Qlik Technologies thinks IPO would be intelligent move

Four years after Qlik Technologies Inc. moved to the Philadelphia area from Sweden, the software company hopes to jump through an IPO window that appears to be half-open.

The Radnor-based company has filed a preliminary prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission that seeks to raise a maximum of $100 million through an initial public offering.

The document doesn’t provide a price range or the number of shares to be issued by the company or its selling stockholders. The company intends to use $6.9 million of the proceeds to repay debt.

Only one other local firm currently has a pending IPO. That’s Tengion Inc., an East Norriton life-sciences company developing replacement human organs that hopes to sell 4.44 million shares at between $8 and $10 per share.

But according to Renaissance Capital, the first quarter of 2010 was the second-best quarter for IPOs globally since the end of 2007.

So along comes Qlik Technologies, a fast-growing player in the business-intelligence software market, which International Data Corp. estimates will grow to $8.6 billion this year.

Such software gathers data generated by the departments within a business to help managers model the effects of various changes to their operations or their markets and make better decisions.

Once a niche product, business intelligence became the object of great interest by some of the world’s biggest tech companies in 2007.

IBM spent $5 billion on Cognos Inc., a Canadian company that had $979 million in annual revenue the year before its acquisition. SAP AG bought Business Objects S.A. for $7 billion. Oracle Corp. swallowed Hyperion Solutions Corp. for $3.3 billion.

Qlik Technologies wouldn’t disclose its sales in 2006, when it relocated its global headquarters from Lund, Sweden, to Radnor. Thanks to its recent SEC filing, we now know that revenues for its QlikView product were $44.3 million that year, and it was unprofitable.

Business has popped since then. Qlik’s revenue rose to $157.4 million in 2009 from $118.3 million the previous year. Net income increased 130 percent to $6.9 million, or 6 cents per share, last year from $3.0 million, or 1 cent per share, in 2008.