06 Aug 2015 Shutterstock’s Share Price Down 30% Overnight [Updated]

[Updated to add new hires in senior positions]

Shutterstock shares are trading around $35 per share this morning after closing at $50.75 last night, a drop of over 30%.  They dipped to $32.61 in the first hour of trade.

The company released their quarterly earnings report this morning, which was mostly positive. But news of yet another senior executive departure, this time CFO, Tim Bixby, was not so positive.

Quarterly Earnings Report

Shutterstock’s revenues surpassed the total from the same quarter last year by 30%, at $104.4M on an increase of 13% in revenue per download –for both on-demand and subs– and paid downloads were also up 14%, mostly due to new customers. The collection expanded by 47% to 57.2 million images and 2.9 million footage clips.

Acquisitions and partnerships were cited as strategic highlights of the quarter, where Shutterstock appears to have excelled.  The recently purchased PremiumBeat and Rex Features contributed 3% of this quarter’s revenue.  They also had that high profile deal with Penske Media.

Tim Bixby and The Senior Executive Exodus

The announcement of Tim Bixby’s departure may well have been what sent Wall Street dumping Shutterstock shares today. He’s being replaced internally by Steve Berns, who resigned his seat on the Shutterstock board last week in preparation to take the position.  But Bixby is just the latest in a string of senior executives departing the company.

Scott Braut, former VP of Content, left in January and in June popped up as Head of Content for Adobe’s Creative Cloud – which many are starting to see as Shutterstock’s biggest threat. David Fraga, former Director of Corporate Development, also left earlier this year and took the COO role at InVision. Thilo Semmelbauer, President and COO, left this January.

Last year Wyatt Jenkins, Vp of Product, left in December for the same position in Optimizely. Joshua Black, PR/Communications Manager, also left around then to work as PR Manager at Getty Images. And Anthony Correia, former Director for Contributor Success, left in April.

To my knowledge, the new CFO is the only announced replacement, and I can’t see any of the other vacated positions advertised on Shutterstock’s job site.

[Update:] Kenny Herman just joined as the VP of Business Development; Catherine Ulrich joined last year as their first Chief Product Officer; and Paul Brennan has remained the VP of Content Operations (covering Correia’s position). The contributor success team and the PR team have also added team members.

It’s Tough at the Top

Shutterstock has enjoyed a relatively fast rise to the top of the market, with long-standing market dominator Getty Images clearly considering Shutterstock its primary competitive threat. They’ve fought off competition from other microstock agencies with similar business models, stealing the microstock crown away from the original innovator iStock (with a lot of help from Getty).

But now it looks like the cracks are starting to show. A company cannot lose so many senior executives in such a short time without something being up. Releasing financial results showing revenue and profit growth, even marginally below company guidance as it was, wouldn’t normally wipe 30% of the value off the market.

Investors and analysts interested in going deeper on this and similar issues can do so at Stock Photo Insight.

  • Pavel Orekhov
    Posted at 13:46h, 06 August Reply

    Scott Braut didn’t leave in June, He hadn’t been with Shutterstock in January 2015 already. It didn’t change the main point of your post. Nothing extremely bad for company (and contributors) at the moment. As you mentioned Lee, the drop of share price is just the reaction of Wall Street. But when a lot of top-management consistently leaves the “strong company”, objectively market leader, during half a year, it’s definitely the sign to think of. Also Tim Bixby was one of the guys from the very beginning of Shutterstock (at least from its IPO), and it makes things even worse. I think we will probably see the explicit reasons of what’s actually going on in half a year.

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 14:43h, 06 August Reply

      Thanks Pavel, I corrected the January / June reference. It’ll definitely be interesting to see if it all comes out in the coming months. And as you say, they’re still the best money earner for contributors.

  • Alex Belomlinsky
    Posted at 20:43h, 06 August Reply

    With Adobe’s acquisition of Fotolia and the seamless integration of the Adobe Stock with Adobe Creative Suite products both Shutterstock and iStock/Getty have a lot to think about. Judging from my personal experience, a steady growth in revenue driven by the iStock subscription model Shutterstock’s domination in the subscription-based revenue model is being contested. Also let’s not forget Canva – with an impressive growth rate and an innovative business model it’s a player that’s destined to have an impact on the industry.

    All things considering a one day 30% drop seams puzzling to me.

  • Alexandar Iotzov
    Posted at 14:17h, 08 August Reply

    Both leaders in industry fast growing and obviously leader in their business model the best microstock agency Shutterstock and continuously merging iStock now iStock/GettyImages have what to think. Acquisition of Fotolia from Adobe with its Dollar Club is big challenge for the leading microstock agency Shutterstock and leader of Photographic market iStock/Gettyimages. There is and other challenge on the microstock market. Those are fact creating and fast growing iPhonePhotographic microstock agencies. Both microstock agencies iStock/Gettyimages and Shutterstock are follow strict rules for stockphotos, and editorial stockphotos created from regulatory. The iPhone photographer are shooting and uploading everywhere and the prices for download are very low. On that way tose agencies become very attractive for bloggers, news agencies, TV stations, newspapers and everyone that need very fast from graphic material. Last wrong actions of iStock/Gettyimages and Shutterstock were requirements of credential (proof of credentials) for every event editorial stock photo which is uploaded before even to be reviewed, it doesn’t matter what is the type of the event. On that way this two photostocks lost lots of photographers and customers. Everyone will tell it is not true. But the real live shows different. Watch the News TV channels or blogs. Before every footage, every photo on that medias was from Gettyimages or lately Shutterstock. From more than half year ago (it was and before but now it is common) the GettyImages and Shutterstock are missing from this market. Most photos and footages are done with iPhones. Soon this iPhone photostocks will slowly go in the other type of photos too (cameras in iPhones become better, there is manufacturer of lenses too). Obviously the regulatory of the Professional Photographic Market with which Shutterstock and GettyImages always complain is barrier for growing up of their photographic databases and customers but agencies which sell iPhone images and moving images are growing every day and soon effect of snowball will appear

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