Press Releases & Coverage

SkillSoft Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2007 Results Including Revenue of $54.7 Million; EPS of $0.04; and Operating Cash Flow of $18.1 Million

NASHUA, N.H., May 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of content resources and complementary technologies for integrated enterprise learning, today announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2006.

Fiscal 2007 First Quarter Results

The Company reported total revenue of $54.7 million for the first quarter ended April 30, 2006 of the fiscal year ending January 31, 2007 (fiscal 2007), which represented a 3% increase over the $53.3 million reported in the first quarter ended April 30, 2005 of the fiscal year ended January 31, 2006 (fiscal 2006). The Company's Multi-Modal Learning segment, which excludes the Company's other segment, Retail Certification, reported total revenue of $52.9 million for the fiscal 2007 first quarter, which represented a 10% increase over the $48.0 million reported in the fiscal 2006 first quarter. Revenue for the Retail Certification segment represents the amortization of the deferred revenue retained by the Company following the sale of certain assets related to SmartCertify in the fiscal 2006 first quarter. Gross margin was 88% for the fiscal 2007 first quarter compared to 89% for the first quarter of fiscal 2006.

The Company's net income was $4.1 million, or $0.04 per basic and diluted share, for the fiscal 2007 first quarter. The fiscal 2007 first quarter net income includes restatement expenses of approximately $0.3 million for costs incurred for the ongoing SEC investigation. Significant non-cash charges included in the fiscal 2007 first quarter results were $5.7 million, consisting of $2.1 million for the amortization of intangible assets, stock- based compensation expense of $1.8 million and the non-cash provision for income tax of $1.8 million. SkillSoft reported net income of $2.5 million, or $0.02 per basic and diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2006. The fiscal 2006 first quarter net income included restatement and restructuring expenses of approximately $1.0 million, which was comprised of $0.3 million for costs incurred for the ongoing SEC investigation and $0.7 million for facility shutdown and severance costs associated with the restructuring of the Company's SmartCertify business unit in the United States and the closing of its SmartCertify sales office in Ireland. Also included in the fiscal 2006 first quarter results is a loss on the sale of certain assets related to SmartCertify of $0.7 million, which resulted mainly from investment banking and professional fees associated with the transaction. Significant non-cash charges included in the fiscal 2006 first quarter results were $3.2 million, which consisted of $2.2 million for amortization of intangible assets, stock- based compensation expense of $0.2 million and the non-cash provision for income tax of $0.8 million.

"We are pleased that our fiscal 2007 first quarter results came in ahead of the EPS range of $0.02 to $0.03 per basic and diluted share we forecasted in March 2006 for this period," said Chuck Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our consistent quarterly earnings performance combined with a solid start in our first fiscal quarter leaves us confident in our ability to meet the financial targets previously set for the current fiscal year," commented Moran.

The decrease in gross margin to 88% in the fiscal 2007 first quarter compared to 89% in the fiscal 2006 first quarter was due mainly to a higher mix of royalty-bearing content in the fiscal 2007 first quarter. Research and development expense increased to $10.0 million in the fiscal 2007 first quarter, which included $0.4 million of stock-based compensation expense, from $9.9 million in the fiscal 2006 first quarter. Sales and marketing expenses decreased to $23.3 million in the fiscal 2007 first quarter from $24.2 million in the fiscal 2006 first quarter. This decrease was primarily due to the $2.8 million sales and marketing expense reduction resulting from the sale of certain assets of SmartCertify in the fiscal 2006 first quarter, which was partially offset by $0.8 million of stock-based compensation expense, $0.7 million of additional investment in the Books24x7 sales force and $0.3 million of direct sales force headcount additions targeted at new customers. General and administrative expenses increased to $7.3 million in the fiscal 2007 first quarter compared to $6.3 million the fiscal 2006 first quarter. This increase was primarily due to $0.6 million of stock-based compensation expense and $0.5 million of expense in the quarter related to internally developed software for use with the Company's internal financial systems. There were no restructuring charges in the fiscal 2007 first quarter as compared to $0.7 million of restructuring charges reported in the fiscal 2006 first quarter. Restatement charges were $0.3 million in both the fiscal 2007 and 2006 first quarters related to expenses for the ongoing SEC investigation.

SkillSoft had approximately $98.1 million in cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments, restricted cash and long-term investments as of April 30, 2006 compared to $78.6 million as of January 31, 2006. This increase primarily reflects cash provided by operations of $18.1 million and cash provided by financing activities of $2.3 million in the three months ended April 30, 2006. These increases were partially offset by purchases of property and equipment of $1.3 million. The cash balance as of April 30, 2006 does not reflect the final payment of $15.25 million for the 2002 securities class action settlement, which is expected to be paid in fiscal 2007.

In order to adequately assess the Company's collection efforts, taking into account the seasonality of the Company's business, the Company believes that it is most useful to compare current period days sales outstanding (DSOs) to the prior year period. Given the quarterly seasonality of bookings, the deferral from revenue of subscription billings may increase or decrease the DSOs on sequential quarterly comparisons.

SkillSoft's DSOs were in the targeted range for the fiscal 2006 first quarter. On a net basis, which considers only receivable balances for which revenue has been recorded, DSOs were 11 days in the fiscal 2007 first quarter as compared to 14 days in the year ago period and 16 days in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. On a gross basis, which considers all items billed as receivables, DSOs were 78 days in the fiscal 2007 first quarter compared to 81 days in the year ago quarter and 144 days in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006.

FISCAL 2007 OUTLOOK

Given the Company's reported first quarter performance, SkillSoft is now targeting a revenue range of $213.7 million to $218.0 million as compared to the range set forth in its press release issued on March 10, 2006 of $212.0 million to $218.0 million. The Company, while raising the lower end of its full year revenue target, continues to anticipate its projected net income for fiscal 2007 to be between $16.0 million and $20.0 million, or $0.16 to $0.20 per basic and diluted share.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2007 ending July 31, 2006, the Company currently anticipates revenue to be in the range of $53.0 to $55.0 million. The Company currently anticipates its projected net income for the fiscal 2007 second quarter to be between $3.0 and $4.0 million, or $0.03 to $0.04 per basic and diluted share.

The Company's projected net income in fiscal 2007 (including the second quarter of fiscal 2007) does not reflect any foreign exchange gains or losses. The fiscal 2007 earnings outlook also does not take into account the potential negative impact of the resolution of litigation matters, potential restructuring charges, or the potential impact of any future acquisitions or divestitures, including potential non-recurring acquisition related expenses and the amortization of any purchased intangibles and deferred compensation charges resulting from an acquisition transaction. The outlook also does not take into account the effect of a public offering or other financing arrangements that could impact outstanding shares and thereby the Company's EPS outlook.

SkillSoft is presenting projected net income (for both fiscal 2007 and the second quarter of fiscal 2007) without the impact of those items because it is currently unable to estimate the amount of those items and it believes that presenting net income without taking them into account presents investors with meaningful information about the Company's projected operating performance for fiscal 2007.

The Company anticipates that it will have 102 million to 104 million diluted shares outstanding for earnings per share (EPS) calculation purposes in fiscal 2007.

Conference Call

In conjunction with the release, management will conduct a conference call on Friday, May 26, 2006 at 8:30 a.m. EDT to discuss the Company's fiscal 2007 first quarter and fiscal 2007 outlook. Chuck Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Tom McDonald, Chief Financial Officer, will host the call.

To participate in the conference call, local and international callers can dial (973) 935-2408. The live conference call will be available via the Internet by accessing the SkillSoft Web site at http://www.skillsoft.com. Please go to the Web site at least fifteen minutes prior to the call to register, download and install any necessary audio software.

A replay will be available from 12:00 p.m. EDT on May 26, 2006 until 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 2, 2006. The replay number is (973) 341-3080, passcode: 6115268. A webcast replay will also be available on SkillSoft's Web site at http://www.skillsoft.com.

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft is a leading provider of comprehensive e-learning content and technology products for business and IT professionals within global enterprises. SkillSoft's multi-modal learning solutions support and enhance the speed and effectiveness of both formal and informal learning processes and integrate SkillSoft's in-depth content resources, learning management system, virtual classroom technology and support services.

Content offerings include SkillSoft's business, IT, desktop and compliance courseware collections and BusinessPro(TM), ITPro(TM), OfficeEssentials(TM), FinancePro(TM), EngineeringPro(TM), GovEssentials(TM), ExecSummaries(TM) and ExecBlueprints(TM) collections from Books24x7(R). SkillSoft's complementary technologies include SkillPort(R), the company's learning management system with its powerful Search-and-Learn(TM) technology and premium add-on modules, and SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM) virtual classroom, a tool that allows customers to create and deliver effective blended learning programs using custom content and off-the-shelf learning resources. For more information, visit http://www.skillsoft.com.

SkillSoft, the SkillSoft logo, Ahead of the Learning Curve, SkillPort, Search-and-Learn, SkillChoice, Books24x7, Referenceware, ITPro, BusinessPro, OfficeEssentials, GovEssentials, EngineeringPro, FinancePro, ExecSummaries, ExecBlueprints, Express Guide and Dialogue are trademarks or registered trademarks of SkillSoft PLC in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SkillSoft courseware content described herein is for information purposes only and is subject to change without notice. SkillSoft has no obligation or commitment to develop or deliver any future release, upgrade, feature, enhancement or function described in this press release except as specifically set forth in a written agreement.

This release includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any such forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include competitive pressures, changes in customer demands or industry standards, adverse economic conditions, loss of key personnel, litigation and other risk factors disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in SkillSoft's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2006 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements provided by the Company in this press release represent the Company's views as of May 26, 2006. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this release.

 

                                              SkillSoft PLC and Subsidiaries
                                          Condensed Consolidated Statements of
                                                        Operations
                                                        (Unaudited)


                                                     Three Months Ended
                                                          April 30,
                                               2006                     2005

    Revenues                                 $54,653                  $53,327
    Cost of revenues (1)                       6,451                    5,834

      Gross profit                            48,202                   47,493

    Operating expenses:
      Research and development (1)             9,965                    9,917
      Selling and marketing (1)               23,257                   24,211
      General and administrative (1)           7,280                    6,284
      Amortization of intangible assets        2,148                    2,246
      Restructuring                                -                      703
      Restatement - SEC investigation            252                      250

    Total operating expenses                  42,902                   43,611

    Other income / (expense), net                 10                     (110)
    Interest income                              805                      356
    Interest expense                             (66)                     (61)
    Loss on sale of component, net                 -                     (681)

      Income before provision for income
       taxes                                   6,049                    3,386

    Provision for income taxes                 1,996                      919

    Net income                                $4,053                   $2,467


    Net income, per share, basic               $0.04                    $0.02

    Basic weighted average common shares
     outstanding                         101,037,377              105,662,213

    Net income, per share, diluted             $0.04                    $0.02

    Diluted weighted average common
     shares outstanding                  102,888,751              105,877,094


    (1) The following summarizes the
        departmental allocation of the
        stock-based compensation

      Cost of revenues (includes $6 and
       $0 of FAS123R compensation
       expense, respectively)                     $6                       $-
      Research and development (includes
       $314 and $0 of FAS123R compensation
       expense, respectively)                    383                       48
      Selling and marketing (includes $606
       and $0 of FAS123R compensation expense,
       respectively)                             769                      181
      General and administrative (includes $608
       and $0 of FAS123R compensation expense,
       respectively)                             623                        8
                                              $1,781                     $237



                                  SkillSoft PLC
                      Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
                                   (Unaudited)

                                                  April 30,        January 31,
                                                     2006              2006
    ASSETS

    CURRENT ASSETS:
       Cash, cash equivalents and short-
        term investments                           $93,143           $73,339
       Restricted cash                               4,907             5,039
       Accounts receivable, net                     47,904            85,681
       Prepaid expenses and other current
        assets                                      19,679            22,006

    Total current assets                           165,633           186,065

       Property and equipment, net                  10,038            10,231
       Goodwill                                     92,058            93,929
       Intangible assets, net                        6,563             8,711
       Long-term investments                           -                 230
       Deferred tax assets                             694               694
       Other assets                                     43                42

    Total assets                                  $275,029          $299,902


    LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

    CURRENT LIABILITIES:

       Accounts payable                             $2,302            $3,819
       Accrued expenses                             41,481            53,795
       Deferred revenue                            117,918           136,699

    Total current liabilities                      161,701           194,313

    Total long-term liabilities                      3,137             3,317

    Total stockholders' equity                     110,191           102,272

    Total liabilities and stockholders'
     equity                                       $275,029          $299,902



                                  SkillSoft PLC
                 Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
                                   (Unaudited)


                                                       Three Months Ended
                                                            April 30,
                                                     2006              2005

    Cash flows from operating activities:

       Net income                                   $4,053            $2,467
       Adjustments to reconcile net
        income to net cash provided by operating
        activities---
       Depreciation and amortization                 1,484             1,226
       Amortization of intangible assets             2,148             2,246
       Provision for bad debts                        (303)             (226)
       Loss on disposition                             -                 681
       Provision for income taxes - non-cash         1,754               785
       Stock-based compensation                      1,781               237
       Changes in current assets and
        liabilities, net of acquisitions
            Accounts receivable                     38,546            38,835
            Prepaid expenses and other
             current assets                          2,625               286
            Accounts payable                        (1,541)              760
            Accrued expenses (including
             long-term):
                 Accrued merger                       (579)           (1,551)
                 Accrued restructuring                 (70)           (2,277)
                 Accrued other                     (12,300)          (12,364)
            Deferred revenue                       (19,507)          (17,861)

       Net cash provided by operating
        activities                                  18,091            13,244

    Cash flows from investing activities:

       Purchases of property and equipment          (1,270)             (979)
       Capitalized software development
        costs                                          -              (1,247)
       Purchases of investments                    (24,509)           (3,748)
       Maturity of investments                       8,370            10,225
       Release of restricted cash                      132               -

       Net cash (used in) / provided by
        investing activities                       (17,277)            4,251

    Cash flows from financing activities:

       Exercise of stock options                       605               242
       Proceeds from employee stock
        purchase plan                                1,703             1,336
       Payments to acquire treasury stock              -              (6,163)

       Net cash provided by / (used in)
        financing activities                         2,308            (4,585)

       Effect of exchange rate changes on
        cash and cash equivalents                      406              (118)

       Net increase in cash and cash
        equivalents                                  3,528            12,792
       Cash and cash equivalents,
        beginning of period                         51,937            34,906

       Cash and cash equivalents, end of
        period                                     $55,465           $47,698

 
Tom McDonald
Chief Financial Officer of SkillSoft PLC
+1-603-324-3000, ext. 4232

Investors
Michael Polyviou or Peter Schmidt of Financial Dynamics for SkillSoft PLC
+1-212-850-5748
 
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding SkillSoft Corporation's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.