Vocus Announces Q1 Earnings, Global Acquisitions, New Social Media Product

PR software vendor Vocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: VOCS) reported first quarter 2010 revenue of $22.3 million, a 9% increase over the same period last year. However, the company also posted a net loss for Q1 2010 of $579,000, compared to $478,000 for the same period last year. The losses are slimmer than Vocus’ Q4 2010 loss of $821,000.

Vocus announced two acquisitions: BDL Media Ltd., a provider of on-demand public relations software and services in China, and Datapresse, a leading provider of media content and on-demand PR software in France. Both were privately held.

Vocus spent $10.8 million on Datapresse, while terms of the BDL Media deal were not disclosed, although Vocus CEO said BDL has less than $1 million in annual revenue. The companies have a combined 2,100 customers and $6 million in annual revenue.

“We’re now seeing some good stability in our end market…underscored by solid bookings both in renewals and new business,” said Vocus president and CEO Rick Rudman on a conference call.

The acquisitions are not surprising.

Vocus CMO William R. Wagner told PRNewser in December 2009 that potential acquisitions could include international expansion, or a “customer buy,” in which the company would acquire a similar service or company for their customer base.

In addition, Vocus announced a “social media product” to be launched in a limited release in May and general release in June. The product will enable listening, analysis and engagement capabilities for brands in social media.

“The Vocus social media product will also report on tone of conversations and key influencers driving those conversations online,” said Rudman. Based on this description, the product will compete with existing offerings including Radian6 and Scout Labs.

Rudman did not mention competitors by name but said, that there are “dozens” of companies Vocus could technically compete with. The new product will cost about $3,000 per year for smaller organizations and could go as high as $25,000 and up for larger organizations. Rudman said the product will be “priced based on volume, based on social media mentions.”

Vocus will have 1,000 to 2,000 customers on the free trial of the product. “In a year’s time, we will be one of the leaders in the social media landscape,” said Rudman.

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