TigerLogic 1Q09 Results

Yesterday TigerLogic Corporation (previously Raining Data Corp.) announced its first-quarter fiscal year 2009 (1Q09) results, for the period ended 6/30/08.

Highlights (figures rounded to one decimal place):

  • Revenue of $4.6M, down 8% from $5.0M in 1Q08
  • License revenue of $1.6M, down 18% from $2.0M in 1Q08
  • Operating loss of $1.5M, up from a loss of $0.1M in 1Q08
  • Net loss per share of $0.06, up from a loss of $0.01 in 1Q08
  • Cash burn of $2.0M
  • Ending cash of $12.0M

Per Google Finance, the company’s market cap is $132M, more than 7x run-rate revenues. This strikes me as pretty hefty, given that software norms run in the 2-4x range, and the “typical” software company is growing, not shrinking, and has a modestly positive return on sales. The stock has been hovering around $5 for the past year.

Since the company also sells (and as you’ll see in a minute, I use the term loosely) an XML database system, I thought I’d take a dig around the 10-Q.

Here’s what I found on page 11, in the section on products.

TigerLogic® XDMS is a high performance, scalable, enterprise native XML database management server with both data- and document-centric capabilities. The TigerLogic XDMS difference comes from its core technology, a highly flexible data model that is optimal for managing and storing any kind of XML or non-XML data and its high performance, extensible XQuery Engine.

A lot of adjectives, but sounds good. I’m skeptical of the “dessert topping and floor wax” nature of the product claims — i.e., both data and documents and XML and non-XML data. But let’s continue:

TigerLogic XDMS provides a level of efficient persistence that XML applications and transactions require, offering the benefits of roles-based security, XA-compliant transactions, replication and high-availability for enhanced reliability. TigerLogic XDMS provides the benefits of an enterprise-scalable system that allows on the fly changes to content, recursion, and automatically optimizes storage.

They’re spewing features like a Bronx fire hydrant on a 100 degree day. I particularly enjoy the attempt to switch to benefits in the second sentence, only to immediately degenerate back to features. (Note to marketers: recursion isn’t a benefit.) Let’s continue nevertheless:

TigerLogic XDMS supports an extensible and flexible development and deployment environment. Unlike other XML data management alternatives, TigerLogic XDMS does not need to know the schema or structure of data before processing and storing it.

Regarding up-front schema knowledge, we don’t need it either.

We believe the ability to make XML schemas optional is a vital innovation because the structures of operational systems frequently change, and mapping schemas for the purpose of linking to a new data source is both difficult and time-consuming. The system also enables support for schema versioning, which is critical when addressing evolving standards and XML schemas.

We agree that it’s a major innovation for a DBMS to not require advance schema knowledge and/or schema adherence for data. It’s actually quite au contraire from normal database systems. The norm is: (1) tell the DBMS what the data looks like, (2) feed in 10M instances, (3) build indexes to match your anticipated queries, and (4) then run queries.

In MarkLogic, the process is (1) load 10M instances even if they vary in schema and you’ve not told the system their structure in advance, and (2) then run queries. To me, it’s the “right” XML way of doing things, because XML is, after all, supposed to be self-describing.

But I digress. Let’s continue reading:

The General Availability Release of TigerLogic XDMS version 2.6, which included support for enhanced XQuery features, including XQuery stored procedures and full-text search and support for high availability clustering, was released in July 2006. Version 3.0, which is the third generation release of the product and includes compliance with the XML Query 1.0 specification, released in January 2007, cache management of data sources, in-memory cache, support for geospatial data, enhanced application programming interfaces (“APIs”) and data replication was released for beta testing in June 2007.

All very wordy and impressive.

To date, our revenue from TigerLogic XDMS has been less than $300,000

Whoa. Hang on. Did they really say inception-to-date revenues are less than $300K? Well, other than the, uh, revenues the new product line’s doing just fine. Right.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

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