Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kenexa (NASDAQ:KNXA): Upgraded at Oppenheimer and Keybanc

Kenexa (NASDAQ:KNXA) may be on the move today after posting results last night and getting upgraded at Oppenheimer and Keybanc:

- Oppenheimer is taking their rating to Outperform and introducing a $12 PT as they are growing increasingly confident that the company's business is at or near a bottom. Overall, while 1Q results were largely in line with its forecast, they believe parts of its business are showing early signs of improvement. Though the RPO business will likely remain a ST drag, the LT upside potential is far too significant to ignore. At current levels, KNXA trades at just 1.0x CY09E recurring revs, below the SaaS group average of 2.5x. The firm arrives at their $12 PT by applying a 1.7x multiple to CY09E rec revs and add the ~$45M of net cash on its balance sheet.

- Keybanc is upgrading their rating on shares of KNXA from HOLD to BUY and establishing a 12-month target price of $11, about 40% above yesterday's closing price. KNXA reported 1Q results in line with consensus expectations. More significantly, deferred revenue was up sequentially by about $3 million in a very challenging economic environment. Firm believes this increase reflected strong sales of applicant tracking (ATS) solutions in multi-element deals including consulting and content, and we expect the Company to see benefits to its subscription line by the 3Q and beyond. They see room for a recovery in KNXA's EV/ revenue multiple, which appears cyclically depressed, as sequential revenue stability emerges later in 2009 and costs remain controlled. Although they are not modeling a robust recovery for KNXA's recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) business, they think non-RPO consulting and content sales could rebound as a recovery takes root, possibly providing top-line upside.

Notablecalls: Nice chart and two upgrades will offer some upside. Kind of under the radar play, though.

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