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  • Writer's pictureMark Watson-Mitchell

Blackbird – what is the collective noun for blackbirds?

The company behind the fastest video editor on the planet has recently been delivering great news.


Pulling off a mega-deal with the Belgium-based EVS Broadcast Equipment group last December could well prove to be major win for this cloud computing technology group.


By the way the collective noun for blackbirds is a cloud – and that is the centre of this group’s business.


The Business


The Wimbledon-based Blackbird (LON:BIRD) develops and operates the world’s fastest and most powerful cloud-based video editing and publishing platform.


The company's platform, which is marketed under the Blackbird name in the UK, the rest of Europe, North America, and internationally, is used for video viewing, editing, and publishing.


It serves the news, sports, entertainment, and other sectors.


Enabling remote editing, Blackbird provides rapid access to video content for the easy creation of clips, highlights and longer form content to multiple devices and platforms.


A fully-featured editor accessed through any browser, easy to learn and needing only limited bandwidth to use, Blackbird powers significant productivity and efficiency benefits for any enterprise organisation working with video.


Operating in the fast-growing SaaS (software as a service) and cloud video market, the company has created Blackbird, the world's most advanced suite of cloud-native computing applications for video, all underpinned by its lightning-fast codec.


The group’s patented technology allows for frame accurate navigation, playback, viewing and editing in the cloud.


It underpins multiple applications, which are used by rights holders, broadcasters, sports and news video specialists, esports, live events and content owners, post-production houses, other mass market digital video channels and corporations.


Since it is cloud-native, Blackbird® removes the need for costly, high-end workstations and can be used from almost anywhere on almost any device.


It also allows full visibility on multi-location digital content, improves time to market for live content such as video clips and highlights for digital distribution, and ultimately results in much more effective monetisation.


The company is a licensor of its core video technology under its ‘Powered by Blackbird’ licensing model, enabling video companies to accelerate their path to true cloud business models.


Licensees benefit from power and carbon reductions, cost and time savings, lower hardware and bandwidth requirements and easy scalability.


Group Customers


Blackbird partners with high-profile global media and technology organisations to extend the capability of its cloud video production platform.


Apart from EVS, the list of the company’s other customers includes BT, FIFA, Televisa Univision, SBS Belgium, Arsenal, Eurovision Sport, the Global Financial News Organisation, Next College Student Athletic, Post-H1, A&E Networks, cheddar news, Gfinity, CBS Sports Digital, Eleven Sports, the NHL, Town News, deltatre, Tata Communications, LiveU and IMG.


As a form of its business, indication can be gained from the breakdown of its 2021 year’s sales – with the Sports sector taking a third, Other Entertainment 30%, News 27%, with ‘Powered by Blackbird’ and Other accounting for the balance.


On a per region basis some 61% went to North America, 20% to the UK, 16% to Europe and 3% to the Rest of the World.


Final Results due on Wednesday


The £38m capitalised group, which used to be called Forbidden Technologies, will be announcing its results for the year to end December 2022 early on Wednesday 22 March and will be presenting to Investors later that day.


That is when the senior Management will show its figures and update upon the execution of its corporate strategy.


For the year to end December 2021 the group reported increased revenues at £2.07m (£1.57m) while the net loss before tax was £2.17m (£1.91m).


Over the two years the group’s deferred revenue and contracted order book expanded from £1.93m in 2020 to £3.73m in 2021.


Last September, when releasing the group’s interim results to end June 2022 the reported a 78% sales increase to £1.55m (£0.87m), while the net loss was almost halved at £0.60m (£1.17m).


The group had cash and short-term investments at £11.59m and no debt.


The Equity


There are some 367.63m shares in issue.


CEO Ian McDonough & family hold 7.56% of the equity, while R&D director and founder Stephen Streater has a 17.04% stake.


The larger holders include Premier Fund Managers (16.96%), Canaccord Genuity Wealth (4.89%), Schroder Investment Management (4.60%), Chelverton Asset Management (4.37%) and Herald Investment Management (3.11%).


Brokers View – soaring to new heights


Gareth Evans at Allenby Capital considers that the EVS deal is a real coup for Blackbird, creating additional benefits as it signs up new users and wins more licensees.


Evans feels that the group is evolving and maturing, with customers building in number and quality.


Conclusion – an easy 13p Target Price


I would assume that after the results are announced this coming Wednesday, Allenby Capital might possibly update its comments upon the group and even present some current year estimates.


This group is still at an early stage in developing its potential.


However, I take the view that it is now really stepping up its game and it is gaining better momentum with its build-up of high-profile business wins.


The group’s shares, which were up to 22p last August, are currently offering some useful upside at just 10.5p.


My Target Price, ahead of the 2022 finals being announced, is an easy 13p, but they could so easily whip a great deal higher on new contract news.


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