What’s going on at SciQuest (Nasdaq: SQI)? it’s stock plunged 12 percent to under $15 a share Friday after the company’s latest earning report was released on Friday. 

Its top executive, Stephen Wiehe, cited “elephant hunting” for big sales as a reason for “lumpy” results in the second quarter for the Triangle-based provider of e-procurement technology and services.

In the third quarter, the chairman and CE complained to analysts about “a sales execution issue.”

Wieher opened up about the sales issue in a conference call Thursday to discuss those latest earnings.

“Similar to what we experienced in the first quarter, however, a large number — a number of large suite deals were delayed in the third quarter, causing bookings to fall below expectations,” Wiehe said in his prepared remarks.

A call participant identified as Matthew Pfau then asked Wieher about the issue as the Q&A portion of the call began.

Matthew Pfau

“First, on the delayed deals in the quarter. Can you talk about how these deals — what sort of factors impact these delays compared to the ones you had earlier in the year?”

Wiehe’s response:

“I would say it’s consistent or similar to what we saw in the first quarter. There were a couple of fairly large deals. We had a large state deal. We had several large higher-ed deals that pushed beyond the end of the quarter. We’re still confident that they’ll close in fourth quarter. It’s not a competitive problem. It’s — as I mentioned in my remarks, it was more of a sales execution issue, which we’re addressing.”

Matthew Pfau:

“Okay. And then what about the previously delayed deals? How have those been closing? Have the majority of them been closed yet? And if I remember correctly, there was a pretty large one that was pushed out as well. How has that one been progressing?”


“A majority of them has closed. The very large one was a European piece of business for us and that one continues to — it continues in the spin cycle. So we’ve been struggling with that one a little bit. But I think our perspective is we’ve been pleased with the pipeline and the growth, the opportunity. We’re just — we’ve been a little frustrated with the sales execution of driving some of these things over the line.”

SciQuest shares’ 52-week high is $32.69; its low is $13.33.

The full transcript of the call as provided by website SeekingAlpha can be read online.