EQS is a leading international provider of regulatory technology in the fields of corporate compliance and investor relations. Its products enable corporate clients to fulfil complex national and international disclosure obligations, minimise risks and communicate transparently with stakeholders.
EQS delivered a good first half performance, boosted by companies’ needs to adapt their communications strategies to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenue guidance for the year has been tilted to the higher end of the previous range and EBITDA guidance lifted by €0.5m to €4.0–5.0m. We have lifted our forecast from €3.5m to €4.1m, rising to €8.5m for FY21e as the scalability of the platform helps improve margins. With the group now over the peak investment in its cloud-based COCKPIT software, free cash flow is on a clear improving trend. The share price has recovered well from the market setback in March but remains on a discount to peers.
Virtual general meetings are now permitted across the DACH area, where voting is normally at the meeting, with questions also submitted ahead of time. Against this, the number of IPOs (which have been a useful source of group revenue historically) lined up for European markets has unsurprisingly dwindled. The length and severity of the economic impact will also affect the numbers of companies going out of business entirely, but this is not yet quantifiable. Gartner estimates the governance, risk and compliance segment at over US$5bn, growing at a CAGR of over 13%.