This article by MOI Global instructor John Lewis is excerpted from a letter of Osmium Partners, based in Greenbrae, California.
Rosetta Stone Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides technology-based learning products in the United States and internationally. It operates through three segments, Enterprise & Education, Literacy and Consumer. The company develops, markets, and supports a suite of language-learning, literacy, and brain fitness solutions consisting of software products, Web-based software subscriptions, online and professional services, audio practice tools, and mobile applications. Rosetta Stone’s current market capitalization is approximately $603 million. (RST is a holding across all funds.)
As a perspective on the size of Rosetta Stone’s overall paid subscriber base, the company today has an installed base of 6 million subscribers equal to the combined city populations of Chicago, Houston, and San Diego (source: page 3 1Q19 investor presentation). About 5 years ago, RST sold about 750,000 CD’s a year which were basically one and done purchases. RST’s subscription business has 80% gross margin business consisting of 1/3rd each: K- 12 has 90%+ annual renewal rate, Corporate has 75% annual renewal rate, and Consumer has a weighted average subscription term of 10 months. We estimate that Rosetta will be adding 1 million paid learner’s a year going forward. RST has guided to 67% of incremental revenue growth converting to operating cash flow going forward. On Page 10 of the May Investor presentation RST reiterated operating cash flow growth targets of $19 million in 2019, $38 million in 2020, and $57 million in 2021 on about 26 million shares.
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Certain factual and statistical (both historical and projected) industry and market data and other information contained herein was obtained by Osmium Partners from independent, third-party sources that it deems to be reliable. However, Osmium Partners has not independently verified any of such data or other information, or the reasonableness of the assumptions upon which such data and other information was based, and there can be no assurance as to the accuracy of such data and other information. Further, many of the statements and assertions contained herein reflect the belief of Osmium Partners, which belief may be based in whole or in part on such data and other information. The analyses provided may include certain statements, assumptions, estimates and projections prepared with respect to, among other things, the historical and anticipated operating performance of the companies. Such statements, assumptions, estimates, and projections reflect various assumptions by Osmium Partners concerning anticipated results that are inherently subject to significant economic, competitive, and other uncertainties and contingencies and have included solely for illustrative purposes. No representations, express or implied, are made as to the accuracy or completeness of such statements, assumptions, estimates or projections or with respect to any materials herein. Actual results may vary materially from the estimates and projected results contained herein. Past Osmium performance is not indicative of future results. Osmium takes concentrated positions. Osmium Partners disclaims any obligation to update this letter. A portion of the Partnership’s assets may from time to time be invested in securities that have limited liquidity. The Partnership’s investment strategy is to make concentrated investments in what it views as its best ideas. The Offering Memorandum and Limited Partnership Agreement offers a comprehensive overview of the risk factors involved in investing with Osmium Partners. The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only. This is not an offer to sell, or a solicitation to buy, limited partnership interests in Osmium. An investment in Osmium is not suitable for all investors. Graphs/charts are provided for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied on to form an investment decision. Stocks mentioned in the newsletter do not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell the individual securities.
About The Author: John Lewis
Mr. John Hartnett Lewis co-founded Osmium Partners, LLC in 2002 and serves as its Chief Investment Officer and Managing Partner. Mr. Lewis served as a Director of Research at Retzer Capital. He was an Equity Research Analyst at Heartland Advisors, Inc. from March 1999 to January 2001. He served as the President of the University of San Francisco MBA Investment Group, where he managed a small portion of the school's endowment fund. Mr. Lewis served as a Director of Spark Networks, Inc. since July 2, 2014 until November 2, 2017. He served as a Director of Intersections Inc. since October 2015 until August 8, 2017. Mr. Lewis is a Guest Columnist for TheStreet.com. He received an M.B.A. from the University of San Francisco in 1999 and a B.A. from the University of Maryland in 1996.
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