The problem with exponential revenue growth is that it cannot continue forever, and that those who benefit from that growth (the company and its shareholders) are usually totally myopic about impending obstacles to that growth. Growth could be 42% one year, and -20% the next. And most internal and analyst projections are equally idiotically composed by plotting a trend on graph paper and extrapolating it into the future for 5 years. The current P/E ratio is quite high, considering the economic environment and the competition VMware is facing.
The catastrophic returns I was referring to were returns to shareholders, i.e. the stock price.
The revolving doors at VMware's upper management do not bode well, and neither does the heavy focus on PR releases, whoever might be behind them.
First of all, as I have said in numerous responses to your comments: I have no skin in this game since I do not now nor have I in the past owned any VMware stock.
Second: "Returns will continue to be catastrophically bad"? "Continue"? You're saying that a 42% increase in revenue during 2008 is a catastrophe? I realize that the P/E ratio is still high, but since it's likely that VMware will top 2.2bil in 2009, I'd say that catastophe applies more to Citrix than to VMware.
Overall, I admire how you've played this stock since you have steadfastly called for shorting it. I don't deny that there is still some room for shorting, but my sense of this stock is that even in the current downturn it will stay in the 16-30 range, with VERY little chance of it going below 10.
And if you're going to criticize VMware for how the stock has been manipulated, please omit all further references to VMware's "management" since that manipulation is being done by Tucci and EMC, not by the folks who actually work with, develop and sell it.
steelerman37, believe me, I'm well aware of the intended purpose for public companies.
Their purpose is to maximize returns to shareholders. My criticism of VMware and similar companies, I thought, was pretty easy to understand. VMware is (or may be) like Enron, not like Exxon Mobile. They are focused on bolstering the stock price in the near-term (nothing wrong with that) at the expense of the longer-term (something very wrong with that).
In the olden days, when the stock market was like the Wild West, the management and large shareholders at publicly traded companies brazenly manipulated stock prices by feeding false information to the public (often by 'tipping' a journalist/chump) in order to dump shares at inflated prices before bad news came out, or to aquire shares at a discount in anticipation of good news. But the funny thing is, it's still like that.
And VMware shows all the classic signs of a con job. The bubble has popped. Returns will continue to be catastrophically bad.
P.S. As far as what VMware should have done, that's putting the cart before the horse. I'm shorting VMW because VMware is a bad company. Why worry about how to turn lead into gold when you can just sell the lead and buy the gold? The only thing VMware could have done right would have been to cash out while expectations for them were high. Oh wait, they did... to you.
One can only hope that that's their motive, but it's still a move the burdon of suffering on employees suffer just as layoffs would be, and while upper management perks remain untouched, it's bound to be viewed that way.
First of all, please tell me one company who's management isn't making moves and creating strategy to bolster that company's stock price. I've always assumed that a company's management has one boss: Stockholders. As a result, you're saying that you don't trust a company who does exactly what it is supposed to do?
Secondly, if you read the most recent transcript of the analyst call, you'll see that they have indeed cut a rather large amount of cost without having to lay people off by rescinding the company's 401k match. What that says to me is that, like every other ISV out there (except for probably Microsoft), they believe that R&D is central to their mission and need to hold onto their employees.
You have made it abundantly clear for time immemorium that you short VMW, don't like it, think it's a scam stock, etc., etc. However, could you please let me know what decisions their management should have made outside of the simpleton's assumption that laying people off is the best way to create a future for a company in hard economic times? (By the way, are you also critical of EMC for only laying off 2400 employees?)
Read the last artical on lightning in a bottle thats why no layoffs crushing competition. The reasons vmw is at these levels is the stock market not the business.This company is one of the best companys in the whole country.You can keep foolin yourself but when market turns this stock will move big.I wish my crystal ball would work but like my buddy bill said its the economy stupid.NOT VMW get it right.