Charleston software maker Blackbaud reports earnings, revenue

Blackbaud’s head office is on Daniel Island.

An acquisition helped boost fourth-quarter profits by about a third at Charleston software maker Blackbaud Inc.

The company said its net income rose 33 percent to $6.4 million compared to the same period a year earlier. That missed adjusted per-share earnings expectations by a penny, according to the average consensus of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue for the quarter climbed 15.1 percent to $175.9 million.

The company attributed the gains to growth in software subscriptions and to business it picked up from Smart Tuition, a N.J. technology firm it bought in October for $190 million.

Blackbaud CEO Mike Gianoni called the October-December performance “a strong finish” to 2015. “The company maintained its focus on efficiency and profitability resulting in strong margin expansion for the quarter and the full year,” he said in a statement.

Previous acquisitions of two other businesses, Whipple Hill and MicroEdge, helped boost sales for the full year. For all of 2015, Blackbaud’s revenue rose 13 percent to $637.9 million.

Net income through Dec. 31 declined 9 percent to $25.6 million, mainly because of acquisition-related costs and stock-option expenses.

Daniel Island-based Blackbaud is the world’s largest provider of software and services designed for the nonprofit industry. It has 35,000 customers in more than 60 countries, including private schools, colleges, foundations and other charitable groups.

Tony Boor, chief financial officer, said the company posted gains in key categories last year even as it began investing money to shift some key products to a cloud-based platform.

“While many technology companies lack revenue and margin growth during a cloud-transition period, Blackbaud posted solid results on both fronts in 2015,” Boor said.

Sign up for our new business newsletter

We're starting a weekly newsletter about the business stories that are shaping Charleston and South Carolina. Get ahead with us - it's free.

Looking to the rest of this year, Blackbaud said it expects annual revenue of $725 million to $740 million, a 15 percent gain. Earnings were projected at $1.90 to $1.98 a share, a roughly 29 percent increase.

The firm said its board approved a quarterly dividend of 12 cents a share, payable March 15 to stockholders of record Feb. 26.

John McDermott of The Post and Courier contributed.