Super quick: Hexagon preannounces because of data breach

Jan 23, 2023 | Hot Topics

Almost every earnings season, someone asks why companies preannounce, and I reply that it’s usually to make sure no ethics violations can occur. Earnings info is usually considered market-moving so if a hint escapes and someone buys or sells shares based on that information before the market, in general, knows it, that’s a bad thing. The concern used to be people-based (“I said WHAT at that dinner party, oh no”) but today it’s also an IT security concern.

This morning, Hexagon announced some of its results because of an “isolated event concerning unauthorised access of one specific email account that contained information related to Hexagon’s Q4 2022 results … A swift investigation confirmed no impact to Hexagon’s internal networks or operations, nor was any evidence found that confidential information was taken. The incident has been fully resolved.”

CEO Paolo Guglielmini added, “Hexagon takes privacy and security seriously and we felt it prudent to report a summary of our fourth quarter numbers as soon as possible. Hexagon had a strong finish to 2022, moving into the new year with good momentum. I look forward to discussing the results in more detail on 24 January”.

The company had planned on a release next week; now, the reports and briefings will be tomorrow.

As for Q4, Hexagon said,

  • Total revenue was up 15% as reported to €1,403 million, and up 8% organically
  • Geospatial Enterprise Solutions (GES) revenue was €662 million, up 5% on an organic basis, “led by a strong development in Autonomy & Positioning ([presumably up] 15 per cent) and a stable trend in both Geosystems (4 per cent) and Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial (3 per cent).
  • Industrial Enterprise Solutions (IES) revenue was €741 million, “reflecting organic growth of 12 per cent, with both Manufacturing Intelligence (13 per cent) and Asset Lifecycle Intelligence (8 per cent) contributing strongly.
  • “All regions saw healthy organic growth development with EMEA: [up] 11 per cent, Americas: [up] 7 per cent and Asia: [up] 7 per cent.” [presumably on a constant currency basis, though the release doesn’t say this]
  • The company added this important “Note: the fourth quarter 2022 summary has not been reviewed by the Company’s auditors” [italics are mine]

More details tomorrow. But you can see from that last bit in italics just how rushed this is — auditors, report writers, and others are likely working frantically to certify these results, prep the investor presentation, and get ready for tomorrow. Probably not how a new CEO wants to approach his first earnings season.

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