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Diligent CEO Sodi mulls use for cash, tips growth potential

BUSINESSDESK: Diligent Board Member Services chief executive Alex Sodi sees more growth to come for the corporate governance software maker as more boardrooms switch to a paperless filing system.

Speaking to BusinessDesk, he says the market is expanding and sales are likely to top $US50 million for the full year.

"In the short term we're not going to be Google. But if you look at the margins and cashflow we've been delivering – $US10 million, $US20 million, $US50 million – I think we have delivered.

"It's a question of when we're going to get to $US75 million" turnover, rather than if, he says.

The company is sitting on a cash pile of $US25.6 million and would be making decisions on how to use it in the next couple of months, although acquisitions appear not to be on the agenda, with Diligent operating in a niche space, developing its own software.

The New York-based company boosted third-quarter revenue 145% to $US11.8 million in the three months ended September 30, taking year-to-date sales to $US30.2 million.

Mr Sodi expects more upside as the popularity of his firm's Boardbooks product extends on to other platforms such as Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows, and as it looks to grow sales in Europe.

Diligent has gone from strength to strength in the past two years after cashing in on the increasing popularity of Apple Inc's iPad with its Boardbooks application.

The firm has attracted almost a quarter of Fortune 1000 companies as customers and counts 1615 companies on its client base, with more than 2330 board and 46,000 users worldwide.

The NZX-listed stock has surged as high as $4.09 from just 7 cents a share in the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009. It fell 1.8% to $3.74 today and has more than doubled this year.

Comments and questions

Why acquire when their product can be easily modified to fit other needs in the corporate decision-making space? It's R&D they should be spending on, not acquisitions.

A special dividend is another obvious use of the money.