After Years Of Red Ink, CRI Now Operating In Black

I don’t know how many posts I’ve done about the endlessly bad tale of the financial fortunes of Wireless Ronin-Broadcast International-Creative Realities, so it’s sort of amazing to knock out a post about the most recent incarnation actually turning a profit in the last two SEC reporting periods.

Creative Realities, Inc. – better known as CRI – reported an operating profit of $123,000 in Q1 2017, and revenues were up 164% over Q1 2016.

This from a blended company that has through various entities blown through in excess of $100 million and consistently fled operating losses.

“We are pleased to report that total revenue for the quarter exceeded the top end of guidance,” says Rick Mills, who took over as CEO when RNIN-BI-CRI blended with Conexus World. “This significant growth over 2016 highlights our team’s strong execution against CRI’s strategic plan, and puts us well on track to achieving previously announced guidance of $26 million for the year.”

First Quarter Financial Highlights, from the press release Monday:

  • Revenues were $6.4 million for the three-month period ended March 31, 2017, an increase of 164% compared to the same period in 2016, and up 17% sequentially
  • Gross profit was $2.8 million for the first quarter 2017, up $1.7 million, or 149%, from the corresponding period in the prior year
  • Gross margin was 44% of revenue for the first quarter of 2017, compared with 47% in the prior year, due to a less favorable mix of non-recurring projects
  • CRI generated operating profit of $123 thousand and adjusted EBITDA of $525 thousand
  • Cash and cash equivalents increased to $3.4 million, compared to $1.4 million as of December 31, 2016, due to the collection of receivables and receipt of license payments
  • A large non-cash gain below the operating line of $866 thousand was relating to the settlement of debt and dissolution of Broadcast International, Inc. in May 2016

“Our expanded sales and marketing team has been extremely active, landing new logos and expanding business with existing customers. Our pipeline has never been stronger, and while execution against the pipeline can be lumpy from quarter to quarter, we are on track for significant growth in revenue and profitability in 2017. Armed with a drastically improved balance sheet compared to a year ago, CRI is well positioned for long-term organic and acquisition growth.”

This is the second reporting period in a row that the company has been in the black. Q4 2016 showed that CRI generated operating profit of $200K and EBITDA of $600K.

I’m sure there are all kinds of stories – good and bad – about the path to here, but sitting here in the bleachers, I can’t help but think that took some tenacity to turn around what looked like a messy no-hoper, and get CRI in the black (albeit just in the black).