mstr-10k_20191231.htm
false 2019 FY 0001050446 --12-31 Large Accelerated Filer P5Y P10Y 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2014 2015 country:US us-gaap:QualifiedPlanMember country:US us-gaap:QualifiedPlanMember country:US us-gaap:QualifiedPlanMember country:US us-gaap:QualifiedPlanMember country:US us-gaap:QualifiedPlanMember country:US us-gaap:QualifiedPlanMember 2030-12-31 P4Y 0 P10Y P5Y P9Y P6Y10M24D 119.02 P5Y10M24D 140.01 P9Y10M24D 160.01 P5Y2M12D 180.01 P6Y6M P6Y10M24D 140.00 160.00 180.00 201.25 P6Y3M18D P6Y3M18D P6Y3M18D 0.332 0.337 0.374 0.334 0.355 0.378 0.017 0.027 0.019 0.025 0.029 0.023 0001050446 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 iso4217:USD 0001050446 2019-06-28 xbrli:shares 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember 2020-02-03 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassBMember 2020-02-03 0001050446 2019-12-31 0001050446 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassBMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassBMember 2018-12-31 iso4217:USD xbrli:shares 0001050446 us-gaap:LicenseMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:LicenseMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:LicenseMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:SubscriptionAndCirculationMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:SubscriptionAndCirculationMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:SubscriptionAndCirculationMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ProductLicensesAndSubscriptionServicesMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ProductLicensesAndSubscriptionServicesMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ProductLicensesAndSubscriptionServicesMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:MaintenanceMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:MaintenanceMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:MaintenanceMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TechnologyServiceMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TechnologyServiceMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TechnologyServiceMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 2016-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember 2016-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassBMember 2016-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2016-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2016-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2016-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2016-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassBMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassBMember 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassBMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassBMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TreasuryStockMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ComputerEquipmentAndPurchasedSoftwareMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:OfficeEquipmentMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:OfficeFurnitureMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:CorporateAircraftMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 xbrli:pure 0001050446 mstr:CorporateAircraftMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:SoftwareDevelopmentMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:SellingAndMarketingExpenseMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:SellingAndMarketingExpenseMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:SellingAndMarketingExpenseMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 mstr:Customer 0001050446 us-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember mstr:RevenueFromSalesGoodsNetMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember mstr:RevenueFromSalesGoodsNetMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember mstr:RevenueFromSalesGoodsNetMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember mstr:RevenueFromSalesGoodsNetMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember mstr:RevenueFromSalesGoodsNetMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201602Member 2019-01-01 0001050446 us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201602Member 2019-01-01 2019-01-01 0001050446 us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201409Member 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:LicenseMember us-gaap:CalculatedUnderRevenueGuidanceInEffectBeforeTopic606Member us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201409Member 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:LicenseMember us-gaap:DifferenceBetweenRevenueGuidanceInEffectBeforeAndAfterTopic606Member us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201409Member 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:MaintenanceMember us-gaap:CalculatedUnderRevenueGuidanceInEffectBeforeTopic606Member us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201409Member 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:MaintenanceMember us-gaap:DifferenceBetweenRevenueGuidanceInEffectBeforeAndAfterTopic606Member us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201409Member 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CalculatedUnderRevenueGuidanceInEffectBeforeTopic606Member us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201409Member 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:DifferenceBetweenRevenueGuidanceInEffectBeforeAndAfterTopic606Member us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201409Member 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201616Member 2018-01-01 0001050446 us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember srt:MinimumMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember srt:MaximumMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:PrepaidExpensesAndOtherCurrentAssetsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:PrepaidExpensesAndOtherCurrentAssetsMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:PrepaidExpensesAndOtherCurrentAssetsMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:PrepaidExpensesAndOtherCurrentAssetsMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:PrepaidExpensesAndOtherCurrentAssetsMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 mstr:CurrentDeferredRevenueAndAdvancedPaymentsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:CurrentDeferredRevenueAndAdvancedPaymentsMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 mstr:CurrentDeferredRevenueAndAdvancedPaymentsMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 2020-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 2021-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TransportationEquipmentMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TransportationEquipmentMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ComputerEquipmentAndPurchasedSoftwareMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ComputerEquipmentAndPurchasedSoftwareMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:SoftwareDevelopmentMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:SoftwareDevelopmentMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 mstr:AircraftAndAircraftRelatedEquipmentMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:AircraftAndAircraftRelatedEquipmentMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 country:US 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:NonUsMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:NorthernVirginiaOfficeSpaceMember country:US 2019-12-31 utr:sqft 0001050446 mstr:NorthernVirginiaOfficeSpaceMember country:US 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:NorthernVirginiaOfficeSpaceMember srt:MinimumMember country:US 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:NorthernVirginiaOfficeSpaceMember srt:MaximumMember country:US 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:OtherNoncurrentLiabilitiesMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:AccountsPayableAccruedExpensesAndOperatingLeaseLiabilitiesMember 2019-12-31 iso4217:BRL 0001050446 us-gaap:SubsequentEventMember 2020-02-05 2020-02-06 0001050446 us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ForeignCountryMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ForeignCountryMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ForeignCountryMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ForeignCountryMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ForeignCountryMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2008Member country:CN 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2009Member country:CN 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2010Member country:CN 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2011Member country:CN 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2012Member country:CN 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2013Member country:CN 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2014Member country:CN 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2015Member country:CN 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2016Member country:CN 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2013Member country:IT 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2014Member country:IT 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:TaxYear2015Member country:IT 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EarliestTaxYearMember us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EarliestTaxYearMember country:IT 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EarliestTaxYearMember country:PL 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EarliestTaxYearMember country:ES 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EarliestTaxYearMember country:DE 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EarliestTaxYearMember country:GB 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember srt:DirectorMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember mstr:EmployeesOfficersAndDirectorsMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2016-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ExercisePriceRangeOneMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ExercisePriceRangeTwoMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ExercisePriceRangeThreeMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ExercisePriceRangeFourMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ExercisePriceRangeOneMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ExercisePriceRangeTwoMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ExercisePriceRangeThreeMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:ExercisePriceRangeFourMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember mstr:OtherStockBasedAwardsMember us-gaap:CommonClassAMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember mstr:OtherStockBasedAwardsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember mstr:OtherStockBasedAwardsMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember mstr:OtherStockBasedAwardsMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember us-gaap:CommonClassAMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 mstr:StockIncentivePlanTwentyThirteenMember us-gaap:CommonClassAMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember mstr:ShareRepurchaseProgramMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember mstr:ShareRepurchaseProgramMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember mstr:ShareRepurchaseProgramMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CommonClassAMember mstr:ShareRepurchaseProgramMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 mstr:Segment 0001050446 srt:NorthAmericaMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EMEAMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:OtherRegionsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 srt:NorthAmericaMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EMEAMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 mstr:OtherRegionsMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 srt:NorthAmericaMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EMEAMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 mstr:OtherRegionsMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 srt:NorthAmericaMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EMEAMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 mstr:OtherRegionsMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 srt:NorthAmericaMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:EMEAMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 mstr:OtherRegionsMember 2018-12-31 mstr:Country 0001050446 us-gaap:GeographicConcentrationRiskMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:GeographicConcentrationRiskMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:GeographicConcentrationRiskMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember us-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerProductAndServiceBenchmarkMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember us-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerProductAndServiceBenchmarkMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:CustomerConcentrationRiskMember us-gaap:RevenueFromContractWithCustomerProductAndServiceBenchmarkMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:GeographicConcentrationRiskMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:GeographicConcentrationRiskMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:InternetDomainNamesMember 2019-05-30 2019-05-30 0001050446 us-gaap:InternetDomainNamesMember us-gaap:OtherNonoperatingIncomeExpenseMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:InternetDomainNamesMember us-gaap:OtherNonoperatingIncomeExpenseMember 2019-04-01 2019-06-30 0001050446 us-gaap:InternetDomainNamesMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:InternetDomainNamesMember 2019-04-01 2019-06-30 0001050446 2018-07-01 2018-09-30 0001050446 2019-01-01 2019-03-31 0001050446 2019-04-01 2019-06-30 0001050446 2019-07-01 2019-09-30 0001050446 2019-10-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 2018-01-01 2018-03-31 0001050446 2018-04-01 2018-06-30 0001050446 2018-10-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember 2016-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember 2016-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:AllowanceForCreditLossMember 2019-12-31 0001050446 us-gaap:ValuationAllowanceOfDeferredTaxAssetsMember 2019-12-31

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                         to                        

Commission File Number 000-24435

 

MICROSTRATEGY INCORPORATED

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

Delaware

1850 Towers Crescent Plaza, Tysons Corner, VA  22182

51-0323571

(State of Incorporation)

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)          (Zip Code)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code: (703) 848-8600

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Each Class

 

Trading Symbol

 

Name of Each Exchange on which Registered

Class A common stock, par value $0.001 per share

 

MSTR

 

The Nasdaq Global Select Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:  Not applicable

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company.  See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.  (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

 

 

Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes      No  

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant (based on the last reported sale price of the registrant’s class A common stock on June 28, 2019 on the Nasdaq Global Select Market) was approximately $1,178.7 million.

As of February 3, 2020, the registrant had 8,069,829 and 2,035,184 shares of class A common stock and class B common stock outstanding, respectively.

Documents incorporated by reference:  Portions of the definitive proxy statement for the 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders of the Registrant to be filed subsequently with the SEC are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the extent indicated herein.

 

 

 

 

 


MICROSTRATEGY INCORPORATED

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business

4

 

 

 

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

9

 

 

 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

25

 

 

 

Item 2.

Properties

25

 

 

 

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

25

 

 

 

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

25

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

26

 

 

 

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

28

 

 

 

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

29

 

 

 

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

46

 

 

 

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

47

 

 

 

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

47

 

 

 

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

47

 

 

 

Item 9B.

Other Information

49

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

50

 

 

 

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

50

 

 

 

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

50

 

 

 

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

50

 

 

 

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

50

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

51

 

2


 

The trademarks and registered trademarks of MicroStrategy Incorporated and its subsidiaries referred to herein include, but are not limited to, MicroStrategy, Intelligence Everywhere, MicroStrategy 2020, HyperIntelligence, MicroStrategy Consulting, MicroStrategy Education, Dossier, MicroStrategy Cloud, Enterprise Semantic Graph, MicroStrategy Distribution Services, MicroStrategy Services, Global Delivery Center, Intelligent Enterprise, MicroStrategy Analytics, and MicroStrategy 10.  Third-party product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

 

 

CERTAIN DEFINITIONS

All references in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Annual Report”) to “MicroStrategy,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to MicroStrategy Incorporated and its consolidated subsidiaries (unless the context otherwise indicates).

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This Annual Report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). For this purpose, any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact, including without limitation, certain statements under “Item 1. Business,” “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and located elsewhere herein regarding industry prospects and our results of operations or financial position, may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The important factors discussed under “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by forward-looking statements made herein and presented elsewhere by management from time to time. Such forward-looking statements represent management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. Investors are warned that actual results may differ from management’s expectations.

 

 

3


 

PART I

 

Item 1.

Business

Overview

MicroStrategy® is a global leader in enterprise analytics software and services.  Since our founding in 1989, MicroStrategy has been focused on empowering organizations to leverage the immense value of their data. Our vision is to enable Intelligence Everywhere by delivering world-class software and services that empower enterprise users with actionable intelligence.

 

Our core offering is MicroStrategy 2020, which delivers modern analytics on an open, comprehensive enterprise platform.  Last year, we introduced HyperIntelligence®, a breakthrough technology that overlays actionable enterprise data on popular business applications and workflows people rely on every day. Businesses can harness MicroStrategy’s innovative technology to make information and actions flow significantly faster so their workforce can make more informed decisions and take smarter actions. We also offer MicroStrategy Consulting and MicroStrategy Education to help customers deploy, optimize, and manage their analytics initiatives.

 

The MicroStrategy Platform

Our core offering is our software platform. Our platform is designed to empower the entire workforce with intelligence through the following differentiated features:

 

Modern Analytics:  We offer a modern analytics experience by delivering insights across multiple devices to users via our HyperIntelligence products, visualization and reporting capabilities, mobility features, and custom applications developed on our platform.

 

HyperIntelligence – Our platform improves business processes by providing cards with contextual intelligence, suggestions, and workflows directly within the websites, applications, and mobile devices that people rely on every day. For example, users can simply hover over a highlighted word on a website to instantly bring up relevant, contextual insights on key data.  Our recently released MicroStrategy 2020 delivers new design and performance enhancements to HyperIntelligence for Web, supporting a wider range of business use cases.  MicroStrategy 2020 also brings fast, contextual insights to the world of mobile with new apps for iOS and Android that work on both tablets and smartphones.

 

Data Visualization and Reporting – Our platform uses Dossier®, our self-service dashboarding tool, that provides users with the formatting, layout, and input controls they need to build beautiful analytics applications.  With MicroStrategy 2020, we added free-form layout and more control over interactivity.

 

Transformational Mobility – Our platform empowers the increasingly mobile workforce to make decisions and take action quickly on-the-go.  It delivers more ways for organizations to quickly deploy mobile productivity apps for a variety of business functions and roles on any standard device.

 

Custom Applications – Our platform enables users to create highly customized web and mobile applications using the Document tool.  With MicroStrategy 2020, we added Document editing to Workstation, providing graph property editors and improving parity between Android and iOS.

 

 

Open, Federated Architecture:  Our strategy is to embrace innovation and deliver the most open analytics platform on the market.

 

Federated Analytics – Our platform provides analysts and data scientists with seamless access to trusted, governed data directly within their favorite tools.  MicroStrategy 2020 includes updated versions of our connectors for Microsoft Excel, Power BI, Tableau, and Qlik to provide users with the flexibility to leverage trusted data from MicroStrategy directly within the client applications they are accustomed to.  MicroStrategy 2020 also offers new integrations with leading data science tools to allow data scientists to access trusted, governed data, enrich that data with artificial intelligence (“AI”), and return it back to the MicroStrategy platform.

4


 

 

APIs and Gateways – Our gateways, APIs, and connectors enable MicroStrategy to integrate with the most popular enterprise platforms and tools.  MicroStrategy 2020 builds upon our strategy to deliver the most open analytics platform on the market so that our customers have the flexibility they need to choose best-of-breed enterprise software and services that are tailored to their business.  In addition to over 200 connectors to popular drivers and gateways to enterprise assets, we offer a comprehensive set of Representational State Transfer (“REST”) APIs that makes it easy to embed the platform in packaged and custom applications, workflows, and devices.

 

Multiple Deployment Options – We also believe that customers should have the choice of where to deploy their analytics platform without compromising functionality.  Our fully featured platform can be deployed in three ways: on premises, the customer’s cloud environment, or the MicroStrategy Cloud Environment (“MCE”).  MCE is a cloud subscription service that allows customers to deploy the platform on Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) or Microsoft Azure environments hosted and managed by us.

 

Enterprise Platform:  Our platform is designed to securely scale analytics across the enterprise. MicroStrategy has the tools that enable organizations to deliver secure, high-performance applications at scale.

 

Enterprise Semantic Graph – The engine of our platform is our proprietary Enterprise Semantic Graph, which provides a structured view of a company’s data assets by organizing them into understandable business terms.  Our Enterprise Semantic Graph also enriches metadata content with real-time location intelligence and content and system usage telemetry.  The Enterprise Semantic Graph allows users to have a consistent and secure view across multiple data sources to deliver a single version of truth.

 

Scalability – Our platform powers some of the largest business intelligence deployments in the world.  With MicroStrategy 2020, we continued to enhance our platform’s scalability by expanding the functionality of MicroStrategy Distribution Services, adding the ability to govern performance settings in Workstation.  We also further enhanced the automation, availability, and scalability of our platform for both AWS and Azure.

 

 

Security – Our platform includes a comprehensive set of features for superior administration, security, and architecture, including role-based access to both row and column data.  We offer integrated digital identity solutions designed to deliver seamless, user-friendly authentication and real-time telemetry applications for location intelligence.

MicroStrategy Services

Through our MicroStrategy Support, MicroStrategy Consulting, and MicroStrategy Education services, we help customers better leverage our platform by offering a comprehensive set of innovative services to deploy, optimize, and maintain their business intelligence platform.

MicroStrategy Support

Our global network of MicroStrategy-certified support experts brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to help customers achieve their system availability and uptime goals and to improve the overall customer experience through highly responsive troubleshooting and proactive technical product support. Standard support is included in each customer’s maintenance plan.  For additional services, customers can choose one of our three premium support options – extended support, premier support, or elite support. With these premium support options, customers can receive extended coverage and enhanced service at each touchpoint.

5


 

MicroStrategy Consulting

We believe our consulting services materially complement our software by increasing customer adoption and helping our customers achieve returns on investment derived from better understanding their data.  Many companies want to better utilize their data to provide actionable insights, but lack the internal expertise to define requirements and deliver solutions.  MicroStrategy Consulting provides customers with architecture and implementation services to help them quickly realize results. Our consultants serve as critical resources for operations and maintenance and end-to-end, full-lifecycle projects that develop, deploy, and operate our customers’ business intelligence environments. With thousands of successful projects delivered to customers worldwide spanning all major industries, our consultants apply industry best practices to guide our customers in defining, developing, and delivering business analytics solutions.  MicroStrategy Consulting operates worldwide across North America, Latin America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific region, with consultants from our local offices and our Global Delivery Center in Warsaw, Poland.

MicroStrategy Education

We believe the path to the Intelligent Enterprise involves skill-specific paths of learning. To help organizations maximize the utility, adoption, and performance of their MicroStrategy deployments, MicroStrategy Education offers free and paid learning options. MicroStrategy Education is available worldwide in multiple languages and a variety of formats.

Business Strategy

Sales and Services

MicroStrategy sells its platform in two basic ways. The first way is to sell product licenses to customers for them to deploy the platform on their infrastructure either on premises or in the customer’s cloud environment. The second way is to sell customers MCE, a cloud subscription service, so they can access our software in a cloud environment that is hosted and managed by us. Revenues from product license sales comprise product licenses revenues, and revenues from cloud subscriptions comprise subscription services revenues. Currently, the vast majority of our product sales are license sales.

MicroStrategy sells through our dedicated enterprise sales force and channel partners to increase market coverage in both domestic and international markets.  We provide financial incentives for our channel partners to market and distribute our offerings.  In addition, we offer a wide range of services that provide support in the discovery, planning, development, and deployment stages of a MicroStrategy offering.

Dedicated Sales Force

We market our offerings chiefly through our direct sales force.  We have sales offices in locations throughout the world and use channel partners in several countries where we do not have sales offices.

Channel Partners

We have established strategic alliances with third-party vendors to help ensure the success of our customers’ enterprise intelligence initiatives. Our channel partners are system integrators, consulting firms, resellers, solution providers, managed service providers, original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), and technology companies. These firms utilize the MicroStrategy platform for a variety of commercial purposes, and our agreements with them generally provide non-exclusive rights to market our offerings and allow access to our marketing materials, product training, and direct sales force for field-level assistance.

We make significant commitments to our channel partners, including investments in joint development, technical training, certifications, pre-sales and sales enablement, and marketing programs. Through our joint efforts, we believe customers are able to minimize their risk and maximize the return on their business intelligence projects. Our channel partners allow us to leverage sales and service resources and marketing and industry-specific expertise to expand our user base and increase our market coverage.

6


 

Marketing

Our marketing programs target the following principal constituencies:

 

our historical base of enterprise-wide operational and technology executives and departmental buyers across large global enterprises;

 

corporate and departmental technology buyers in mid-sized enterprises;

 

government technology buyers and the vendors to the government community;

 

independent software vendors that want to embed our technology tools in their solutions; and

 

system integrators that have technology relationships with large enterprises, governments, and information-intensive businesses.

We continually seek to increase our brand awareness by focusing our messaging on the possibilities for value creation, the benefits of using our platform, and competitive differentiators. The channels we use to communicate with these constituencies include digital and social media, user conferences, advertising, direct email, free and evaluation software, industry events, media coverage, mobile application downloads, channel partners, and word-of-mouth and peer references.

Customers

Our customers include leading companies from a wide range of industries, including retail, consulting, technology, manufacturing, banking, insurance, finance, healthcare, telecommunications, as well as the public sector.

Competition

The analytics market is highly competitive and subject to rapidly changing technology paradigms.  Within the analytics space, we compete with many different software vendors, including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Qlik, Salesforce, and SAP.  Our future success depends on the effectiveness with which we can differentiate our offerings and compete with these vendors and other potential competitors across analytics implementation projects of varying sizes.  

Our ability to compete successfully in our markets depends on a number of factors, both within and outside of our control.  Some of these factors include software deployment options; analytical, mobility, data discovery, and visualization capabilities; performance and scalability; the quality and reliability of our customer service and support; licensing model; and brand recognition.  Failure to compete successfully in any one of these or other areas may reduce the demand for our offerings, as well as materially adversely affect our revenue from both existing and prospective customers.

Key Differentiators

 

A comprehensive, modern, and open enterprise analytics and mobility platform uniquely featuring HyperIntelligence, transformational mobility, and federated analytics.

 

Our proprietary Enterprise Semantic Graph.

 

Over 200 connectors to popular drivers and gateways to enterprise assets.

 

A comprehensive set of REST APIs that makes it easy to embed the platform in packaged and custom applications, workflows, and devices.

 

Flexible deployment methods that allow our customers to deploy our platform efficiently and securely using their own hardware or in a cloud environment they manage or via the MCE, our cloud subscription service.

7


 

 

Comprehensive platform administration, security, and architecture, including role-based access to both row and column data.

 

A platform that is designed to scale with large datasets and deliver rapid response times.

 

A single platform with a full suite of capabilities, including enterprise-class reporting, automated distribution, advanced analytics, and integrated mobile application development.

 

Integrated digital identity solutions designed to deliver seamless, user-friendly authentication and real-time telemetry applications for location intelligence.

Employees

As of December 31, 2019, we had a total of 2,396 employees, of whom 1,078 were based in the United States and 1,318 were based internationally. None of our employees in the United States is represented by a labor union; however, in certain foreign subsidiaries, some employees are members of trade or local unions.  In France, our employees are represented by a works council as required by local law. We have not experienced any work stoppages and consider our relations with our employees to be good.

The following table summarizes employee headcount as of the dates indicated:

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

Subscription services

 

 

69

 

 

 

56

 

 

 

53

 

Product support

 

 

219

 

 

 

202

 

 

 

172

 

Consulting

 

 

392

 

 

 

452

 

 

 

441

 

Education

 

 

38

 

 

 

47

 

 

 

41

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

597

 

 

 

707

 

 

 

652

 

Research and development

 

 

743

 

 

 

716

 

 

 

559

 

General and administrative

 

 

338

 

 

 

348

 

 

 

298

 

Total headcount

 

 

2,396

 

 

 

2,528

 

 

 

2,216

 

 

Available Information

Our website is located at www.microstrategy.com.  We make available free of charge, on or through the Investor Relations section of our website (http://ir.microstrategy.com), our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing such reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  Information found on our website is not part of this Annual Report or any other report filed with the SEC.  The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, including us, that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov.

8


 

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the risks described below before making an investment decision.  The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face.  Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impair our business operations.

If any of the following risks occurs, our business, financial condition, or results of operations could be materially adversely affected.  In such case, the market price of our class A common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

We adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) and its subsequent amendments (“ASU 2014-09”) effective January 1, 2018 and adjusted our prior period Consolidated Financial Statements to reflect full retrospective adoption. In our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, prior period information in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” was also adjusted to reflect the full retrospective adoption of ASU 2014-09, where applicable.  No further adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2017 have been made in this Annual Report.

Our quarterly operating results, revenues, and expenses may fluctuate significantly, which could have an adverse effect on the market price of our stock

For many reasons, including those described below, our operating results, revenues, and expenses have varied in the past and may vary significantly in the future from quarter to quarter. These fluctuations could have an adverse effect on the market price of our class A common stock.

Fluctuations in Quarterly Operating Results. Our quarterly operating results may fluctuate, in part, as a result of:

 

the size, timing, volume, and execution of significant orders and shipments;

 

the mix of our offerings ordered by customers, including product licenses and cloud subscriptions, which can affect the extent to which revenue is recognized immediately or over future quarterly periods;

 

the timing of the release or delivery of new or enhanced offerings, which may affect the period in which we can recognize revenue;

 

the timing of announcements of new offerings by us or our competitors;

 

changes in our pricing policies or those of our competitors;

 

market acceptance of new and enhanced versions of our offerings;

 

the length of our sales cycles;

 

seasonal or other buying patterns of our customers;

 

changes in our operating expenses;

 

the timing of research and development projects and the capitalization of software development costs;

 

personnel changes;

 

our use of channel partners;

 

utilization of our consulting and education services, which can be affected by delays or deferrals of customer implementation of our software;

 

changes in foreign currency exchange rates;

 

our profitability and expectations for future profitability and their effect on our deferred tax assets and net income for the period in which any adjustment to our net deferred tax asset valuation allowance may be made;

 

increases or decreases in our liability for unrecognized tax benefits; and

 

changes in customer decision-making processes or customer budgets.

9


 

Limited Ability to Adjust Expenses. We base our operating expense budgets on expected revenue trends and strategic objectives. Many of our expenses, such as office leases and certain personnel costs, are relatively fixed. We may be unable to adjust spending quickly enough to offset any unexpected revenue shortfall. Accordingly, any shortfall in revenue may cause significant variation in operating results in any quarter. For example, if our revenues in the future are not sufficient to offset our operating expenses, or we are unable to adjust our operating expenses in a timely manner in response to any shortfall in anticipated revenue, we may incur operating losses.

Based on the above factors, we believe that quarter-to-quarter comparisons of our operating results are not a good indication of our future performance. It is possible that in one or more future quarters, our operating results may be below the expectations of public market analysts and investors. In that event, the market price of our class A common stock may fall.

The market price of our class A common stock has been and may continue to be volatile

The market price of our class A common stock historically has been volatile and may continue to be volatile. The market price of our class A common stock may fluctuate widely in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control. These factors include, but are not limited to:

 

quarterly variations in our results of operations or those of our competitors;

 

announcements about our earnings that are not in line with analyst expectations, the likelihood of which may be enhanced because it is our policy not to give guidance relating to our anticipated financial performance in future periods;

 

announcements by us or our competitors of acquisitions, dispositions, new offerings, significant contracts, commercial relationships, or capital commitments;

 

the emergence of new sales channels in which we are unable to compete effectively;

 

our ability to develop, market, and deliver new and enhanced offerings on a timely basis;

 

commencement of, or our involvement in, litigation;

 

any major change in our Board of Directors, management, or governing documents;

 

changes in government regulations or in the status of our regulatory approvals;

 

recommendations by securities analysts or changes in earnings estimates and our ability to meet those estimates;

 

investor perception of our Company;

 

announcements by our competitors of their earnings that are not in line with analyst expectations;

 

the volume of shares of our class A common stock available for public sale;

 

sales or purchases of stock by us or by our stockholders, and issuances of awards under our stock incentive plan;

 

short sales, hedging, and other derivative transactions involving shares of our class A common stock; and

 

general economic conditions and slow or negative growth of related markets.

In addition, the stock market in general, and the market for technology companies in particular, have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of companies in those markets. These broad market and industry factors may seriously harm the market price of our class A common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance.

10


 

We may not be able to sustain or increase profitability in the future

We generated net income for each of the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017; however, we may not be able to sustain or increase profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.  If our revenues are not sufficient to offset our operating expenses, or we are unable to adjust our operating expenses in a timely manner in response to any shortfall in anticipated revenue, we may incur operating losses in future periods, our profitability may decrease, or we may cease to be profitable.  As a result, our business, results of operations, and financial condition may be materially adversely affected.

As of December 31, 2019, we had $19.4 million of deferred tax assets, net of a $2.1 million valuation allowance. If we are unable to sustain or increase profitability in the future, we may be required to increase the valuation allowance against these deferred tax assets, which could result in a charge that would materially adversely affect net income in the period in which the charge is incurred.

Economic uncertainty and increased competition for our customers, particularly in the retail industry, could materially adversely affect our business and results of operations

The U.S. and other significant markets have experienced cyclical downturns, and worldwide economic conditions remain uncertain. Economic uncertainty and associated macroeconomic conditions make it extremely difficult for our customers and us to accurately forecast and plan future business activities and could cause our customers to slow spending on our offerings, which could delay and lengthen sales cycles.  Furthermore, during uncertain economic times, our customers may face issues gaining timely access to sufficient credit, which could result in an impairment of their ability to make timely payments to us.  If that were to occur, we may be required to increase our allowance for doubtful accounts and our results would be negatively impacted.

Furthermore, we have a significant number of customers in the retail industry, which has experienced intense competition and structural changes.  A significant downturn or the intensification of competition in this industry may cause organizations to reduce their capital expenditures in general or specifically reduce their spending on IT.  In addition, customers in this industry may delay or cancel IT projects or seek to lower their costs by renegotiating vendor contracts.  Customers with excess IT resources may choose to develop in-house software solutions rather than obtain those solutions from us.  Consumers have increasingly migrated toward large e-commerce platforms and other online applications.  As a result, the retail industry has experienced consolidation and other ownership changes.  In the future, retailers may further consolidate, undergo restructurings or reorganizations, or realign their affiliations, any of which could decrease the number of competitors within the retail industry, reducing the number of potential customers for our offerings.  Moreover, our competitors may respond to challenging market conditions by lowering prices and attempting to lure away our customers. 

We cannot predict the timing, strength, or duration of any economic slowdown, or any subsequent recovery generally, or competitive and structural changes in the retail industry. If the conditions in the general economy and the markets in which we operate worsen from present levels, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

We may have exposure to greater than anticipated tax liabilities

We are subject to income taxes and non-income taxes in a variety of domestic and foreign jurisdictions. Our future income taxes could be materially adversely affected by earnings that are lower than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have lower statutory rates, earnings that are higher than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have higher statutory rates, changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, changes in the amount of unrecognized tax benefits, or changes in tax laws, regulations, accounting principles, or interpretations thereof.

In the United States, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) was enacted in December 2017, bringing about broad changes in the existing corporate tax system. Over time, the Tax Act may result in material impacts to our results of operations and may affect customer behavior and our ability to forecast our effective tax rate.

11


 

In the United Kingdom, legislation imposing a tax related to offshore receipts in respect of intangible property held in low tax jurisdictions became effective in April 2019.  Certain aspects of this legislation and its implementation remain unclear at this time, and, as a result, we have not yet been able to determine the full impact of the legislation on our business, operating results, or financial condition.  

Further changes in the tax laws of foreign jurisdictions could arise, including as a result of the project undertaken by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) to combat base erosion and profit shifting (“BEPS”). The OECD, which represents a coalition of member countries, has issued recommendations that, in some cases, make substantial changes to numerous long-standing tax positions and principles. These changes, many of which have been adopted or are under active consideration by OECD members and/or other countries, could increase tax uncertainty and may adversely affect our provision for income taxes.

Our determination of our tax liability is subject to review by applicable domestic and foreign tax authorities.  Any adverse outcome of such reviews could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.  The determination of our worldwide provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities requires significant judgment and, in the ordinary course of business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain.  Moreover, as a multinational business, we have subsidiaries that engage in many intercompany transactions in a variety of tax jurisdictions where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain.

We also have contingent tax liabilities that, in management’s judgment, are not probable of assertion.  If such unasserted contingent liabilities were to be asserted, or become probable of assertion, we may be required to record significant expenses and liabilities in the period in which these liabilities are asserted or become probable of assertion.

As a result of these and other factors, the ultimate amount of tax obligations owed may differ from the amounts recorded in our financial statements and any such difference may materially affect our financial results in future periods in which we change our estimates of our tax obligations or in which the ultimate tax outcome is determined.

If the market for analytics software fails to grow as we expect or if businesses fail to adopt our offerings, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be materially adversely affected

Our revenue is derived from sales of our analytics software and related services.  We expect these sales to account for a large portion of our revenues for the foreseeable future.  Although demand for analytics software has grown in recent years, the market for analytics offerings continues to evolve.  Resistance from consumer and privacy groups to commercial collection, use, and sharing of data on spending patterns and other personal behavior (including individuals’ online or offline activities, mobile data, sensor data, social data, web log data, Internet of Things data, and other personal data) has grown in recent years and our customers, potential customers, or the public in general may perceive that use of our analytics software could violate individual privacy rights.  In addition, increasing government restrictions on the collection, use, and transfer of personal data could impair the further growth of the market for analytics software.  We cannot be sure that this market will continue to grow or, even if it does grow, that businesses will adopt our solutions.

We have spent, and intend to keep spending, considerable resources to educate potential customers about analytics offerings in general and our offerings in particular.  However, we cannot be sure that these expenditures will help any of our offerings achieve any additional market acceptance.  If the market fails to grow or grows more slowly than we currently expect or businesses fail to adopt our offerings, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

12


 

Our offerings face intense competition, which may lead to lower prices for our offerings, reduced gross margins, loss of market share, and reduced revenue

The analytics market is highly competitive and subject to rapidly changing technology paradigms.  Within the analytics space, we compete with many different software vendors, including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Qlik, Salesforce, and SAP.  Our future success depends on the effectiveness with which we can differentiate our offerings and compete with these vendors and other potential competitors across analytics implementation projects of varying sizes.  Our ability to compete successfully in our markets depends on a number of factors, both within and outside of our control.  Some of these factors include software deployment options; analytical, mobility, data discovery, and visualization capabilities; performance and scalability; the quality and reliability of our customer service and support; licensing model; and brand recognition.  Failure to compete successfully in any one of these or other areas may reduce the demand for our offerings, as well as materially adversely affect our revenue from both existing and prospective customers.

Some of our competitors have longer operating histories and significantly greater financial, technical, and marketing resources than we do.  As a result, they may be able to respond more quickly to new or emerging technologies and changes in customer requirements or devote greater resources to the development, promotion, sale, and marketing of their offerings than we can, such as offering certain analytics products free of charge when bundled with other products.  In addition, many of our competitors have strong relationships with current and potential customers, extensive industry and specialized business knowledge, as well as corresponding proprietary technologies that they can leverage, such as multidimensional databases and enterprise resource planning repositories.  As a result, they may be able to prevent us from penetrating new accounts or expanding within existing accounts.

Increased competition may lead to price cuts, reduced gross margins, and loss of market share. We may not be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors, and the failure to meet the competitive pressures we face may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

Current and future competitors may also make strategic acquisitions or establish cooperative relationships among themselves or with others.  By doing so, these competitors may increase their ability to meet the needs of our potential customers by their expanded offerings.  Our current or prospective channel partners may establish cooperative relationships with our current or future competitors. These relationships may limit our ability to sell our analytics offerings through specific distribution channels. Accordingly, new competitors or alliances among current and future competitors may emerge and rapidly gain significant market share. These developments could limit our ability to obtain revenues from new customers and to sustain software maintenance revenues from our installed customer base.  In addition, basic office productivity software suites, such as Microsoft Office, could evolve to offer advanced analysis and reporting capabilities that may reduce the demand for our analytics offerings.

We depend on revenue from a single software platform and related services as well as revenue from our installed customer base

Our revenue is derived from sales of our software platform and related services. Because of this revenue concentration, our business could be harmed by a decline in demand for, or in the adoption or prices of, our platform and related services as a result of, among other factors, any change in our pricing or packaging model, increased competition, maturation in the markets for our platform, or other risks described in this Annual Report.

We also depend on our installed customer base for a substantial portion of our revenue. We have contracts for cloud subscriptions that provide recurring revenues to us, as well as contracts with our license customers for ongoing support and maintenance. In addition, our installed customer base has historically generated additional new license and services revenues for us. If our existing customers cancel or fail to renew their service contracts or fail to make additional purchases from us, our revenue could decrease and our operating results could be materially adversely affected.

13


 

If we are unable to develop and release new offerings and software enhancements to respond to rapid technological change, new customer requirements, or evolving industry standards in a timely and cost-effective manner, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be materially adversely affected

The market for our offerings is characterized by frequent new offerings and software enhancements in response to rapid technological change, new customer requirements, and evolving industry standards.  The introduction of offerings embodying new technologies can quickly make existing offerings obsolete and unmarketable.  We believe that our future success depends largely on our ability to:

 

continue to support a number of popular operating systems and databases;

 

maintain and improve our current offerings;

 

rapidly develop new offerings and software enhancements that achieve market acceptance;

 

maintain technological competitiveness; and

 

meet an expanding range of customer requirements.

Analytics applications are inherently complex, and it can take a long time and require significant research and development expenditures to develop and test new offerings and software enhancements.  In addition, customers may delay their purchasing decisions because they anticipate that new or enhanced versions of our offerings will soon become available.  We cannot be sure that we will succeed in developing, marketing, and delivering, on a timely and cost-effective basis, new or enhanced offerings that respond to technological change, new customer requirements, or evolving industry standards, nor can we be sure that any new or enhanced offerings will achieve market acceptance.  Moreover, even if we introduce a new offering, we may experience a decline in revenues of our existing offerings that is not fully matched by the new offering’s revenue.  For example, customers may delay making purchases of a new offering to permit them to make a more thorough evaluation of the offering or until industry and marketplace reviews become widely available.  Some customers may hesitate migrating to a new offering due to concerns regarding the complexity of migration or performance issues that may occur in product infancy.  In addition, we may lose existing customers who choose a competitor’s offering rather than migrate to our new offering. This could result in a temporary or permanent revenue shortfall and materially adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.

A substantial customer shift in the deployment of MicroStrategy Analytics from a product license model to a cloud subscription model could affect the timing of revenue recognition, reduce product licenses and product support revenues, and materially adversely affect our operating results

We offer our analytics platform in the form of a product license or a cloud subscription.  The payment streams and revenue recognition timing for our product licenses are different from those for our cloud subscriptions.  For product licenses, customers typically pay us a lump sum soon after entering into a license agreement and we typically recognize product licenses revenue when control of the license is transferred to the customer.  For cloud subscriptions, customers typically make periodic payments over the subscription period and we recognize subscription services revenues ratably over the subscription period.  As a result, if a substantial number of current customers shift to, or new customers purchase, cloud subscriptions instead of product licenses, the resulting change in payment terms and revenue recognition may result in our recognizing less revenue in the reporting period in which the sale transactions are consummated than has been the case in prior periods, with more revenue being recognized in future periods.  This change in the timing of revenue recognition could materially adversely affect our operating results and cash flows for the periods during which such a shift or change in purchasing occurs.  Accordingly, in any particular reporting period, cloud subscription sales could negatively impact product license sales to our existing and prospective customers, which could reduce product licenses and product support revenues.

Our investment in new business strategies and initiatives could disrupt the operations of our ongoing business and present risks that we have not adequately anticipated

We have invested, and in the future may invest, in new business strategies and initiatives.  For example, we have introduced a number of innovative technologies designed to enable companies to capitalize on Big Data, mobile applications, cloud services, security, Internet of Things, and AI trends in the marketplace. These endeavors may involve significant risks and uncertainties, including distraction of management from other business operations, the dedication of significant research and development, sales and marketing, and other resources to these new initiatives

14


 

at the expense of our other business operations, generation of insufficient revenue to offset expenses associated with new initiatives, incompatibility of our new technologies with third-party platforms, inadequate return of capital, and other risks that we may not have adequately anticipated.  Because new strategies and initiatives are inherently risky, these strategies and initiatives may not be successful and could materially adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.

Business disruptions, including interruptions, delays, or failures of our systems, third-party data center hosting facility or other third-party services, could materially adversely affect our operating results or result in a material weakness in our internal controls that could adversely affect the market price of our stock

A significant portion of our research and development activities or certain other critical business operations are concentrated in facilities in Northern Virginia, China, and Poland.  In addition, we serve our customers and manage certain critical internal processes using a third-party data center hosting facility located in the United States and other third-party services, including AWS, Azure, and other cloud services.  We could experience a disruption or failure of our systems or the third-party hosting facility or other services that we use. Such disruptions or failures could include a natural disaster, fire, cyber-attack, act of terrorism, geopolitical conflict, the effects of climate change, or other catastrophic event, as well as power outages or telecommunications infrastructure outages, or a decision by one of our third-party service providers to close facilities that we use without adequate notice or to materially change the pricing or terms of their services, or other unanticipated problems with the third-party services that we use, including a failure to meet service standards.

We are a highly automated business and any such disruptions or failures could (i) result in the destruction or disruption of any of our critical business operations, controls or procedures, or IT systems, (ii) severely affect our ability to conduct normal business operations, including delaying completion of sales and provision of services, (iii) result in a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, (iv) cause our customers to terminate their subscriptions, (v) result in our issuing credits to customers or paying penalties or fines, (vi) harm our reputation, (vii) adversely affect our attrition rates or our ability to attract new customers, or (viii) cause our offerings to be perceived as not being secure, any of which could materially adversely affect our future operating results.

We have significant international sales and operations and face risks related to health epidemics that could significantly disrupt our operations.

Our business could be adversely affected by the effects of health epidemics, particularly in regions where we have significant operations or concentrations of customers or suppliers. For example, we rely on the research and development activities and certain other critical business operations that are conducted from our office in Hangzhou, China, and several of our customers and suppliers are also located in cities throughout China. As a result, we could be adversely affected by health epidemics in China, including the recent outbreak of a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. Consequences of the coronavirus outbreak have included disruptions or restrictions on our ability to travel and temporary closures of our Hangzhou office or the facilities of our customers or suppliers in China.  The coronavirus outbreak could also delay our release or delivery of new or enhanced offerings or require us to make unexpected changes to such offerings. Our operating results could be adversely affected to the extent that the coronavirus outbreak harms the Chinese economy in general. Any disruption of our customers or suppliers may also materially adversely affect our business and operating results. In addition, the coronavirus outbreak could evolve into a worldwide health crisis that could adversely affect the economies and financial markets of many countries, resulting in an economic downturn that could affect demand for our offerings and materially adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.

We use channel partners and if we are unable to maintain successful relationships with them, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be materially adversely affected

In addition to our direct sales force, we use channel partners, such as system integrators, consulting firms, resellers, solution providers, managed service providers, OEMs, and technology companies, to license and support our offerings.  For the year ended December 31, 2019, transactions by channel partners for which we recognized revenue accounted for 27.6% of our total product licenses revenues.  Our channel partners may offer customers the products and services of several different companies, including offerings that compete with ours.  Because our

15


 

channel partners generally do not have exclusive relationships with us, we cannot be certain that they will prioritize or devote adequate resources to selling our offerings.  Moreover, divergence in strategy or contract defaults by any of these channel partners may materially adversely affect our ability to develop, market, sell, or support our offerings.

Although we believe that direct sales will continue to account for a majority of our product licenses revenues, we seek to maintain a significant level of sales activities through our channel partners.  There can be no assurance that our channel partners will continue to cooperate with us.  In addition, actions taken or not taken by such parties may materially adversely affect us. Our ability to achieve revenue growth in the future will depend in part on our ability to maintain successful relationships with our channel partners. If we are unable to maintain our relationships with these channel partners, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

In addition, we rely on our channel partners to operate in accordance with applicable laws and regulatory requirements. If they fail to do so, we may need to incur significant costs in responding to investigations or enforcement actions or paying penalties assessed by the applicable authorities.  We also rely on our channel partners to operate in accordance with the terms of their contractual agreements with us.  For example, some of our agreements with our channel partners prescribe the terms and conditions pursuant to which they are authorized to resell or distribute our software and offer technical support and related services.  If our channel partners do not comply with their contractual obligations to us, our business, operating results, and financial condition may be materially adversely affected.

Our recognition of deferred revenue and advance payments is subject to future performance obligations and may not be representative of revenues for succeeding periods

Our current and non-current deferred revenue and advance payments totaled $191.5 million as of December 31, 2019.  The timing and ultimate recognition of our deferred revenue and advance payments depend on various factors, including our performance of various service obligations.

Because of the possibility of customer changes or delays in customer development or implementation schedules or budgets, and the need for us to satisfactorily perform product support and other services, deferred revenue and advance payments at any particular date may not be representative of actual revenue for any succeeding period.

Our international operations are complex and expose us to risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition

We receive a significant portion of our total revenues from international sales and conduct our business activities in various foreign countries, including some emerging markets where we have limited experience, where the challenges of conducting our business can be significantly different from those we have faced in more developed markets, and where business practices may create internal control risks.  International revenues accounted for 43.7%, 42.3%, and 41.8% of our total revenues for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively. Our international operations require significant management attention and financial resources.

Our international business activities expose us to additional risks, including:

 

fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;

 

new, or changes in, regulatory requirements;

 

tariffs, export and import restrictions, restrictions on foreign investments, sanctions, laws and policies that favor local competitors (such as mandatory technology transfers), and other trade barriers or protection measures;

 

costs of localizing offerings;

 

lack of acceptance of localized offerings;

 

difficulties in and costs of staffing, managing, and operating our international operations;

16


 

 

tax issues, including restrictions on repatriating earnings;

 

weaker intellectual property protection;

 

economic weakness or currency related crises;

 

the burden of complying with a wide variety of laws, including those relating to labor matters, antitrust, procurement and contracting, consumer and data protection, privacy, data localization, governmental access to data, network security, and encryption;

 

generally longer payment cycles and greater difficulty in collecting accounts receivable;

 

our ability to adapt to sales practices and customer requirements in different cultures;

 

increased risk of misappropriation, theft, or misuse of intellectual property, particularly in foreign countries where we have significant software development operations that have access to product source code, such as China;

 

corporate espionage; and

 

political instability and security risks in the countries where we are doing business.

Disruptions to trade, weakening of economic conditions, economic and legal uncertainties, or changes in currency rates may adversely affect our business, financial condition, operating results, and cash flows.  For example, we may face heightened risks in connection with our international operations as a result of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, commonly referred to as “Brexit.”  The future effects of Brexit are uncertain and will depend on, among other things, the terms of any agreements the United Kingdom enters into governing U.K. access to E.U. and other markets either during the transitional period that is currently scheduled to end on December 31, 2020 or more permanently.  Brexit could, among other outcomes, disrupt the free movement of goods, services, and people between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Brexit could also lead to legal uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations, including tax laws and regulations, as the United Kingdom determines which E.U. laws to replace or replicate.  In addition, the Trump administration has called for substantial changes to U.S. foreign trade policy, including the imposition of greater restrictions on international trade and significant increases in tariffs on goods imported into the United States, and has increased tariffs on certain goods imported into the United States from a number of foreign markets, following which retaliatory tariffs have been imposed on exports of certain U.S. goods to those markets.  These tariffs and any further escalation of protectionist trade measures could adversely affect the markets in which we sell our offerings and, in turn, our business, financial condition, operating results, and cash flows.

Changes to the U.S. taxation of our international income, or changes in foreign tax laws, could have a material effect on our future operating results. For example, the Tax Act brought about, among other items, corporate income tax rate changes, the modification or elimination of certain tax incentives, changes to the existing regime for taxing overseas earnings, and measures to prevent BEPS, and the United Kingdom adopted legislation imposing a tax related to offshore receipts in respect of intangible property held in low tax jurisdictions.

In addition, from time to time, we may undertake various potential intercompany transactions and legal entity restructurings that involve our international subsidiaries. We consider various factors in evaluating these potential transactions and restructurings, including the alignment of our corporate structure with our organizational objectives, the operational and tax efficiency of our corporate structure, and the long-term cash flows and cash needs of our business. Such transactions and restructurings could negatively impact our overall tax rate and result in additional tax liabilities.

Moreover, compliance with foreign and U.S. laws and regulations that are applicable to our international operations is complex and may increase our cost of doing business in international jurisdictions, and our international operations could expose us to fines and penalties if we fail to comply with these regulations. These laws and regulations include anti-bribery laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act, local laws prohibiting corrupt payments to government officials, and local laws relating to procurement, contracting, and antitrust. These laws and regulations also include import and export requirements and economic and trade sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the U.S. Department of Commerce based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign states, organizations, and individuals.  Although we have

17


 

implemented policies and procedures designed to help ensure compliance with these laws, there can be no assurance that our employees, channel partners, and other persons with whom we do business will not take actions in violation of our policies or these laws. Any violations of these laws could subject us to civil or criminal penalties, including substantial fines or prohibitions on our ability to sell our offerings to one or more countries, and could also materially damage our reputation and our brand.

These factors may have a material adverse effect on our future sales and, consequently, on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

We may lose sales, or sales may be delayed, due to the long sales and implementation cycles of certain of our offerings, which could reduce our revenues

To date, our customers have typically invested substantial time, money, and other resources and involved many people in the decision to purchase our software and related services.  As a result, we may wait nine months or more after the first contact with a customer for that customer to place an order while it seeks internal approval for the purchase of our software or services.  During this long sales cycle, events may occur that affect the size and/or timing of the order or even cause it to be canceled.  For example, our competitors may introduce new offerings, or the customer’s own budget and purchasing priorities may change.

Even after an order is placed, the time it takes to deploy our software and complete services engagements can vary widely.  Implementing some of our offerings can take several months, depending on the customer’s needs, and may begin only with a pilot program.  It may be difficult to deploy our software if the customer has complicated deployment requirements, such as deployments that involve integrating databases, hardware, and software from different vendors.  If a customer hires a third party to deploy our software, we cannot be sure that our software will be deployed successfully.

Our results in any particular period may depend on the number and volume of large transactions in that period and these transactions may involve lengthier, more complex, and more unpredictable sales cycles than other transactions

As existing and potential customers seek to standardize on a single analytics vendor or require greater vendor capacity to meet their growing analytics needs, our business may experience larger transactions at the enterprise level and larger transactions may account for a greater proportion of our business. The presence or absence of one or more large transactions in a particular period may have a material positive or negative effect on our revenue and operating results for that period.  For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, our top three product licenses transactions with recognized revenue totaled $5.4 million, $7.7 million, and $5.5 million, respectively, or 6.2%, 8.7%, and 5.9% of total product licenses revenues, respectively.  These transactions represent significant business and financial decisions for our customers, require considerable effort on the part of customers to assess alternative products, and often require additional levels of management approval.  In addition, large transactions are often more complex than smaller transactions.  These factors generally lengthen the typical sales cycle and increase the risk that customers may postpone or delay purchasing decisions from one period to a subsequent period or that customers will alter their purchasing requirements.  We may also encounter greater competition and pricing pressure in larger transactions, and the sales effort and service delivery scope for larger transactions may require us to use additional resources to execute the transactions.  These factors could result in lower than anticipated revenue and earnings for a particular period or lower estimated revenue and earnings in future periods.

We face a variety of risks in doing business with U.S. and foreign federal, state, and local governments and government agencies, including risks related to the procurement process, budget constraints and cycles, termination of contracts, and compliance with government contracting requirements

Our customers include the U.S. government and a number of state and local governments and government agencies.  There are a variety of risks in doing business with government entities, including:

Procurement.  Contracting with public sector customers is highly competitive and can be time-consuming and expensive, requiring us to incur significant up-front time and expense without any assurance that we will win a contract.

18


 

Budgetary Constraints and Cycles.  Demand and payment for our offerings are impacted by public sector budgetary cycles and funding availability, with funding reductions or delays adversely impacting public sector demand for our offerings.

Termination of Contracts.  Public sector customers often have contractual or other legal rights to terminate contracts for convenience or due to a default. If a contract is terminated for convenience, which can occur if the customer’s needs change, we may only be able to collect fees for software or services delivered prior to termination and settlement expenses.  If a contract is terminated due to a default, we may not recover even those amounts, and we may be liable for excess costs incurred by the customer for procuring alternative software or services.

Compliance with Government Contracting Requirements.  Government contractors are required to comply with a variety of complex laws, regulations, and contractual provisions relating to the formation, administration, or performance of government contracts that give public sector customers substantial rights and remedies, many of which are not typically found in commercial contracts.  These may include rights with respect to price protection, the accuracy of information provided to the government, contractor compliance with socio-economic policies, and other terms that are particular to government contracts.  Federal, state, and local governments and government agencies routinely investigate and audit contractors for compliance with these requirements.  If, as a result of an audit or review, it is determined that we have failed to comply with these requirements, we may be subject to civil and criminal penalties and administrative sanctions, including termination of contracts, forfeiture of profits, fines, and suspensions or debarment from future government business and we may suffer harm to our reputation.

Our customers also include a number of foreign governments and government agencies.  Similar procurement, budgetary, contract, and audit risks also apply to our doing business with these entities.  In addition, compliance with complex regulations and contracting provisions in a variety of jurisdictions can be expensive and consume significant management resources.  In certain jurisdictions, our ability to win business may be constrained by political and other factors unrelated to our competitive position in the market.  Each of these difficulties could materially adversely affect our business and results of operations.

We depend on technology licensed to us by third parties, and the loss of this technology could impair our software, delay implementation of our offerings, or force us to pay higher license fees

We license third-party technologies that are incorporated into or utilized by our existing offerings. There can be no assurance that the licenses for such third-party technologies will not be terminated or that we will be able to license third-party technologies for future offerings. In addition, we may be unable to renegotiate acceptable third-party license terms, or we may be subject to infringement liability if third-party technologies that we license is found to infringe intellectual property rights of others. Changes in or the loss of third-party licenses could lead to a material increase in our costs or to our offerings becoming inoperable or their performance being materially reduced.  As a result, we may need to incur additional development costs to help ensure continued performance of our offerings, and we may experience a decreased demand for our offerings.

If we are unable to recruit or retain skilled personnel, or if we lose the services of our Chairman of the Board of Directors, President & Chief Executive Officer, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be materially adversely affected

Our future success depends on our continuing ability to attract, train, assimilate, and retain highly skilled personnel.  Competition for these employees is intense, and competition may be amplified by evolving restrictions on immigration, travel, or availability of visas for skilled technology workers.  We may not be able to retain our current key employees or attract, train, assimilate, and retain other highly skilled personnel in the future.  Competition for qualified employees in the technology industry has historically been high, particularly for software engineers and other technical positions.  Our future success also depends in large part on the continued service of Michael J. Saylor, our Chairman of the Board of Directors, President & Chief Executive Officer.  If we lose the services of Mr. Saylor, or if we are unable to attract, train, assimilate, and retain the highly skilled personnel we need, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

19


 

Changes in third-party software or systems or the emergence of new industry standards could materially adversely affect the operation of and demand for our existing software

The functionalities of our software depend in part on the ability of our software to interface with our customers’ information technology (“IT”) infrastructure and cloud environments, including software applications, network infrastructure, and end user devices, which are supplied to our customers by various other vendors. When new or updated versions of these third-party software or systems are introduced, or new industry standards in related fields emerge, we may be required to develop updated versions of or enhancements to our software to help ensure that it continues to effectively interoperate with our customers’ IT infrastructure and cloud environments. For example, if new or modified operating systems are introduced or new web standards and technologies or new standards in the field of database access technology emerge that are incompatible with our software, and we are unable to adapt our software on a timely basis, the ability of our software to deliver reports, access customer databases, or otherwise perform key functions could be impaired, which may impact our customers’ satisfaction with our software and potentially result in breach of warranty claims or other claims. Development efforts to maintain the interoperability of our software with our customers’ IT infrastructure and cloud environments could require substantial capital investment and employee resources, and we may not be able to update our software quickly, cost-effectively, or at all. If we are unable to update our software in a timely manner, demand for our software could be materially adversely affected.

The nature of our software makes it particularly susceptible to undetected errors, bugs, or security vulnerabilities, which could cause problems with how the software performs and, in turn, reduce demand for our software, reduce our revenue, and lead to litigation claims against us

Software as complex as ours may contain undetected errors, bugs, or security vulnerabilities.  Although we test our software extensively, we have in the past discovered software errors, bugs, or security vulnerabilities in our offerings after their introduction.  Despite testing by us and our current and potential customers, errors, bugs, or security vulnerabilities may be found in new offerings or releases after commercial shipments begin.  This could result in lost revenue, damage to our reputation, or delays in market acceptance, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.  We may also need to expend resources and capital to correct these defects if they occur.

Our agreements with customers typically contain provisions designed to limit our exposure to product liability, warranty, and other claims.  It is possible, however, that these provisions may not be effective under the laws of certain domestic or international jurisdictions and we may be exposed to product liability, warranty, and other claims.  A successful product liability claim against us could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

 

Changes in laws or regulations relating to privacy or the collection, processing, disclosure, storage, localization, or transmission of personal data, or any actual or perceived failure by us or our third-party service providers to comply with such laws and regulations, contractual obligations, or applicable privacy policies, could materially adversely affect our business

Aspects of our business, including our digital identity offering and the cloud environments we manage, involve collecting, processing, disclosing, storing, and transmitting personal data, which are subject to certain privacy policies, contractual obligations, and U.S. federal, U.S. state, and foreign laws, regulations, and directives relating to privacy and data protection.  We store a substantial amount of customer and employee data, including personal data, on our networks and other systems and the cloud environments we manage.  In addition, the types of data subject to protection as personal data in the European Union, the United States, and elsewhere, including Asia and Latin America, have been expanding.  In recent years, the collection and use of personal data by companies have come under increased regulatory and public scrutiny, especially in relation to the collection and processing of sensitive data, such as healthcare, biometric, genetic, financial services, and government data, children’s data, precise location data, and data regarding a person’s race or ethnic origins, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, or sex life or sexual orientation.  For example, in the United States, protected health information is subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”).  HIPAA has been supplemented by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act with the result of increased civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance.  Entities performing certain functions that engage in

20


 

creating, receiving, maintaining, or transmitting protected health information provided by covered entities and other business associates are directly subject to enforcement under HIPAA.  Our access to protected health information through the cloud environments we manage triggers obligations to comply with certain privacy rules and data security requirements under HIPAA.  

Any systems failure or security breach that results in the release of, or unauthorized access to, personal data, or any failure or perceived failure by us or our third-party service providers to comply with applicable privacy policies, contractual obligations, or any applicable laws or regulations relating to privacy or data protection, could result in proceedings against us by domestic or foreign government entities or others, including private plaintiffs in litigation.  Such proceedings could result in the imposition of sanctions, fines, penalties, liabilities, government orders, and/or orders arising out of private proceedings, requiring that we change our data practices, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, reputation, and financial condition.

Various U.S. federal, U.S. state, and foreign legislative, regulatory, or other government bodies may enact new or additional laws or regulations, or issue rulings that invalidate prior laws or regulations, concerning privacy, data storage, data protection, and cross-border transfer of data that could materially adversely impact our business.  For example, in the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) took effect in May 2018.  GDPR governs data practices and privacy, establishes requirements regarding the handling and security of personal data, requires disclosure of data breaches to individuals, customers, and data protection authorities in certain circumstances, requires companies to honor data subjects’ requests relating to their personal data, permits regulators to impose fines of up to €20,000,000 or 4% of global annual revenue, whichever is higher, and establishes a private right of action.  Furthermore, a new ePrivacy Regulation, regulating electronic communications, was proposed in 2017 and is under consideration by the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council.  Brazil also enacted the Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados (the Brazilian General Data Protection Law), which will impose requirements largely similar to GDPR on products and services offered to users in Brazil, effective in August 2020.  We may also be subject to a cybersecurity law that went into effect in China in June 2017 that has uncertain but broad application and imposes a number of new privacy and data security obligations, including a data localization requirement for certain types of data.

The state of California has also adopted a new comprehensive privacy law, the California Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”), modeled largely on GDPR, that took effect on January 1, 2020 and is expected to become enforceable no later than July 1, 2020.  We may be required to devote substantial resources to implement and maintain compliance with the CCPA, and noncompliance could carry the threat of regulatory investigations and fines or private litigation.  In addition, several states are also now considering bills similar to the CCPA.

Furthermore, the U.S. Congress is considering comprehensive privacy legislation.  At this time, it is unclear whether it will in fact pass such a law and if so, when and what it will require and prohibit.  Moreover, it is not clear whether any such legislation would give the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) any new authority to impose civil penalties for violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act in the first instance, or whether the U.S. Congress will grant the FTC rulemaking authority over privacy and information security.

Complying with these and other changing requirements could cause us or our customers to incur substantial costs or pay substantial fines or penalties, require us to change our business practices, require us to take on more onerous obligations in our contracts, or limit our ability to provide certain offerings in certain jurisdictions, any of which could materially adversely affect our business and operating results.  In addition, mechanisms for lawfully transferring personal data from the European Union to the United States and certain other countries are being challenged in European courts, which could lead to uncertainty about the legality of such transfers, or burdensome or inconsistent legal requirements.  New laws or regulations restricting or limiting the collection or use of mobile data could also reduce demand for certain of our offerings or require changes to our business practices, which could materially adversely affect our business and operating results.

21


 

If we or our third-party service providers experience a security breach and unauthorized parties obtain access to our customers’, prospects’, vendors’, or channel partners’ data, our data, our networks or other systems, or the cloud environments we manage, our offerings may be perceived as not being secure, our reputation may be harmed, demand for our offerings may be reduced, our operations may be disrupted, we may incur significant legal and financial liabilities, and our business could be materially adversely affected

As part of our business, we process, store, and transmit our customers’, prospects’, vendors’, and channel partners’ information and data as well as our own, including in our networks and other systems and the cloud environments we manage.  There can be no assurance that any security measures that we or our third-party service providers have implemented will be effective against all current or future security threats.  For example, security measures may be breached as a result of technological error, computer viruses, or third-party action, including intentional misconduct by computer hackers, physical break-ins, the actions of state actors, industrial espionage, fraudulent inducement of employees, customers, or channel partners to disclose sensitive information such as user names or passwords, and employee, customer, or channel partner error or malfeasance.  We have experienced attempts by third parties to identify and exploit software and service vulnerabilities, penetrate or bypass our security measures, and gain unauthorized access to our or our customers’ or service providers’ cloud environments, networks, and other systems.  

A security breach could result in unauthorized access to or disclosure, modification, misuse, loss, or destruction of our customers’, prospects’, vendors’, or channel partners’ data, our data (including our proprietary information, intellectual property, or trade secrets), our networks or other systems, or the cloud environments we manage.  Because there are many different security breach techniques and such techniques continue to evolve, we may be unable to anticipate, detect, or mitigate attempted security breaches and implement adequate preventative measures.  Third parties may also conduct attacks designed to prevent access to critical data or systems through ransomware or temporarily deny customers access to our cloud environments.  

Any security breach or successful denial of service attack could result in a loss of customer confidence in the security of our offerings and damage to our brand, reduce the demand for our offerings, disrupt our normal business operations, require us to spend material resources to investigate or correct the breach, require us to notify affected customers or individuals and/or applicable regulators and others, and provide identity theft protection services to individuals under applicable laws, expose us to legal liabilities, including litigation, regulatory enforcement, and indemnity obligations, and materially adversely affect our revenue and operating results.  Our software operates in conjunction with and is dependent on third-party products and components across a broad ecosystem.  If there is a security vulnerability in one of these products or components, and if there is a security exploit targeting it, we could face increased costs, liability claims, customer dissatisfaction, reduced revenue, or harm to our reputation or competitive position.  These risks will increase as we continue to grow the number and scale of our cloud subscriptions and process, store, and transmit increasingly large amounts of our customers’, prospects’, vendors’, channel partners’, and our own information and data, which may include proprietary or confidential data or personal or other identifying information.  Moreover, if a high-profile security breach occurs with respect to an industry peer, our customers and potential customers may lose trust in the security of business intelligence or analytics platforms generally, which could adversely impact our ability to retain existing customers or attract new ones.

Our intellectual property is valuable, and any inability to protect it could reduce the value of our offerings and brand

We rely on a combination of copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, confidentiality procedures, and contractual commitments to protect our intellectual property worldwide. Despite our efforts, these measures can only provide limited protection. Unauthorized third parties may try to copy or reverse engineer portions of our software or otherwise obtain and use our intellectual property. Any intellectual property owned by us may be invalidated, circumvented, or challenged. Any of our pending or future intellectual property applications, whether or not currently being challenged, may not be issued with the scope we seek, if at all. Moreover, amendments to and developing jurisprudence regarding U.S. and international law may affect our ability to protect our intellectual property and defend against claims of infringement. In addition, although we generally enter into confidentiality agreements with our employees and contractors, there can be no assurance that the confidential nature of our intellectual property will be maintained. Furthermore, the laws of some countries do not provide the same level of protection of our intellectual property as do the laws of the United States. If we cannot protect our intellectual property against unauthorized copying or use, we may not remain competitive.

22


 

Third parties may claim we infringe their intellectual property rights

We periodically receive notices from third parties claiming we are infringing their intellectual property rights, principally patent, copyright, and trademark rights. We expect the number of such claims will increase as we continue to expand our offerings and branding, the number of offerings and level of competition in our industry segments grow, the functionality of offerings overlaps, and the volume of issued patents, patent applications, and copyright and trademark registrations continues to increase. Responding to any infringement claim, regardless of its validity, could:

 

be time-consuming, costly, and/or result in litigation;

 

divert management’s time and attention from developing our business;

 

require us to pay monetary damages or enter into royalty and licensing agreements that we would not normally find acceptable;

 

require us to stop selling certain of our offerings;

 

require us to redesign certain of our offerings using alternative non-infringing technology or practices, which could require significant effort and expense;

 

require us to rename certain of our offerings or entities; or

 

require us to satisfy indemnification obligations to our customers and channel partners.

Additionally, while we monitor our use of third-party software, including open source software, we cannot assure you that our processes for controlling such use in our offerings will be effective.  If we fail to comply with the terms or conditions associated with third-party software that we use, including any changes to the license terms or conditions that may occur, if we inadvertently embed certain types of third-party software into one or more of our offerings, or if third-party software that we license is found to infringe the intellectual property rights of others, we could subject ourselves to infringement liability and be required to re-engineer our offerings, discontinue the sale of our offerings if re-engineering could not be accomplished on a timely or cost-effective basis, or make available to certain third parties or generally available, in source code form, our proprietary code, any of which could materially adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.

If a successful infringement claim is made against us and we fail to develop or license a substitute technology or brand name, as applicable, our business, results of operations, financial condition, or cash flows could be materially adversely affected.

Because of the rights of our two classes of common stock and because we are controlled by Michael J. Saylor, who beneficially owns the majority of our class B common stock, Mr. Saylor could transfer control of MicroStrategy to a third party without the approval of our Board of Directors or our other stockholders, prevent a third party from acquiring us, or limit the ability of our other stockholders to influence corporate matters

We have two classes of common stock: class A common stock and class B common stock.  Holders of our class A common stock generally have the same rights as holders of our class B common stock, except that holders of class A common stock have one vote per share while holders of class B common stock have ten votes per share.  As of February 3, 2020, holders of our class B common stock owned 2,035,184 shares of class B common stock, or 71.6% of the total voting power.  As of February 3, 2020, Mr. Saylor, our Chairman of the Board of Directors, President & Chief Executive Officer, beneficially owned 2,011,668 shares of class B common stock, or 70.8% of the total voting power.  Accordingly, Mr. Saylor can control MicroStrategy through his ability to determine the outcome of elections of our directors, amend our certificate of incorporation and by-laws, and take other actions requiring the vote or consent of stockholders, including mergers, going-private transactions, and other extraordinary transactions and their terms.

23


 

Our certificate of incorporation allows holders of class B common stock to transfer shares of class B common stock, subject to the approval of stockholders holding a majority of the outstanding class B common stock.  Mr. Saylor could, without the approval of our Board of Directors or our other stockholders, transfer voting control of MicroStrategy to a third party.  Such a transfer of control could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.  Mr. Saylor could also prevent a change of control of MicroStrategy, regardless of whether holders of class A common stock might otherwise receive a premium for their shares over the then current market price. In addition, this concentrated control limits stockholders’ ability to influence corporate matters and, as a result, we may take actions that our non-controlling stockholders do not view as beneficial or that conflict with their interests.  As a result, the market price of our class A common stock could be materially adversely affected.

Our status as a “controlled company” could make our class A common stock less attractive to some investors or otherwise materially adversely affect our stock price

Because we qualify as a “controlled company” under the corporate governance rules for Nasdaq-listed companies, we are not required to have independent directors comprise a majority of our Board of Directors. Additionally, our Board of Directors is not required to have an independent compensation or nominating committee, or to have the independent directors exercise the nominating function. We are also not required to have the compensation of our executive officers be determined by a compensation committee of independent directors.  In addition, we are not required to empower our Compensation Committee with the authority to engage the services of any compensation consultants, legal counsel, or other advisors, or to have the Compensation Committee assess the independence of compensation consultants, legal counsel, and other advisors that it engages.

In light of our status as a controlled company, our Board of Directors has determined not to establish an independent nominating committee or have its independent directors exercise the nominating function and has elected instead to have the Board of Directors be directly responsible for nominating members of the Board.  A majority of our Board of Directors is currently comprised of independent directors, and our Board of Directors has established a Compensation Committee comprised entirely of independent directors. The Compensation Committee determines the compensation of our Chief Executive Officer.  However, our Board of Directors has authorized our Chief Executive Officer to determine the compensation of executive officers other than himself, rather than having such compensation determined by the Compensation Committee, except that certain performance-based executive officer compensation is determined by the Compensation Committee.  Awards under our 2013 Stock Incentive Plan (as amended, the “2013 Equity Plan”) are also approved by the Compensation Committee.  Additionally, while our Compensation Committee is empowered with the authority to retain and terminate outside counsel, compensation consultants, and other experts or consultants, it is not required to assess their independence.

Although currently a majority of our Board of Directors is comprised of independent directors and the Compensation Committee is comprised entirely of independent directors, we may elect in the future not to have independent directors constitute a majority of the Board of Directors or the Compensation Committee, our Chief Executive Officer’s compensation determined by a compensation committee of independent directors, or a compensation committee of the Board of Directors at all.

Accordingly, should the interests of our controlling stockholder differ from those of other stockholders, the other stockholders may not have the same protections that are afforded to stockholders of companies that are required to follow all of the corporate governance rules for Nasdaq-listed companies. Our status as a controlled company could make our class A common stock less attractive to some investors or otherwise materially adversely affect our stock price.

 

 

24


 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

 

 

Item 2.

Properties

As of December 31, 2019, we leased approximately 214,000 square feet of office space at a location in Northern Virginia that serves as our corporate headquarters. This lease provides for certain tenant allowances and incentives and will expire in December 2030.  

In addition, we lease offices in U.S. and foreign locations for our services and support, sales and marketing, research and development, and administrative personnel. As of December 31, 2019, we leased approximately 26,000 square feet of office space in the United States, in addition to our corporate headquarters, and approximately 163,000 square feet of office space in various foreign locations.

 

 

Item 3.

We are involved in various legal proceedings arising in the normal course of business.  Although the outcomes of these legal proceedings are inherently difficult to predict, we do not expect the resolution of these legal proceedings to have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations, or cash flows.

 

 

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

 

 

25


 

PART II

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Our class A common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “MSTR.”  There is no established public trading market for our class B common stock. As of February 3, 2020, there were approximately 1,319 stockholders of record of our class A common stock and three stockholders of record of our class B common stock.

Holders of our class A common stock generally have the same rights as holders of our class B common stock, except that holders of class A common stock have one vote per share while holders of class B common stock have ten votes per share.

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on either our class A or class B common stock and have no current plans to declare or pay any such dividends.

Information regarding our equity compensation plans and the securities authorized for issuance thereunder is incorporated herein by reference to “Part III. Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.”

The following table provides information about our repurchases of equity securities that are registered by us pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act during the periods indicated:

 

 

 

 

(a)

 

 

 

(b)

 

 

 

(c)

 

 

 

(d)

 

 

Period

 

 

Total

Number of

Shares (or

Units) Purchased

 

 

 

Average

Price Paid

per Share

(or Unit) (1)

 

 

 

Total Number of

Shares (or Units)

Purchased as Part of

Publicly Announced

Plans or Programs (1)

 

 

 

Maximum Number (or

Approximate Dollar

Value) of Shares (or

Units) that May Yet Be

Purchased Under the

Plans or Programs (1)

 

 

October 1, 2019 – October 31, 2019

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

$

295,487,864

 

 

November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

 

 

 

87,524

 

 

 

$

154.91

 

 

 

 

87,524

 

 

 

$

281,929,685

 

 

December 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019

 

 

 

72,171

 

 

 

$

151.27

 

 

 

 

72,171

 

 

 

$

271,012,425

 

 

Total:

 

 

 

159,695

 

 

 

$

153.26

 

 

 

 

159,695

 

 

 

$

271,012,425

 

 

 

(1)

The Board of Directors has authorized us to repurchase up to an aggregate of $800.0 million of our class A common stock from time to time on the open market through April 29, 2023 (the “Share Repurchase Program”), although the program may be suspended or discontinued by us at any time.  The timing and amount of any shares repurchased will be determined by management based on its evaluation of market conditions and other factors.  The Share Repurchase Program may be funded using our working capital, as well as proceeds from any other funding arrangements that we may enter into in the future.  As of December 31, 2019, pursuant to the Share Repurchase Program, we had repurchased an aggregate of 5,229,457 shares of our class A common stock at an average price per share of $101.16 and an aggregate cost of $529.0 million.  As of December 31, 2019, $271.0 million of our class A common stock remained available for repurchase pursuant to the Share Repurchase Program.  The average price per share and aggregate cost amounts disclosed above include broker commissions.

26


 

Performance Graph

The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our class A common stock from December 31, 2014 (the last trading day before the beginning of our fifth preceding fiscal year) to December 31, 2019 (the last trading day of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019) with the cumulative total return of (i) the Total Return Index for The Nasdaq Stock Market (U.S. Companies) (the “Nasdaq Composite Index”) and (ii) the Nasdaq Computer Index.  The graph assumes the investment of $100.00 on December 31, 2014 in our class A common stock, the Nasdaq Composite Index, and the Nasdaq Computer Index, and assumes that any dividends are reinvested. Measurement points are December 31, 2014, December 31, 2015, December 30, 2016, December 29, 2017, December 31, 2018, and December 31, 2019.

 

 

 

 

12/31/14

 

 

12/31/15

 

 

12/30/16

 

 

12/29/17

 

 

12/31/18

 

 

12/31/19

 

MicroStrategy Incorporated

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

110.40

 

 

$

121.55

 

 

$

80.85

 

 

$

78.66

 

 

$

87.83

 

Nasdaq Composite Index

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

106.96

 

 

$

116.45

 

 

$

150.96

 

 

$

146.67

 

 

$

200.49

 

Nasdaq Computer Index

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

107.67

 

 

$

122.78

 

 

$

172.36

 

 

$

167.84

 

 

$

255.04

 

 

 

27


 

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” the Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto, and other financial information appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report.

As discussed in Note 3, Recent Accounting Standards, to the Consolidated Financial Statements, we adopted ASU 2014-09 effective as of January 1, 2018 and adjusted our prior period Consolidated Financial Statements to reflect full retrospective adoption. In our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, our Statements of Operations Data for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 and our Balance Sheet Data as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 in the selected consolidated financial data below were also adjusted to reflect the full retrospective adoption of ASU 2014-09, where applicable.  No further adjustments for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 have been made in this Annual Report.  Data for preceding years are not directly comparable as they have not been restated to reflect the adoption of ASU 2014-09.

As discussed in Note 3, Recent Accounting Standards, to the Consolidated Financial Statements, we adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), and its subsequent amendments (“ASU 2016-02”) effective as of January 1, 2019 and did not restate comparative prior period Consolidated Financial Statements. As such, certain Balance Sheet Data as of December 31, 2018 and prior years are not directly comparable to the Balance Sheet Data as of December 31, 2019.

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(as adjusted)

 

 

(as adjusted)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

Statements of Operations Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenues

 

$

486,327

 

 

$

497,638

 

 

$

503,843

 

 

$

513,589

 

 

$

529,869

 

Net income

 

$

34,355

 

 

$

22,501

 

 

$

18,195

 

 

$

92,239

 

 

$

105,931

 

Earnings per share (1)(2):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic earnings per share

 

$

3.35

 

 

$

1.98

 

 

$

1.59

 

 

$

8.07

 

 

$

9.33

 

Diluted earnings per share

 

$

3.33

 

 

$

1.97

 

 

$

1.58

 

 

$

8.01

 

 

$

9.18

 

 

 

 

As of December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(as adjusted)

 

 

(as adjusted)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Balance Sheet Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

916,571

 

 

$

855,768

 

 

$

933,219

 

 

$

869,716

 

 

$

656,894

 

Long-term liabilities, excluding deferred revenue and advance payments

 

$

133,850

 

 

$

61,299

 

 

$

50,150

 

 

$

16,741

 

 

$

19,960

 

Total stockholders’ equity

 

$

508,559

 

 

$

529,731

 

 

$

605,726

 

 

$

566,317

 

 

$

455,281

 

 

(1)

Basic and fully diluted earnings per share for class A and class B common stock are the same.

(2)

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on either class A or class B common stock.

 

 

28


 

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Forward-Looking Information

This Annual Report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Exchange Act.  For this purpose, any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact, including without limitation, certain statements regarding industry prospects and our results of operations or financial position, may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The important factors discussed under “Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors,” among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by forward-looking statements made herein and presented elsewhere by management from time to time. Such forward-looking statements represent management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. Investors are warned that actual results may differ from management’s expectations.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the Year Ended December 31, 2017

In accordance with the SEC’s recently issued disclosure simplification rules, we have elected to exclude from this Annual Report discussion of our results for the year ended December 31, 2017. Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2017, as adjusted to reflect the full retrospective adoption of ASU 2014-09, including comparison of our results for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, is included in Item 7 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.

Overview

 

MicroStrategy is a global leader in enterprise analytics software and services.  The MicroStrategy platform brings together data from our customers’ enterprise applications, such as their financial systems, human resources systems, and supply chain management and customer relationship management tools, and provides analytics for actionable insights.  Customers can also use our consulting and education offerings to harness MicroStrategy’s innovative technology and empower their workforce to make better decisions.

Over recent years, we have invested in innovation by making our platform more usable, powerful, scalable, flexible, and secure. Examples of these innovations include:

 

HyperIntelligence products that enable more users in the organization to access information rapidly by providing cards with contextual intelligence, suggestions, and workflows directly within the websites, applications, and mobile devices that people rely on every day.

 

Mobile productivity apps that deploy our technology on any standard device for a variety of business functions and roles.

 

Open architecture, including federated analytics, that provides analysts and data scientists with seamless access to trusted, governed data directly within their favorite tools, including Excel, Power BI, Tableau, Qlik, and more.  Recent integrations also allow data scientists to access trusted, governed data, enrich that data with AI, and return it back to the MicroStrategy platform.

 

Flexible deployment methods that allow our customers to deploy our platform efficiently and securely using their own hardware or in a cloud environment they manage or via MCE, our cloud subscription service.

 

Our customers include leading companies from a wide range of industries, including retail, consulting, technology, manufacturing, banking, insurance, finance, healthcare, telecommunications, as well as the public sector.

29


 

The analytics market is highly competitive. Our future success depends on the effectiveness with which we can differentiate our offerings from those offered by large software vendors that provide products across multiple lines of business, including one or more products that directly compete with our offerings, and other potential competitors across analytics implementation projects of varying sizes. We believe a key differentiator of MicroStrategy is our comprehensive, modern, and open enterprise analytics and mobility platform that uniquely features HyperIntelligence, transformational mobility, and federated analytics.

 

The following table sets forth certain operating highlights (in thousands) for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018:

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product licenses

 

$

87,471

 

 

$

88,057

 

Subscription services

 

 

29,394

 

 

 

29,570

 

Total product licenses and subscription services

 

 

116,865

 

 

 

117,627

 

Product support

 

 

292,035

 

 

 

296,216

 

Other services

 

 

77,427

 

 

 

83,795

 

Total revenues

 

 

486,327

 

 

 

497,638

 

Cost of revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product licenses

 

 

2,131

 

 

 

4,864

 

Subscription services

 

 

15,161

 

 

 

13,620

 

Total product licenses and subscription services

 

 

17,292

 

 

 

18,484

 

Product support

 

 

28,317

 

 

 

20,242

 

Other services

 

 

54,365

 

 

 

60,773

 

Total cost of revenues

 

 

99,974

 

 

 

99,499

 

Gross profit

 

 

386,353

 

 

 

398,139

 

Operating expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

191,235

 

 

 

205,525

 

Research and development

 

 

109,423

 

 

 

102,499

 

General and administrative

 

 

86,697

 

 

 

86,134

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

387,355

 

 

 

394,158

 

(Loss) income from operations

 

$

(1,002

)

 

$

3,981

 

 

As discussed in Note 15, Sale of Domain Name, to the Consolidated Financial Statements, on May 30, 2019, we completed the sale of our Voice.com domain name (the “Domain Name Sale”), resulting in a one-time gain of $29.8 million, recorded in “Other income (expense), net” in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and an associated discrete tax provision of $8.1 million during the second quarter of 2019.

30


 

As discussed in Note 10, Share-based Compensation, to the Consolidated Financial Statements, we have outstanding stock options to purchase shares of our class A common stock and certain other stock-based awards under our 2013 Equity Plan.  Share-based compensation expense (in thousands) from these awards was recognized in the following operating expense line items in our Consolidated Statements of Operations for the periods indicated:

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Cost of subscription services revenues

 

$

7

 

 

$

0

 

Cost of product support revenues

 

 

331

 

 

 

293

 

Cost of consulting revenues

 

 

198

 

 

 

72

 

Cost of education revenues

 

 

20

 

 

 

176

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

1,943

 

 

 

3,572

 

Research and development

 

 

2,460

 

 

 

3,078

 

General and administrative

 

 

5,250

 

 

 

7,445

 

Total share-based compensation expense

 

$

10,209

 

 

$

14,636

 

 

As of December 31, 2019, we estimated that approximately $36.8 million of additional share-based compensation expense for awards granted under the 2013 Equity Plan will be recognized over a remaining weighted average period of 3.2 years.  

We base our internal operating expense forecasts on expected revenue trends and strategic objectives.  Many of our expenses, such as office leases and certain personnel costs, are relatively fixed.  Accordingly, any shortfall in revenue may cause significant variation in our operating results. We therefore believe that quarter-to-quarter comparisons of our operating results may not be a good indication of our future performance.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

We are providing supplemental financial measures for (i) non-GAAP income from operations that excludes the impact of our share-based compensation arrangements, (ii) non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share that exclude the impact from the Tax Act in 2018 and the Domain Name Sale in 2019, and (iii) certain non-GAAP constant currency revenues, cost of revenues, and operating expenses that exclude foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. These supplemental financial measures are not measurements of financial performance under generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”) and, as a result, these supplemental financial measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies.  Management uses these non-GAAP financial measures internally to help understand, manage, and evaluate our business performance and to help make operating decisions.

We believe that these non-GAAP financial measures are also useful to investors and analysts in comparing our performance across reporting periods on a consistent basis.  The first supplemental financial measure excludes a significant non-cash expense that we believe is not reflective of our general business performance, and for which the  accounting requires management judgment and the resulting share-based compensation expense could vary significantly in comparison to other companies.  The second set of supplemental financial measures excludes the impact from the Tax Act, which was a one-time tax charge, and the Domain Name Sale, which is outside of our normal business operations.  The third set of supplemental financial measures excludes changes resulting from fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates so that results may be compared to the same period in the prior year on a non-GAAP constant currency basis.  We believe the use of these non-GAAP financial measures can also facilitate comparison of our operating results to those of our competitors.

31


 

Non-GAAP financial measures are subject to material limitations as they are not in accordance with, or a substitute for, measurements prepared in accordance with GAAP.  For example, we expect that share-based compensation expense, which is excluded from the first non-GAAP financial measure, will continue to be a significant recurring expense over the coming years and is an important part of the compensation provided to certain employees, officers, and directors.  Our non-GAAP financial measures are not meant to be considered in isolation and should be read only in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements, which have been prepared in accordance with GAAP.  We rely primarily on such Consolidated Financial Statements to understand, manage, and evaluate our business performance and use the non-GAAP financial measures only supplementally.

The following is a reconciliation of our non-GAAP income from operations excluding the impact of our share-based compensation arrangements to its most directly comparable GAAP measures (in thousands) for the periods indicated:

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Reconciliation of non-GAAP income from operations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Loss) income from operations

 

$

(1,002

)

 

$

3,981

 

Share-based compensation expense

 

 

10,209

 

 

 

14,636

 

Non-GAAP income from operations

 

$

9,207

 

 

$

18,617

 

 

The following are reconciliations of our non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share, in each case excluding the impact of the Tax Act in 2018 and the Domain Name Sale in 2019, to their most directly comparable GAAP measures (in thousands, except per share data) for the periods indicated:

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Reconciliation of non-GAAP net income:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

 

$

34,355

 

 

$

22,501

 

Measurement-period adjustment related to the Tax Act

 

 

0

 

 

 

(3,106

)

Gain from Domain Name Sale, net of tax

 

 

(21,778

)

 

 

0

 

Non-GAAP net income

 

$

12,577

 

 

$

19,395

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reconciliation of non-GAAP diluted earnings per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted earnings per share

 

$

3.33

 

 

$

1.97

 

Measurement-period adjustment related to the Tax Act (per diluted share)

 

 

0.00

 

 

 

(0.27

)

Gain from Domain Name Sale, net of tax (per diluted share)

 

 

(2.11

)

 

 

0.00

 

Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share

 

$

1.22

 

 

$

1.70

 

 

32


 

The following are reconciliations of our non-GAAP constant currency revenues, cost of revenues, and operating expenses to their most directly comparable GAAP measures (in thousands) for the periods indicated. As discussed in Note 3, Recent Accounting Standards, to the Consolidated Financial Statements, we adopted ASU 2014-09 effective as of January 1, 2018 and adjusted our prior period Consolidated Financial Statements to reflect full retrospective adoption. Where applicable, information for the year ended December 31, 2017 within the following reconciliations was also adjusted to reflect the full retrospective adoption of ASU 2014-09, as presented in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.  No further adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2017 have been made in this Annual Report.

 

 

 

Years Ended

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

GAAP

 

 

Foreign Currency

Exchange Rate

Impact (1)

 

 

Non-GAAP

Constant

Currency (2)

 

 

GAAP

 

 

GAAP %

Change

 

 

Non-GAAP

Constant

Currency %

Change (3)

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2019

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2019

 

 

2019

 

Product licenses revenues

 

$

87,471

 

 

$

(3,642

)

 

$

91,113

 

 

$

88,057

 

 

 

-0.7

%

 

 

3.5

%

Subscription services revenues

 

 

29,394

 

 

 

(333

)

 

 

29,727

 

 

 

29,570

 

 

 

-0.6

%

 

 

0.5

%

Product support revenues

 

 

292,035

 

 

 

(7,110

)

 

 

299,145

 

 

 

296,216

 

 

 

-1.4

%

 

 

1.0

%

Other services revenues

 

 

77,427

 

 

 

(2,091

)

 

 

79,518

 

 

 

83,795

 

 

 

-7.6

%

 

 

-5.1

%

Cost of product support revenues

 

 

28,317

 

 

 

(479

)

 

 

28,796

 

 

 

20,242

 

 

 

39.9

%

 

 

42.3

%

Cost of other services revenues

 

 

54,365

 

 

 

(1,834

)

 

 

56,199