A good news, bad news day at Tremor on Wednesday. The ad tech firm a pioneer IPO in 2013, reported Q4 revenues were up 4% but also reported full year revenues were down, also 4%.
And oh yes, by the way, Tremor announced that CEO Bill Day has resigned, effective right now, replaced on an interim basis by Paul Caine, former Bloomberg CRO, who became Tremor’s non-executive board chair in 2014. A search firm will find Day’s replacement.
Day was lauded by Caine and, generally, by the company in its earnings statement. On Twitter, there was also at least one tweet expressing the company’s appreciation in a more casual way.
“We reached many important milestones during Bill’s tenure and his expertise has guided the company to a position of strength while setting us on a strong path for sustainable profitability and future growth,” Caine said.
“After long consideration, I’ve decided to leave my role as CEO,” Day said during the company’s earnings call. “I’ve had the honor and privilege of serving as serving as CEO since 2008. I’m pleased to say Tremor is operating from a position of strength and the company is on a positive trajectory toward combined growth and profitability.”
Day had been Tremor’s chief since its days as a start-up and through its rocky IPO, a victim, possibly, of bad timing following some other IPOs whose debuts were disappointing, including, it seems funny to say now, Facebook’s.
The earnings performance and Day’s exit may be impacting Tremor’s stock price today. At around 2 p.m. it was trading at $2.13 a share, down 12.4%.
The company has also changed as the programmatic ad business took off and churned all on its own. Today, Tremor is a demand-side and supply-side ad seller, though in London, it reportedly has gotten out of the demand side business.
As ad platforms huge social sites have gained steam, Tremor’s business strategy has radically changed, too, but price competition in programmatic buying is fierce.
Indeed, one of the trade’s latest manias is so-called “header bidding” that basically lets s a publisher get higher revenue by letting lots of multiple networks bid on an impression at same time--and time being the typical fraction of a second these transactions are made. It's that kind of environment--based, it seems mainly on low cost--that turns off some investors
Tremor has increasingly positioned itself as a player in the trend to advertising spending moving from TV to digital video with software platforms aimed in that direction. Cross-screen advertising is emerging as Tremor’s sweet spot, it seems. Under Day, it's also positioned itself as an industry leaders, with several Tremor executives serving high-profile posts. For example, Lauren Wiener recently ended her year as the chair of the IAB's Board of Directors.
Tremor’s bullet points from its earnings report:
Full Year 2016 highlights:
--Total revenue of $166.8 million, down 4% year-over-year
--Record Total spend of $254.2 million, up 25% year-over-year
--Record gross profit of $76.3 million, up 2% year-over-year
--Adjusted EBITDA of ($2.0) million
Its fourth quarter vitals:
--Record revenue of $53.8 million, up 4% year-over-year
--Record total pend of $84.8 million, up 25% year-over-year
--Record gross profit of $24.3 million, up 7% year-over-year
--Record adjusted EBITDA of $3.5 million.
It also repurchased over two million shares during the quarter.