As the calendar turns to December, many investors take time to reflect on the year and look for new opportunities for the year ahead and beyond. Overall, 2022 was a very tough year for the stock market. As of this writing, the S&P 500 has returned -17%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is -7% and the Nasdaq leads the year in losses with a return of nearly -30%. Once-reliable mega-cap technology darlings like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) have seen a stunning fall from grace in 2022. Apple is down 21% YTD, Amazon has dropped nearly 45% and Google has declined over 34% through the first eleven months of 2022.
However, not all stocks have fallen prey to the market’s “doom and gloom” mentality. Asure Software (NASDAQ: ASUR) is one stock that has rebounded after a tough start to 2022 and is now posting a positive gain for 2022, as of this writing. Given the company's strong recent third-quarter 2022 financial results and its continuation of impressive growth, Asure is bucking the overall market and outperforming major indices, as the company’s business model thrives in the current economic environment.
Asure Software Thriving Amid Current Economic Environment
Asure’s suite of SaaS solutions helps provide comprehensive back-office support for small and medium businesses (SMBs). These services help to streamline important operations such as HR, payroll, employment benefits, taxes, and more, which helps SMBs to cut costs and save money. Not to mention, Asure’s services can help SMBs be more effective in competing for top employee talent, as it allows SMBs to offer enticing employment benefits typically offered by larger businesses.
Furthermore, Asure has continued to build relationships with other firms to help bolster its services. Equifax (NYSE: EFX) and its Work Number services help clients quickly verify income and employment history. Asure has also linked up with PrismHR to boost its payroll tax management services and its FlexTax platform. This allows Asure to market its FlexTax platform to PrismHR’s 80,000 registered client base.
In recent months, Asure has worked closely with its CPA partners to help develop new technologies to help streamline the demand for Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) filings. This helps CPAs and back office workers to streamline the ERTC filing process and focus on higher-value client work instead.
Another major milestone for Asure was its recent expansion of 401(k) plan operations for SMBs. By adding 80+ retirement provider integrations, Asure provides SMBs with the tools to help attract higher-quality employees by offering more comprehensive retirement benefits. The added integrations are compatible with Asure’s payroll system, which helps to streamline enrollment, reduce dual entry and ensure compliance.
Throughout 2022, analysts covering Asure stood fast and did not succumb to downgrades. After following the company’s immaculate rebound during the second half of 2022, Asure’s analysts are stepping up their bullish outlook on the HR tech and payroll services company. Let’s take a deeper look into what analysts are saying about Asure:
ASUR: Breaking Down the Six Analysts Covering the Stock
As of the end of November 2022, the six analysts covering Asure Software have a collective rating of "strong buy" with an average 12-month price target of $11.00, which represents a potential upside of nearly 39% from its current price. The analysts covering Asure are very talented and maintain strong backgrounds. In fact, five of the six analysts have a rating of four stars or higher by TipRanks.com. Let's meet the individual analysts:
Richard Baldry: Roth Capital
Mr. Baldry is an experienced analyst at Roth Capital. Throughout his analyst career, Baldry has maintained a success rate of 66% (183 out of 278 ratings successful) with an average return per rating of 22.80%.
Mr. Baldry is the most bullish of the analysts covering Asure Software. Eight months ago, Mr. Baldry gave Asure a $16.00 price target and a “buy” rating. This implies a potential upside of over 101% from its current price.
Jeff Van Rhee: Craig-Hallum
Jeff Van Rhee is a five-star analyst based out of Craig-Hallum. Mr. Van Rhee has a success rate of 64%, as 83 ratings were proven to be successful out of 129 picks throughout his career. The average return per rating is an impressive 27.30%.
Mr. Van Rhee holds a $10.00 price target for Asure with a "buy" rating attached. This target implies a potential upside of nearly 26% from current prices.
Vincent Colicchio: Barrington
Vincent Colicchio is a five-star analyst working with Barrington. Over the course of his analyst career, Mr. Colicchio has maintained a rating success rate of 60% (207 successful ratings out of 344 total). Overall, the average return per rating during this time comes out to 11.60%.
Mr. Colicchio maintains a $12.00 price target on Asure with a "buy" rating. This implies a potential upside of nearly 51% from its current price.
Bryan Bergin: Cowen & Co.
Bryan Bergin is a four-and-a-half-star analyst working with Cowen & Co. Mr. Bergin holds a 58% success rating (109 successful ratings compared to 189 total). Furthermore, Mr. Bergin’s average return per rating is 9.80%.
Mr. Bergin holds the lowest price target on Asure at $8.00, which implies a potential upside of 0.63% from current levels. However, the analyst has reiterated his “buy” rating on the stock.
Eric Martinuzzi: Lake Street
Eric Martinuzzi is a four-star analyst out of Lake Street. For his career, Mr. Martinuzzi has had a success rate of 44% (76 successful ratings out of 174 total) and an average return per rating of 5.80%.
Mr. Martinuzzi holds an $11.00 price target on Asure and recently reiterated his "buy" rating on the stock. This implies a potential upside of over 38% from current levels.
Joshua Reilly: Needham
Joshua Reilly is a half-star analyst out of Needham. The youngest analyst of the bunch, Mr. Reilly has a success rating of 30% (22 successful ratings out of 74 total) and an average return per rating of -6.90%.
Mr. Reilly holds a “buy” rating on Asure with a price target of $14.00. This implies a potential upside of over 76% from its current price.
Overall, there is a lot to be bullish about on Asure Software. The company’s resilience in 2022 has been nothing short of impressive. With 2023 shaping up to be very similar to 2022 with economic uncertainty and volatility, Asure stands to potentially have a very good year in 2023. The proof is in the analysts covering the company and management's guidance outlook for the next year.
On a revenue guidance basis, Asure estimates total revenue coming in between $98 million and $102 million for the full-year 2023. For the full-year 2022, management sees total revenue between $90 million and $90.5 million on adjusted EBITDA between $10.5 million and $11 million. This implies a revenue growth range between 9-13% year-over-year for 2023, as margins are expected to increase between 14% and 16%.
No matter the economic environment, SMBs will always look for ways to help streamline back-office operations and cut costs. With high inflation and economic uncertainty, the need for SMBs to cut costs and streamline becomes a necessity. This is why Asure Software could stand to potentially benefit in the year ahead and beyond.
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