,268,665 shares, including 1,200,000 shares as a result of the underwriters exercise of their over-allotment option to purchase additional shares. The initial public offering generated net proceeds to the Company of approximately $148.9 million, after deducting underwriting discounts. Expenses incurred by the Company for the sale of common stock were approximately $2.7 million and will be recorded against the proceeds received from the sale of common stock. The Company did not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares by the selling stockholders.
There have been no material changes in the planned use of proceeds from the Companys IPO from that described in the final prospectus filed with the SEC pursuant to Rule 424(b) on June 28, 2011. With the proceeds of the offering, the Company redeemed its outstanding shares of Series A and B preferred stock for $55.8 million and $9.2 million, respectively, as well as paid in full all accrued but unpaid dividends on its outstanding shares of Series C preferred stock, which totaled $32.9 million.
See the Exhibit Index immediately following the signature page of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which is incorporated herein by reference.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned thereunto duly authorized.