Back to top

Analyst Blog

Reportedly, cloud-based marketing provider Vocus Inc. is putting itself up for sale. Per Reuters Vocus, which has a market cap of over $285.3 million is said to be working with Stifel Financial Corp. (SF - Snapshot Report), an investment banking company, to find suitable buyers.

Moreover, few private-equity firms and Vocus’ industry peers have expressed their interest in the company. Companies like ConstantContact and Group, Inc. (WWWW - Snapshot Report) have expressed their intent and are willing to offer $17.0 per share for the company. Chicago-based private equity firm, GTCR has also shown an interest to buy this cloud-based company.

Vocus is facing ever-increasing competition from the likes of Marketo, Inc. (MKTO - Snapshot Report) in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market. User preference seems to have shifted toward SaaS-based Digital Marketing suite from standalone PR solutions. This practice is limiting Vocus’ growth prospects and profitability.

Vocus reported adjusted loss per share of 4 cents in the fourth-quarter of 2013, which came below management’s guidance of earnings 3 to 4 cents and earnings of 1 cent per share reported in the year-ago quarter.

Moreover, the company has incurred operating losses over the past few years. Operating loss in the fourth-quarter of 2013 was $0.9 million compared to an income of $0.6 million in the year-ago quarter. We anticipate disappointing operating results from Vocus until sales pick up.

Nonetheless, Vocus has a debt-free balance sheet and had $34.7 million in cash and short-term investments as of Dec 31, 2013. Additionally, Vocus’ transformation from a purely PR-centric business to a cloud-based marketing solutions provider is proving to be beneficial, especially with respect to total active subscribers.

Vocus remains a potential acquisition target for the marketing suite it provides and its steady customer base. Currently, Vocus carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Stifel and carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
ERBA DIAGNO… ERB 2.99 +2.75%
CHINA BIOLO… CBPO 46.93 +1.88%
THE PANTRY… PTRY 20.96 +1.80%
NN INC NNBR 28.43 +1.46%
SANCHEZ ENE… SN 33.77 +1.44%