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Share Price Trend Still Upward for BlackLine

BlackLine Inc. added to its management ranks last month with a new hire in Asia. Technology executive Yoshiko Furuhama was named as country manager for BlackLine K.K., the company’s recently established subsidiary in Japan. This follows a pattern that the Woodland Hills accounting software developer set last year when it filled out its management team. Rob Oliver, an analyst who follows BlackLine at Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., said that 2018 was a big year in new hires for the company. Marc Huffman joined in February as chief operating officer. Four months later, Mark Woodhams came on as senior vice president of global sales, followed in July by Terry Smagh to spearhead Asia-Pacific regional expansion. In September, Andres Botero joined BlackLine as chief marketing officer. Huffman and Woodhams came to BlackLine after serving at NetSuite, the global cloud computing subsidiary of Oracle Corp. in Redwood Shores. “They brought in a lot of leadership talent which is what you want to see from a growing company that is looking to be a lot bigger,” Oliver said. Financially, the company is performing well. Its stock price has gone up nearly 21 percent in the past year. Shares in the company closed Jan. 16 at $44.42 on the Nasdaq. For the third quarter ending Sept. 30, BlackLine reported on Nov. 1 adjusted net income of $4.1 million (7 cents a share) on revenue of $58.7 million. That compares with adjusted net income of $286,000 (1 cent) on revenue of $45.4 million in the same period a year earlier. Oliver said that in general, BlackLine is doing well. He added that management talent helps solidify the company’s corporate suite and its infrastructure around its best-in-class product. “Their investors want to see them continue to grow fast and I think they are set up to do that,” he said. Growth for the company will come from its existing customers. Their purchasing patterns are to get the software piecemeal as large companies are not in a position to rip out their accounting software and replace wholesale. Talking with clients, Oliver has heard how much they like the BlackLine software and want to buy more of it. “As a stock analyst, that’s what you want to hear,” he added. “It is easier to make a sale to a current customer than it is to go out and find a new one. But they identify new ones, too. We think having both is powerful.” Baird has a target price of $55 a share for BlackLine and a rating of “outperform.”

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