This excerpt taken from the RVBD 10-K filed Feb 23, 2009.
Major Trends Affecting Our Financial Results
We believe that our current value proposition, which enables customers to improve the performance of their applications and access to their data across WANs, while also offering the ability to simplify IT infrastructure and realize significant capital and operating cost savings, should allow us to continue to grow our business. Our product revenue growth rate will depend significantly on continued growth in the wide-area data services (WDS), market and our ability to continue to attract new customers in that market and generate additional sales from existing customers. Our growth in support and services revenue is dependent upon increasing the number of products under support contracts, which is dependent on both growing our installed base of customers and renewing existing support contracts. Our future profitability and rate of growth will be directly affected by the continued acceptance of our products in the marketplace, as well as the timing and size of orders, product mix,
average selling prices and costs of our products and general economic conditions. Our ability to achieve profitability in the future will also be affected by the extent to which we must incur additional expenses to expand our sales, support, marketing, development, and general and administrative capabilities to grow our business. The largest component of our expenses is personnel costs. Personnel costs consist of salaries, benefits and incentive compensation for our employees, including commissions for sales personnel and stock-based compensation.
During 2008 the domestic and international economic environment turned sharply negative, with most developed countries, including the U.S., falling into economic recessions. Credit markets and bank lending contracted suddenly in the third quarter of 2008 making credit generally harder to obtain for most businesses and consumers. Commodity prices declined sharply in the second half of 2008 as demand for commodities decreased. This resulted in consumer spending being reduced sharply in the second half of 2008. This macroeconomic environment caused the growth trend in corporate spending on IT infrastructure to slow in 2008 and this trend is forecasted to continue or slow down further in the first half of 2009.
Our revenue has grown rapidly since we began shipping products in May 2004, increasing from $2.6 million in 2004 to $333.3 million in 2008. Revenue grew by 41% in 2008 to $333.3 million from $236.4 million in 2007. We believe that our revenue growth in 2008, when the global macroeconomic environment negatively impacted many businesses, is a positive sign that our products have a significant value proposition to our customers and that the WAN optimization market is still expanding despite the challenging macroeconomic environment.
Costs and Expenses
Operating expenses consist of sales and marketing, research and development and general and administrative expenses. Personnel-related costs, including stock-based compensation, are the most significant component of each of these expense categories. As of December 31, 2008 we had 857 employees, an increase of 38% from the 623 employees at December 31, 2007. The increase in employees is the most significant driver behind the increase in costs and operating expenses in 2008. The increase in employees was required to support our increased revenue. The timing of additional hires has and could materially affect our operating expenses, both in absolute dollars and as a percentage of revenue, in any particular period.
Stock-based compensation expense was $50.4 million, $31.8 million, and $9.2 million in the years ended December 31, 2008, 2007, and 2006, respectively. We expect to continue to incur significant stock-based compensation expense and anticipate further growth in stock-based compensation expense.