Last night, VMware (VMW) reported Q4 results that beat analysts’ estimates. However, it issued Q1 and FY13 revenue guidance that trailed expectations. Q1 revenue was forecast at $1.17B-$1.19B, versus consensus $1.25B, while FY13 revenue was seen by the company at $5.23B-$5.35B, well shy of the $5.42B estimate. 2013 license revenue was guided up 8%-11%. The company also announced a restructuring effort that included the elimination of 900 jobs and exiting certain lines of business. The effort is expected to be completed by the end of 2013, and the total charges from the plan were forecast at $90M-$100M, with the majority seen taken in Q1. Sentiment on the Street has been decidedly negative, with at least nine firms either downgrading the stock or lowering their target prices. However, analyst Shaul Eyal at research firm Oppenheimer came to the company’s defense, saying VMware trades only slightly higher than its competitors’ multiples and that it is leveraged to strong secular drivers. The firm said it would be a buyer on any weakness. In early afternoon trading, shares of VMware are down sharply, falling approximately 20% on significantly higher than average volume to $78.27.
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