OpenTable Fills CFO Role Just as Stock Drops on Revenue Miss

OpenTable has hired a new CFO — perhaps just in time to stop the stock’s free fall — to correct its course after narrowly missing revenue expectations in the second quarter.

The online restaurant reservations company said today it has appointed Duncan Robertson to the position of CFO. Robertson previously co-founded and served as CFO of SnapStick, a mobile app company. Prior to that, he was CFO of Aricent, a technology services company.

Three months ago, the company surprised Wall Street when its CFO Matthew Roberts was promoted to president and CEO and said Jeff Jordan, the president and CEO, would transition to executive chairman.

Jordan has since taken a job at Andreessen Horowitz, the large Silicon Valley VC firm.

When Jordan’s departure was announced, OpenTable’s stock fell $17 to $96. Today, the company’s stock continued spiraling downward, slipping another 9.5 percent, or $6.51 a share, to stop at $68.90 a share in after-hours trading.

OpenTable reported second-quarter revenues of $34.3 million, a 53 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. It was that figure that narrowly missed analyst expectations of $35.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company’s quarterly profits totaled $6.3 million, or 26 cents a share, up from $2.6 million or 11 cents a share in the second quarter 2010.

Despite executives playing musical chairs, Citi’s Internet Research Managing Director Mark Mahaney wrote in a note to investors that the company reported an “intrinsically robust” second quarter, and that revenues were only modestly below his estimates, whereas adjusted earnings per share of 33 cents beat expectations.

Other positive results:

  • Its base of restaurants increased 27 percent to 15,560 year over year and diners seated totaled 22.2 million, a 47 percent increase in North America.
  • Internationally, it saw even stronger growth, with its installed base of restaurants growing by 276 percent and seated diners up 249 percent year over year.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work