Rocket Fuel Inc.
Nov 7, 2013

Rocket Fuel Reports Record Revenue in Third Quarter 2013

Mobile, Social, and Video Channels More Than Triple as a Percentage of Revenue

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Nov. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rocket Fuel Inc. (Nasdaq:FUEL), a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI) advertising solutions for digital marketers, today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013.

"Rocket Fuel continued its strong growth during the third quarter, as revenue grew 132% to $62.5 million. We continued this fast-paced growth while managing EBITDA close to break-even, producing an adjusted EBITDA loss of $(0.7) million," said George John, Chairman and CEO of Rocket Fuel.  "Compared to last year's third quarter, we more than doubled our customer base and more than tripled the percent of revenue coming from new advertising channels that include mobile, social and video, to 26% of our total revenue.  We maintained our focus on increasing market share, investing heavily in growth, continuing to expand our big data technology platform and Artificial Intelligence technology, and adding high-quality employees."

Financial and Business Highlights for the Third Quarter of 2013

Revenue of $62.5 million increased 132% compared to $26.9 million for the third quarter of 2012.

Revenue less media costs of $36.0 million increased 149%, compared to $14.4 million for the third quarter of 2012, growing to 58% of revenue for the current quarter.1

Gross Profit of $30.6 million increased 156% compared to $11.9 million over the prior year period representing a Gross Margin improvement to 49% from 44%.

Net Loss was $(6.9) million, or $(0.61) per diluted share, as compared to a net loss of $(2.0) million, or $(0.25) per diluted share in the third quarter of 2012. Adjusted net loss for the quarter was $(1.8) million, or $(0.16) per diluted common share.1

Adjusted EBITDA loss was $(0.7) million compared to a loss of $(0.5) million in the third quarter of 2012.1

Other channels revenue which includes revenue from delivery of digital advertising to mobile, social, and video channels of $16.2 million increased by 735% compared to $1.9 million for the third quarter of 2012 and more than tripled from 7% to 26% as a percentage of revenue from the prior year period.

Active customer count expanded to 938, up from 406 in the third quarter of 2012.

Employee headcount increased by 263 in the first three quarters of 2013 to a total 552 as of September 30, 2013.

International offices now include a presence in Stockholm, Sweden and Milan, Italy.

Cash and Cash equivalents as of September 30, 2013 were $125.3 million. Rocket Fuel received net proceeds from its IPO of $107.9 million during the third quarter.

Shares outstanding as of September 30, 2013 were 32.8 million.

1 Revenue less media costs, adjusted net loss, and adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP financial measures. Please see the discussion below under the heading "Use of Non-GAAP Measures" and the reconciliations at the end of this release.

Business Outlook

"Our strong financial performance in the first three quarters of the year signals an ongoing potential to drive rapid growth and scale while managing costs," said Peter Bardwick, CFO of Rocket Fuel. "We will continue to invest in talent and our technology which we believe will position us to increase our share of the markets in which we compete and to achieve continued growth in the future."

Rocket Fuel's fourth quarter and full year outlook is as follows:

Fourth Quarter 2013

Fiscal Year 2013

Conference Call and Webcast Information

The Rocket Fuel third quarter 2013 teleconference and webcast is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, November 7, 2013. To participate on the live call, analysts and investors should dial 1-877-941-1428 at least ten minutes prior to the call. Rocket Fuel will also offer a live and archived webcast of the conference call, accessible from the "Investors" section of the Company's web site at www.rocketfuel.com.

Use of Non-GAAP Measures

This press release includes information relating to revenue less media costs, adjusted net loss, and adjusted EBITDA, which are financial measures that have not been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States ("GAAP"). These non-GAAP financial measures have been included in this press release because they are measures used by our management and board of directors to understand and evaluate our core operating performance and trends, to prepare and approve our annual budget, and to develop short- and long-term operational plans.

We define revenue less media costs as GAAP revenue less media costs. Media costs consist of costs for advertising impressions we purchase from real-time advertising exchanges or other third parties.   A limitation of revenue less media costs is that it is a measure designed for internal purposes that may be unique to the Company and may not enhance the comparability of the Company's results to other companies in the same industry that have similar business arrangements but present the impact of media costs differently.   Our management compensates for this limitation by also considering the comparable GAAP financial measures of revenue, cost of revenue, and total operating expenses.

We define adjusted net income/(loss) as GAAP net income/(loss) excluding stock-based compensation expense and change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability, net of estimated tax.  A limitation of adjusted net income/(loss) is that it is a measure that may be unique to the Company and may not enhance the comparability of the Company's results to other companies in the same industry that define adjusted net income/(loss) differently.   This measure may also exclude expenses that may have a material impact on the Company's reported financial results.   Our management compensates for these limitations by also considering the comparable GAAP financial measure of net income/(loss).

We define adjusted EBITDA as net income before income tax (expense) benefit, interest expense, net, depreciation and amortization (excluding amortization of internal use software), stock-based compensation expense and change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability.  Adjusted EBITDA has a number of limitations as an analytical tool including the following:

Because of these limitations, our management considers adjusted EBITDA alongside other financial performance measures, including various cash flow metrics, net income/(loss) and the Company's other GAAP results.

For a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to the nearest comparable GAAP financial measures, see "Reconciliation of Revenue to Revenue Less Media Costs," "Reconciliation of Net Loss  to Adjusted Net Loss" and  "Reconciliation of Net Loss to Adjusted EBITDA" included in this press release.  

These non-GAAP financial measures are not intended to be considered in isolation from, as substitutes for, or as superior to, the corresponding financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes "forward-looking statements" including, without limitation, statements regarding Rocket Fuel's forecasted financial results, anticipated reach, capabilities and opportunities, planned investments in employees and technology, expansion of revenue from the mobile, social and video channels, expected benefits to advertisers,  and market opportunities, including opportunities outside of the United States. These forward-looking statements  are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties  that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated by such statements, including, without limitation, our limited operating history, particularly as a relatively new public company;  risks associated with our rapid growth, particularly outside of the U.S.;  our inability to realize value from significant investments in our business;  and general market, political, economic and business conditions.   Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by our forward-looking statements are under the caption "Risk Factors," in our prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 20, 2013 pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act.  These forward-looking statements are made as of November 7, 2013 and Rocket Fuel expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which such statements were made. Further, the financial results discussed herein are preliminary based on information currently available to Rocket Fuel.  While Rocket Fuel believes these preliminary results are meaningful, they could differ from the actual results that Rocket Fuel later reports in its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2013. Rocket Fuel assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these preliminary results before filing its Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2013.

About Rocket Fuel

Rocket Fuel delivers a leading programmatic media-buying platform at Big Data scale that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to improve marketing ROI in digital media across web, mobile, video, and social channels. Rocket Fuel powers digital advertising and marketing programs globally for customers in North America, Europe, and Japan. Customers use Rocket Fuel's Advertising That Learns ® platform to achieve brand and direct-response objectives in diverse industries from luxury cars to groceries to retail. Rocket Fuel currently operates in 19 offices worldwide and trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "FUEL." For more information, please visit http://www.rocketfuel.com.

Rocket Fuel and Advertising That Learns are trademarks or registered trademarks of Rocket Fuel Inc. in the United States and other countries. 

 
Rocket Fuel Inc.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
(In thousands)
     
     
 September 30,December 31,
 20132012
Assets(unaudited) 
Current Assets:    
 Cash and cash equivalents  $ 125,282  $ 14,896
 Accounts receivable, net  67,984  47,333
 Deferred tax assets  334  334
 Prepaid expenses and other current assets  2,159  1,215
 Total current assets  195,759  63,778
Property, equipment and software, net  20,941  10,939
Other assets  1,165  472
 Total assets  $ 217,865  $ 75,189
     
Liabilities and Stockholder's Equity    
Current Liabilities:    
 Accounts payable  $ 34,088  $ 17,482
 Accrued and other current liabilities  15,707  6,186
 Deferred revenue  451  187
 Current portion of line of credit  11,853  -- 
 Current portion of long-term debt  4,375  1,988
 Total current liabilities  66,474  25,843
Line of credit  --   1,853
Long-term debt - Less current portion  10,625  3,125
Deferred rent - Less current portion  482  430
Deferred tax liabilities  334  334
Convertible preferred stock warrant liability  --   2,741
 Total liabilities  77,915  34,326
     
Stockholders' Equity    
 Convertible preferred stock, Series A  --   9,788
 Convertible preferred stock, Series B  --   9,935
 Convertible preferred stock, Series C  --   6,501
 Convertible preferred stock, Series C-1  --   34,393
 Common stock  33  8
 Additional paid-in capital  182,332  3,865
 Accumulated other comprehensive loss  (101)  (84)
 Accumulated deficit  (42,314)  (23,543)
Total stockholders' equity  139,950  40,863
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity  $ 217,865  $ 75,189
 
 
Rocket Fuel Inc.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except loss per share data)
     
         
 Three Months EndedNine Months Ended
 September 30,September 30,
 2013201220132012
 (unaudited)(unaudited)
         
Revenue  $ 62,458  $ 26,902  $ 155,039  $ 66,494
Cost of revenue  31,877  14,955  81,529  36,988
 Gross Profit  30,581  11,947  73,510  29,506
         
Operating expenses:        
 Research and development  4,464  1,066  10,587  2,604
 Sales and marketing  21,644  10,351  56,293  25,893
 General and administrative  8,719  1,675  19,671  4,245
Total operating expenses  34,827  13,092  86,551  32,742
Loss from operations  (4,246)  (1,145)  (13,041)  (3,236)
Other expense, net:        
 Interest expense  (251)  (63)  (604)  (233)
 Other income (expense) - net  155  65  (213)  157
 Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability  (2,385)  (831)  (4,740)  (1,093)
Other expense, net  (2,481)  (829)  (5,557)  (1,169)
Loss before income taxes  (6,727)  (1,974)  (18,598)  (4,405)
Provision for income taxes  (133)  (28)  (173)  (67)
Net loss  $ (6,860)  $ (2,002)  $ (18,771)  $ (4,472)
Basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders  $ (0.61)  $ (0.25)  $ (2.01)  $ (0.56)
Basic and diluted weighted-average shares used to compute net loss per share attributable to common stockholders  11,315  8,067  9,346  7,971
         
         
(1) Stock-based compensation expense was as follows (in thousands):
 Three Months EndedNine Months Ended
 September 30,September 30,
 2013201220132012
 (unaudited)(unaudited)
 Cost of revenue  $ 93  $ 5  $ 211  $ 20
 Research and development  506  46  1,266  111
 Sales and marketing  1,152  100  2,471  196
 General and administrative  902  61  2,305  200
   $ 2,653  $ 212  $ 6,253  $ 527
 
 
Rocket Fuel Inc.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(In thousands)
     
     
 Nine Months Ended
 September 30,
 20132012
 (unaudited)
OPERATING ACTIVITIES:    
 Net loss   $ (18,771)  $ (4,472)
 Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities:  
 Depreciation and amortization  4,583  2,461
 Provision for doubtful accounts  521  63
 Stock-based compensation  6,277  507
 Issuance of restricted stock  --   20
 Amortization of debt discount  1  6
 Loss on disposal of property, equipment and software  (26)  -- 
 Change in fair value of preferred stock warrant liability  4,740  1,093
 Changes in operating assets and liabilities:    
 Accounts receivable  (21,236)  (15,586)
 Prepaid expenses and other current assets  (941)  (679)
 Other assets  (700)  (251)
 Accounts payable  12,532  3,951
 Accrued and other liabilities  5,496  2,235
 Deferred rent  100  315
 Deferred revenue  264  18
 Net cash used in operating activities  (7,160)  (10,319)
INVESTING ACTIVITIES:    
 Purchases of property, equipment and software  (5,564)  (2,513)
 Capitalized internal use software development costs  (4,486)  (3,294)
 Net cash used in investing activities  (10,050)  (5,807)
FINANCING ACTIVITIES:    
 Proceeds from the issuance of convertible preferred stock/ warrants  97  34,500
 Issuance costs related to convertible preferred stock  --   (105)
 Proceeds from initial public offerings  107,880  -- 
 Issuance costs related to public offerings  (1,534)  -- 
 Proceeds from exercise of vested common stock options  208  46
 Proceeds from early exercise of unvested common stock options  1,058  378
 Repurchases of common stock options early exercised  (11)  (3)
 Payments for deferred offering costs  --   -- 
 Borrowings from line of credit  10,000  4,000
 Repayment of line of credit  --   (6,000)
 Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt  10,000  3,000
 Repayment of long-term debt  (114)  (311)
 Net cash provided by financing activities  127,584  35,505
EFFECT OF EXCHANGE RATE CHANGES ON CASH AND EQUIVALENTS  12  (51)
CHANGE IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS  110,386  19,328
CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS—Beginning of period  14,896  5,071
CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS—End of period  $ 125,282  $ 24,399
 
 
Rocket Fuel Inc.
KEY METRICS
(In thousands, except number of active customers)
         
 Three Months EndedNine Months Ended
 September 30,September 30,
 2013201220132012
 (unaudited)(unaudited)
 Revenue  $62,458  $ 26,902  $155,039  $ 66,494
 Revenue less media cost (non-GAAP)  $36,035  $ 14,448  $ 87,327  $ 35,874
 Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP)  $ (657)  $ (477)  $ (4,941)  $ (1,656)
 Number of active customers  938  406  938  406
         
         
         
 
Rocket Fuel Inc.
RECONCILIATION OF NET LOSS TO ADJUSTED EBITDA
(In thousands)
         
 Three Months EndedNine Months Ended
 September 30,September 30,
 2013201220132012
 (unaudited)(unaudited)
Net loss  $ (6,860)  $ (2,002)  $(18,771)  $ (4,472)
Adjustments:        
 Interest expense, net  251  63  604  233
 Provision for income taxes  133  28  173  67
 Depreciation and amortization expense (excludes amortization of internal use software)  781  391  2,060  896
 Stock-based compensation expense  2,653  212  6,253  527
 Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability  2,385  831  4,740  1,093
Total adjustments  6,203  1,525  13,830  2,816
Adjusted EBITDA  $ (657)  $ (477)  $ (4,941)  $ (1,656)
         
         
Rocket Fuel Inc.
RECONCILIATION OF REVENUE TO REVENUE LESS MEDIA COSTS
(In thousands)
 Three Months EndedNine Months Ended
 September 30,September 30,
 2013201220132012
 (unaudited)(unaudited)
 Revenue  $62,458  $ 26,902  $155,039  $ 66,494
 Less media cost  26,423  12,454  67,712  30,620
 Revenue less media cost  $36,035  $ 14,448  $ 87,327  $ 35,874
 
Rocket Fuel Inc.
RECONCILIATION OF NET LOSS TO 
ADJUSTED NET LOSS
(In thousands, except per share data) 
         
 Three Months EndedNine Months Ended
 September 30,September 30,
 2013201220132012
 (unaudited)(unaudited)
Net loss  $ (6,860)  $ (2,002)  $ (18,771)  $ (4,472)
Stock-based compensation expense  2,653 212  6,253 527
 Change in fair value of convertible preferred stock warrant liability  2,385  831  4,740  1,093
Tax impact of the above items  --   --   --   -- 
Adjusted net loss  $ (1,822)  $ (959)  $ (7,778)  $ (2,852)
         
Adjusted diluted net loss per share  $ (0.16)  $ (0.12)  $ (0.83)  $ (0.36)
         
Weighted average shares used in computing adjusted diluted net loss per share  11,315  8,067  9,346  7,971
CONTACT: Investor Relations:

         Alex Wellins

         The Blueshirt Group

         (415) 217-5861

         ir@rocketfuel.com