Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Simulations Plus ( Nasdaq - SLP ) -- Customer Mergers Slow Growth

Simulations Plus (SLP $4.25) announced preliminary Q1 (Nov.) revenue growth of 2% to $2.29 million.  Approximately $450,000 of normally recurring revenue wasn't re-signed because of mergers and consolidations.  In the past the scientists displaced in those types of reorganizations typically re-acquired their licenses once they started working someplace else.  New business offset the drop-off.  If the merger-related decline had not occurred, revenue growth would have been 22%.

Growth promises to be reinforced by consulting and professional service revenue.  Initial contributions from the fledgling toxicology line could deliver further impetus.  Demand from existing and new customers is rising in response to the company's in-house malaria project, moreover.  Simulations Plus used its technology to identify promising therapeutic molecules, using software engineers instead of medical researchers.  All seven candidates showed activity, with two warranting further development.  Those results have persuaded a growing segment of the potential market to take a closer look at the technology.  A second project, aimed at a different disease, will be started in upcoming periods to show the malaria effort wasn't a fluke.

The threat of higher dividend tax rates has exerted pressure on the stock.  Simulations Plus pays a $.05 a share quarterly dividend  .If interest rates remain low that payout should remain attractive to at least a segment of the investment universe (retirement plans).  Our full year estimates are unchanged.

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