Forrester Research, Inc. Q1 2009 earnings call scheduled – will its mix of clients insulate it from the recession?

logo-forrester.gifThis earnings call should be interesting in the wake of IDC’s significant layoffs (see IDC experiences layoffs – likely more than 20 analysts affected).

Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR)  earnings call is 11:00 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday, April 30, 2009 . The earnings call is a webcast that you can find on Forrester’s investor relations webpage. This call is coming one week before Gartner’s earnings call.

SageCircle doesn’t listen to the Gartner and Forrester earnings calls with the same mindset as a financial analyst. What we listen for are clues to how the two publicly traded analyst firms are Continue reading

Gartner, Inc. Q1 2009 earnings call is scheduled – will enterprises still be buying services?

logo-gartner.gif

Gartner, Inc.  (NYSE:IT) announced that its earnings conference call will be on May 8th at 10:00 a.m. ET. The earnings call is a webcast that you can find on Gartner’s investor relations webpage.

This earnings call should provide critical insight into whether enterprise technology buyers are changing their advisory analyst contract purchasing behaviors. In recent recessions, IT managers (the typical tech buyer client) have, as a group, been steady in their purchases of Gartner and Forrester services(and Giga and META before they were acquired). Most of the advisory analyst firm research contract sales volatility is due to vendors who often cut their marketing budgets steeply during recessions.  Because Gartner is not very vendor centric the earnings call information correlates closely to end user activity. 

Enterprise technology buyer purchasing patterns are important because they are an important indicator of analyst direct influence on vendor sales. If the firms have more end-user clients their influence goes up merely because they have more clients to advise as to which vendors belong on short lists, et cetera. If, on the other hand, purchases show a steady decline this could indicate a decrease in influence.

Gartner has said for 2009, research contract value will increase by 1%. While this is much smaller than Continue reading

IDC experiences layoffs – likely more than 20 analysts affected

logo-idc.gifSageCircle has received credible intelligence that IDC has  initiated a job action resulting in analyst lay offs. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

  • Update: 4/17/09 11:18 am PT -Initial post. Sent request for confirmation to IDC’s press office
  • Update: 4/17/09 11:22 am PT – First names added name to analyst list
  • Update: 4/17/09 11:54 am PT – Reports coming in that layoffs will be significant and include both analysts and backoffice personnel
  • Update 4/17/09 12:51 pm PT – Multiple reports that the layoffs will impact 80+ staff, of which 20+ are analysts
  • Update 4/17/09 1:26 pm PT – Name added to the analyst list
  • Update 4/17/09 2:01 pm PT – Name added to list; reports coming in that IDC is holding All-Hands meeting
  • Update 4/17/09 3:22 pm PT – Two names added to list
  • Update 4/20/09 5:03 am PT – Added IDC official statement
  • Update 4/20/09 7:04 am PT – Added name to list
  • Update 4/20/09 7:42 am PT – Added two names to list
  • Update 4/20/09 9:43 am PT – Added name
  • Update 4/20/09 11:50 am PT – Added four analyts to list
  • Update 4/20/09 12:42 pm PT – Added name
  • Update 4/20/09 1:30 pm PT — Added name
  • Update 4/20/09 4:00 pm PT — Added two names
  • Update 4/22/09 12:20 pm PT — Added three names
  • Update 4/23/09 8:19 am PT – Added one name
  • Update 4/28/09 1:57 pm PT – Added one name
  • Update 5/27/09 2:17 pm PT – Added two names

Of course, layoffs impact real people with families and obligations. Often AR people are genuinely friendly with the analysts they work with and this sort of news can be a shock. Unfortunately for AR professionals, analyst firm layoffs also raise important issues that need to be addressed ASAP no matter how much sympathy they feel for the analysts caught in the layoffs.

IDC Official Statement

In an e-mail exchange with SageCircle, IDC Corporate Communications Director Michael Shirer released the following statement:
- Due to the impact of the economic recession, IDC on April 17 reduced its U.S. staff by 82 employees, which represents 5% of IDC’s 1,650 employees worldwide.
- 26 research analyst positions were included in the reduction in employees. This research analyst decrease represents Continue reading

People on the Move in Analyst Relations – Ed Gyurko to Tech Mahindra

Ed Gyurko of Tech MahindraEd Gyurko (edward.gyurko [at] techmahindra.com, Twitter) has joined Tech Mahindra as Senior Manager, Analyst and Influencer Relations. Ed will be in Tech Mahindra’s London offices.

Please join us in congratulating Ed and wishing him great success in his new position. 

Tech Mahindra

___________________________________

Are you or someone you know on the move? Please let us know and Continue reading

Show your favorite analyst some love, vote in the 2009 IIAR analyst of the year survey

iiar-analyst-of-the-year.jpgClick Analyst of the year  to visit the IIAR blog to learn how you can cast a vote for your favorite analyst.

IIAR publishes white paper on Managing the Gartner Magic Quadrant

Here is the announcement on the IIAR blog:  IIAR publishes white paper on Managing the Gartner MQ.  The whitepaper is titled: “Managing the Gartner Magic Quadrant: a tool for analyst relations managers.”  The paper is free for all IIAR members and can be found in the Library section of the organisation’s website www.analystrelations.org.

Pike Research launched, focused on cleantech industries

Pike ResearchClint Wheelock, formerly an analyst with ABI and NPD, sent along this announcement.

While a bold move to start a new business in a recession, this is actually a good time to do so because it always takes awhile to build recognition and generate a base of research. By the time Pike Research is fully up to speed the economy should have recovered and budgets loosened up. 

Pike Research is Formed to Bring In-Depth Market Analysis to Global Cleantech Industries

March 18, 2009 – Boulder, Colorado

Today Pike Research announced its formation to provide world-class market research and industry analysis for global clean technology markets. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, the firm offers research reports, advisory services, and consulting concentrating on five key sectors: Renewable Energy, Clean Transportation, Clean Industry, Green Consumers, and Environmental Management.

“Cleantech industry leaders are increasingly focused on commercialization and go-to-market strategies for their technology products and services,” says Clint Wheelock, Pike Research’s founder and managing director. “These initiatives require unbiased and objective market intelligence that will help companies navigate the complexities of the cleantech business and create sound strategies for future success.”

Pike Research’s network of industry analysts and consultants, each domain experts in their respective fields, conduct in-depth qualitative and quantitative analysis on a variety of hot topics within today’s business environment that is highly focused on climate change, energy Continue reading

A warm compliment for Merv Adrian and an interesting comment about the Forrester layoffs

Background:  This text originally came in as a comment to Forrester experiences analyst layoffs. Because of the last line, I did not approve the comment leaving it as a private communication to SageCircle. But I did tweet that someone had sent along a very nice compliment for Merv Adrian. That triggered this comment to the original (and not published) comment:  “Saw your tweet. Oops. sorry. meant keep IP confidential. pls reveal details. =)”  So with that permission from the author, we are now publishing his or her comment. However, rather than a comment I decided to elevate it to a full post. BTW, you can follow Merv Adrian on Twitter at www.twitter.com/merv.

photo-merv-adrian-official-forresterIt is truly sad to say good-bye to co-workers especially during a lay off.. I will miss each person who has left. But it is quite a travesty when you lay off someone who is an icon, someone who makes a big difference in everyone’s lives, and someone who has had the company’s best interest at heart at all times. I have struggled to tell this story about my team and the more I wait, the more I regret it. I must tell. I shall share. I now reveal.So I say this with great conviction: “It is unconscionable for Forrester to lay off Mervyn T. Adrian without a proper explanation to our clients and our employees”

Why?

I was there when we first bought Giga. It was a scary time like now. The Internet bubble had burst. We had finished 2 rounds of layoffs. Our business was tanking. Our stock in the toilet.

When we bought Giga, we were nervous. Our first reaction was who are all these gray hairs? We were all much younger. Why’s everyone a VP? We only had principal analysts as the highest title and there were only 2 or 3 of those. Would we get along with these old farts? They seem crotchety and nerdy. How come they all work from home? We lived in a must show up to HQ culture.

But throughout the acquisition, this bubbly gentleman would reach out. He showed us how to work together. He showed us the value of an inquiry to clients. He showed us the how to collaborate across teams. He would reach out and mentor new analysts. He would tell it to us like Continue reading

Forrester layoffs in Europe – round 2 or round 1 continued?

SageCircle has received credible intelligence from AR professionals on both sides of the Atlantic that  Forrester Research  initiated a job action resulting in analyst lay offs. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

  • Update – 2/18/09 6:53 am PT – Initial post. Sent request for confirmation to Forrester’s press office
  • Update – 2/19/09 7:12 am PT – Two analysts added to list

Analysis

These layoffs could simply be a continuation of the layoffs that we identified on February 9th (see Forrester experiences analyst layoffs). Because European countries have different labor laws than the US, job actions there frequently lag what happens in the US. On the other hand, these layoffs could be a start of a round two because management has determined even after a few days that the original layoffs were insufficient. While Forrester has over $240m in cash and marketable securities (see Forrester Research Q4 and FY08 earnings – 2008 revenues up, 2009 guidance down)  and can obviously weather even a severe recession, that does not mean it should not  Continue reading

Forrester Research Q4 and FY08 earnings – 2008 revenues up, 2009 guidance down

This analysis does not look at areas of interest to investors, but seeks to pull out insights that are relevant to clients and prospects of Forrester Research, the number two advisory analyst firm, as well as communications and IT vendor analyst relations (AR) teams. 

logo-forrester.gifForrester Research (NASDAQ: FORR) reported its Q4 and full-year 2008 earnings on February 11, 2009. See the end of the blog entry for a summary and link to the press release. 

Forrester’s prepared remarks and Q&A were similar in tone and substance to the Gartner earnings call: expected growth until the fourth quarter at which point sales weakened considerably and anticipating a very weak 2009 resulting in revenue guidance below 2008.

Q4 revenues were up 7.7% year-over-year to $62.9m. For 2008, revenues were up 13.6% year-over-year to $241m.

Cash and short term investments were $220 million, down $29 million year-over-year. This is not surprising as the July 2008 acquisition of JupiterResearch used ~ $22.4m in cash. What was interesting was that the “cash” component went from $53m to $129m. This gives Forrester great liquidly for any M&A activity and stock buybacks to keep investors reasonably satisfied.

Forrester’s 2009 guidance was for revenues of $215 m to $235 m, down 11% to 2% from 2008. Gartner’s guidance was for a decline from 2008 of 6% to 10% (f/x neutral). The two areas expected to be hit hardest for both firms were Consulting and Events with syndicated research relatively flat.

One surprising piece of news is that rather than cutting the number of events like Gartner (good bye 18 conferences), Forrester is keeping the previously announced 14 events and adding two. Part of the reason cited for not canceling events was the sunk cost would be lost. Even a reduced conference might produce a break even. Another reason is the strategic need to fill gaps for role-based events.  This positions Forrester to experience strong growth once the recession has ended. In addition, Forrester believes that the more “birds of a feature” nature of events now focused on job roles will enhance attendee traffic because participants will have more targeted content and peer interactions. Reading between the lines, this could mean some events are limping along with weak attendance. Vendor sponsors could find their sponsorships underperforming because there will be fewer attendees.

While the total number of client companies was up 175 over 2007 to 2643, the number was down Continue reading

Forrester experiences analyst layoffs

SageCircle has received credible intelligence that Forrester Research  initiated a job action resulting in analyst lay offs. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

  • Update – 2/9/09 12:15 pm PT – Initial post. Sent request for confirmation to Forrester’s press office
  • Update – 2/9/09 12:30 pm PT – Context
  • Update – 2/9/09 12:45 pm PT – Details: 111 staff laidoff, 15% of workforce Correction: This number is from the 2001 layoff.
  • Update – 2/9/09 1:10 pm PT – Added analyst to list (see below)
  • Update – 2/9/09 1:52 pm PT — Added analyst to list
  • Update – 2/9/09 1:47 pm PT — Added analyst to list
  • Update – 2/0/09 3:12 pm PT — Added analyst to list
  • Update – 2/9/09 3:45 pm PT — Added Forrester’s official statement
  • Update – 2/9/09 4:02 pm PT — Added two analysts to list
  • Update – 2/9/09 4:31 pm PT — added analyst to list
  • Update – 2/9/09 5:40 pm PT — added two analysts to list
  • Update – 2/9/09 5:55 am PT — Forrester files an SEC form 8-K with the official statement
  • Update – 2/10/10 6:43 am PT — a little perspective on the layoffs
  • Update – 2/10/09 8:40 am PT — Removed an analyst from the list

On Wednesday, February 11th at 8 am PT, Forrester is having its Q4 and FY08 earnings call (see Forrester Research, Inc. Q4 and FY08 earnings call is scheduled – Acquisitions? Layoffs? Something out the ordinary?). As we mentioned in the post it would not be unusual for Forrester to announce job actions or acquisitions close to the day of the earnings call. Something else to remember that layoffs do not mean that an acquisition is not in the works. Forrester could be trimming costs in order to absorb the costs associated with an acquisition.

Added 2/10/09 — While the layoffs feel like 100% to the individuals who were directly impacted, within the context of Forrester’s overall research team the percentage was small. In its 2008 10Q, Forrester indicated that it had 410 research related employees. So far, we have identified eight analysts and researchers or 2% of the team. While this layoffs impacts clients who value those analysts’ advice and insights and the vendors who had invested in educating those analysts, these layoffs do not signal a decrease in Forrester’s influence or viability.

SageCircle has announced a SageCircle Special Webinar: Impact of the Recession on the Analysts and AR – Time for Ruthless Action. In this 90-minute webinar we will look at the last recession in comparison to this recession, the impact of this recession on the analyst ecosystem and what steps analyst relations (AR) programs need to take to ensure that their companies continue to work effectively with the IT and telecommunications analysts.

Official Statement

Sent by Karyl Levinson, Vice President, Corporate Communications

Forrester Announces Workforce Reduction

 Cambridge, Mass., February 9, 2009 . . .

Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) today announced a reduction in force of approximately 50 jobs, or an estimated five percent of its workforce, across various functions and geographies worldwide. This positions the company to compete better in the current economic climate. The company anticipates that it will incur pre-tax expenses of approximately $2.5 to $3 million dollars in the first quarter of 2009, related principally to cash severance and related benefits costs. The company also is evaluating associated facilities-related costs.

“We are grateful for the contributions of Continue reading

In-Stat experiences layoffs

Logo - In-StatSageCircle has received credible intelligence that In-Stat (digital communications market research) initiated a job action resulting in nine analysts being laid off. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

  • Update – 2/6/09 6:10 am - Initial post. Sent request for confirmation to In-Stat’s press contact
  • Update – 2/6/09 10:17 am – Official statement from In-Stat

Official Statement from In-Stat

Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 10:09 AM
Subject: RE: Official statement about In-Stat analyst layoffs

Hi Carter,
In response to your inquiry, here is our corporate statement :

On Monday, January 26, 2009, Reed Business Information Continue reading

Gartner Q4 and FY08 earnings – Research Contract and revenues up, trouble in Events

This analysis does not look at areas of interest to investors, but seeks to pull out insights that are relevant to clients and prospects of the “Big Two” advisory analyst firms as well as communications and IT vendor analyst relations (AR) teams. 

logo-gartner.gifGartner (NYSE:IT) announced its Q4 and full year 2008 earnings on February 5, 2009.

Update 1: 5:45 am PT – Observations based on earnings press release (see below for highlights from press release)

SageCircle was anticipating that this earnings call would be more interesting than has been the case for most of the CEO Gene Hall era. The key question is what would happen to research contract value, because this is a useful surrogate indicator of analyst influence with end users.

Gartner had a good year-over-year quarter for contract value growth, up 11% to $834.3 Million (8% growth excluding the impact of foreign exchange).

Why is net contract value increase (NCVI, the four most important letters in the alphabet to the Gartner sales team) an important indicator? If contract value goes up it likely means that Gartner is adding new end-user (usually large organization IT managers) clients. More end-user clients translate into more influence as more technology buyers now have access to Gartner advice on IT and telecommunications purchases, whether hardware, software or services.

While Gartner does not break out research contract value data between end users and vendors, SageCircle’s conversations with AR managers indicate that Continue reading

The 451 Group experiences layoffs

logo-the451SageCircle has received credible intelligence that The 451 Group initiated a job action resulting in analyst layoffs. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

Analyst Relations in Transit – a new SageCircle service

Unfortunately some highly qualified Analyst Relations (AR) professionals are getting caught up in company downsizings. To facilitate the networking of AR pros “in transit” between jobs and AR managers at vendors with positions to fill, SageCircle is launching a new service: the “AR in Transit” page.

For the time being the directory will be a page in the left navigation menu with a simple list of names and email addresses. blog links and Twitter handles. AR managers, please let us know what additional information you would like (e.g., years of AR experience, geography and so on) to help you target your outreach.

Of course this is a free service by SageCircle for the AR community.

AR professionals that want to be listed (and AR managers who want their open AR job openings highlighted) send us an email to “info [at] sagecircle.com”

Here is the initial list:

The list has been move to its permanent location AR in Transit, which can be found in the left navigation bar under Pages.

iSuppli experiences layoffs

Logo - iSuppliElectronics supply chain market research firm iSuppli has announced layoffs. This news was first noted on the Analyst Perspectives blog (The Analyst Layoffs Keep Rolling On) and later confirmed by SageCircle. It appears that no analysts have been laid off, though some research assistants and contractors appear to have lost their positions.

Forrester Research, Inc. Q4 and FY08 earnings call is scheduled – Acquisitions? Layoffs? Something out the ordinary?

logo-forrester.gifThis earnings call should be much more interesting than recent quarters in the wake of the recent layoffs of analysts at five firms and the cancellation of Gartner’s  Spring Symposium. So far, Forrester has not announced any layoffs, but sometimes companies regardless of size or market will announce job actions during an earnings call to show Wall Street analysts that management is taking the recession seriously. In addition, Forrester could announce an acquisition like it did at the 2Q FY08 call with the purchase of JupiterResearch.

Forrester’s earnings call is on February 11th at 8:00 a.m. PT. The earnings call is a webcast that you can find on Forrester’s investor relations webpage. This call is coming one week after Gartner’s earnings call.

I don’t listen to the Gartner and Forrester earnings calls with the same mindset as a financial analyst. What I listen for are clues to how the two publicly traded analyst firms are Continue reading

Burton Group announces job action

SageCircle has received from Burton Group CEO Jamie Lewis an email about a job action resulting in analyst layoffs. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information

  • Update 1 – 1/20/09 – Posted official statement
  • Update 2 – 1/21/09 – Posted one analyst name to list
  • Update 3 – 1/22/09 – Removed Pete Lindstrom from list of analysts – he had departed ahead of layoffs

Official Statement

“On Monday January 19, Burton Group took actions to ensure the ongoing financial health of its business given current economic conditions. Like every business, Burton Group must ensure that it spends within its means in 2009, preserving the significant resources the company has as it prepares for long-term growth. In short, these changes were minor adjustments to accommodate market conditions. Burton Group continues to be a profitable, debt-free, and growing business.

Specifically, the company had a reduction in force of 8 people, or 5% of its total workforce. Of these eight people, four were analysts, three were internal support staff, and one was a consultant. This reduction in Continue reading

Kudos to CEO Emily Green for transparency about latest Yankee Group job action

I am in complete agreement with Hill & Knowlton AR guru Dom Pannell’s post on the ARcade blog that Yankee CEO Emily Green deserves a compliment for her blog post Time for the shoemaker’s children. While the layoffs are painful, transparency can help raise the confidence of the analyst ecosystem about Yankee’s prospects.

Gartner, Inc. Q4 and FY08 earnings call is scheduled – more important than usual

This earnings call should be much more interesting than recent quarters in the wake of the analyst layoffs and Spring Symposium cancelation.

Gartner is on February 5th at 10:00 a.m. ET. The earnings call is a webcast that you can find on Gartner’s investor relations webpage.

logo-gartner.gifI don’t listen to the Gartner and Forrester earnings calls with the same mindset as a financial analyst. What I listen for are clues to how the two publicly traded analyst firms are Continue reading

Aberdeen Group experiences analyst layoffs

Logo of AberdeenSageCircle has received credible intelligence that Aberdeen Group initiated a job action resulting in analyst layoffs. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

Yankee Group experiences new round of layoffs

Credible reports are coming in that Yankee Group is laying off another group of analysts. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

  • Update 1 – 1/15/09 8:59 am – Posted official statement from Yankee Group
  • Updated 2 – 1/15/09 9:07 am – Added two analysts to list

Official Statement

Sent: Thu, January 15, 2009 8:50
Subject: Yankee Group update

Hi Carter,

I’ve appreciated our open dialogue over the past few months, and I wanted to update you on some company news at Yankee Group.

Emily Green just posted a blog at Continue reading

People on the Move in Analyst Relations – Marijke Shugrue

Avaya - Marijke ShugrueMarijke Shugrue has joined Avaya as Director, Global Analyst Relations. Formerly Marijke was an AR manager with Bite PR.

Please join us in congratulating Marijke and wishing her great success in her new position. logo-avaya

 

 

___________________________________

Are you or someone you know on the move? Please let us know and Continue reading

Gartner statement on Spring Symposium

logo-gartner.gifHi Carter,

Thanks for your note on Friday. Regarding Spring Symposium/ITxpo.

Every year, as a normal course of business planning, we conduct a thorough review of our worldwide event portfolio and make adjustments based on the trends and performance of individual events.  As a result of this review, we have decided to cancel this year’s Spring Symposium/ITxpo in Las Vegas and Barcelona. While a number of factors influenced this decision, the primary reason for the change is the current macro economic environment and its anticipated impact on attendee travel and overall event attendance.
 
Traditionally, Spring Symposium/ITxpo focused on Continue reading

Role of social media in uncovering the Gartner and AMR analyst layoffs

icon-social-media-blue.jpgThe last few days have been interesting regarding the layoffs at Gartner and AMR. Laying off workers (about 1% of analysts for Gartner so far), canceling unprofitable events (such as Spring Symposium), and so on are so typical for any company in this economic environment. In fact, more layoffs or other services cancelations would not be atypical. 

However, what makes this situation more interesting is the role social media played in bringing the layoffs to the attention of stakeholders in the analyst ecosystem. In the past the analyst firms were able to get away with keeping layoffs under the radar screen because any one client, end user or vendor, would only discover “missing” analysts that they personally interacted with on a regular basis. This process of discovering missing analysts would also occur over days or weeks because few clients have frequent contacts with multiple analysts. When layoffs occurred under the radar nobody got the big picture about all the departures and put the pieces together.

Well, that approach ended on Friday. SageCircle became the hub for information about reports of layoffs and then fed that back to the AR community via Twitter, Facebook and our blog. Our raising the issue then got us more data points via Twitter and email. Very quickly we were able to ascertain that the departures were not just the usual turnover in the employee base, but job actions by AMR and Gartner affecting a number of analysts.

Certainly, Twitter and other social media have been used in other breaking news instances, including natural disasters or terrorist related. However, most members in the analyst ecosystem have been laggards when it comes to adopting social media. This might be the first case of Twitter, Facebook and an AR blog being used to Continue reading

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