Business

August 1, 2014

SciQuest reports narrower Q2 loss

SciQuest reported a narrower loss in the second quarter and analysts urged the Cary technology company to show proof that it is chasing larger contracts after a flat first quarter.

SciQuest reported a narrower loss in the second quarter and analysts urged the Cary technology company to show proof that it is chasing larger contracts after a flat first quarter.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported this week that it had a net loss of $100,000, compared to a loss of $500,00 in the same quarter last year. Net loss per share was two cents. The consensus among analysts who cover the company was a gain of 6 cents per share, according to Bloomberg.

Revenue was $25.6 million, slightly above the $25.37 million forecast by analysts.

SciQuest's procurement technology allows customers to more efficiently buy goods and services online. The company added 11 new customers in the second quarter, up from 9 new customers during the same period a year ago.

The new customers included Quintiles, a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical services company based in Durham.

SciQuest said it expects to incur a charge in the third quarter related to relocating its headquarters from Cary to Duke Realty’s Perimeter Park in Morrisville.

The company is in the process of releasing a new sourcing product and CEO Stephen Wiehe said he expects it will boost sales in the second half of the year. He said the new products justify the company’s recent research and development spending, which included $7.1 million in the second quarter.

The company had a weak first quarter because it signed few large contracts and investors expressed frustration Wednesday with company executives about the volatility of quarterly earnings.

“Our business has been very much about large ticket deals, elephant hunting,” Wiehe said. “And elephant hunting can be a little feast and famine, and that’s what we suffered from.”

He said the company aims to go after both big deals and small deals to mitigate the fluctuation in earnings.

SciQuest shares closed Friday at $15.25, down 14 cents. The stock is down 46 percent this year after hitting its 52-week high of $32.69 in March.

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