Kofax Hits Q4 Projections; Dratler Back w/ Bish

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Big day for Kofax. Couple of important announcements this morning. First, the Irvine-based document capture ISV seems to have hit the fourth-quarter numbers that CEO Reynolds Bish projected after a sluggish third-quarter. When the third-quarter results were announced, Bish had projected at least $69 million in revenue from Kofax’s core capture business in fiscal Q4 (ended June 30), which would have represented 5% growth over Q4 2011.

According to the Kofax press release, “The Company ended the fiscal year with record total revenues in the range of $261 to $263 million and expects to report an EBITA of at least the $40.2 million realized during the previous fiscal year, both of which are in line with Company expectations previously communicated to the financial community.”

There is a conference call scheduled for this morning. I’m on vacation and haven’t had a chance to review the details yet, but, the London investment community seems to approve of the Kofax preliminary report. Kofax shares were up almost 5% in early trading. Of course, that could also be reflective of the news that Kofax has named Howard Dratler as its new EVP of field pperations. Dratler held a similar position at Captiva.

Bish probably would have liked to hire Dratler as his right-hand man when he first took over Kofax. In fact, here is a quote from Bish in our April 4, 2008 issue: “The new EVP position is pretty much identical to the
position I created at Captiva, for which I recruited Howard Dratler who had experience at Veritas. Howard is a very talented guy who did a very effective job. Unfortunately, he is not currently available.”

At the time Dratler was occupied as the CEO of Anacomp and Bish hired former HP sales executive Alan Kerr to fill the EVP of field operations role. Kerr enjoyed mixed success, but Kofax seemed to recover more slowly from the 2009 economic downturn than many of its competitors and really didn’t have a very strong first three quarters of its fiscal 2012.

Dratler was with Bish when he built Captiva from a company with market cap of less than $10 million to one he was able to sell to EMC for $300 million in a matter of three years. So, the Bish-Dratler combination clearly has a history of success in driving up investor valuation – which was Bish’s main charge when he was hired by Kofax, and a goal I’m sure he is still working towards, as by my calculations at least, Kofax’s current market cap of around $350 million is about the same as the Kofax (then known as Dicom) market cap when Bish was brought in.This unrealized goal of driving up the value of the company and the recent hire of Dratler would also indicate to me that the rumor circulating about Oracle buying Kofax has no substance behind it.

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