Jamf Holding, one of two Minnesota companies to go public in an IPO last year, recently delivered another quarter of 35%-plus growth in recurring revenue. And executives expressed a sunny outlook for the rest of 2021.
The Minneapolis-based company helps large and small businesses manage the Apple computers, iPhones and other devices they provide to employees to get work done. For years, Windows PCs dominated the enterprise market.
But as the era of mobile gadgets began to take off with the original iPhone in 2008, Apple products have steadily made inroads in corporate settings. And in recent months, Apple has rolled out its first Mac computers built around an efficient microprocessor it designed, called M1, that has fueled a new surge in sales, including in businesses.
Jamf should earn around $30 million, or 25 cents a share this year, on revenue of nearly $340 million, according to analysts' consensus estimate on Yahoo! Finance.
And yet, while Jamf's its business is soaring, its stock price has fallen.
Jamf topped $50 per share after its IPO last July, when capital was starting to flow again and investors welcomed new listings. This year, its share price has been on a roller coaster, rising from around $30 at the start of the year to $40 in mid-February, then drifting lower. It fell below $30 again earlier this month and traded around that level last week.
"I do not spend time trying to explain stock price," the company's chief executive, Dean Hager, said last week. "I know our business and the value we create now for 50,000-plus customer organizations around the world."
The company's executives recently agreed to undertake its biggest acquisition, a $400 million deal to buy Wandera, a California-based provider of security technology to businesses.
"One of the things that we love about this acquisition is that Wandera's sales have been driven by the same market forces that have been driving our sales: the desire to connect, manage and protect devices with a mobile workforce in an Apple-first way," Hager told investors when the deal was announced on May 11. "Yet, we don't have any overlap in our solutions. They're incredibly complementary."
Some analysts expressed disappointment about the prospect that Jamf would need to borrow to pay for a portion of the deal.
But analyst David Hynes Jr. of Canaccord Genuity wrote in a note when the quarterly results and Wandera deal was announced, "What's not to like?" Hynes has a "buy" rating on Jamf with a share price target of $45.
"This is the fourth quarter now that Jamf has reported since its IPO, and [annual recurring revenue] growth has been 36%, 37%, 37% and 37%," Hynes wrote. He added, "It's pretty hard to poke holes in that kind of execution."
Also private-equity firm Vista Equity still owns most of Jamf's stock, which limits trading volume and liquidity.
"Whatever the case, those [two considerations] are generally short-term considerations," Hynes wrote. "What matters more in our view is that the macro picture is good."
Hager has led the company since 2015, a period of tremendous growth. He has benefited from the long-term performance of Jamf that was unlocked by the public offering. He has realized gains of $11.5 million on the sale of 400,000 shares so far this year. And, with hundreds of thousands of option shares remaining, he has every incentive to continue driving value for customers, employees and stockholders.
Jamf's sales to business and educational institutions are its two fastest-growing segments.
"What we do involves workflows and business processes," Hager said. "For example, many schools use Apple technology in their classrooms. If you've ever seen 25 kids with new devices, the teacher can lose control of that class quickly. Jamf provides a teacher profile on the iPad. That gives the teacher control. That's an education-business process."
Hager, 54, is an affable-but-intense CEO leading 1,300 employees.
Hager grew up in tiny Ormsby in southern Minnesota, and worked as a farmhand during the summer. He encountered his first Apple computer at nearby St. James High School. He was surprised when a teacher noticed his interest and told him he could make a living in software.
Hager went on to earn a degree in computer science and mathematics from St. Cloud State University and a master's in management from St. Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona. Before Jamf, Hager worked for IBM, Lawson Software and Kroll Ontrack.
Also a fit athlete, Hager has swum from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shore, a rough-water endurance workout of more than two miles. He also has been hit by cars twice while riding his bicycle.
He's still cycling.