Keysight Technologies Inc. KEYS delivered third-quarter fiscal 2019 non-GAAP earnings of $1.25 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.02. Further, the figure rose from 89 cents reported in the year-ago quarter and management’s guidance of 97 cents to $1.05 per share.
Non-GAAP revenues increased 8% year over year to $1.088 billion, surpassing the management’s guided range of $1.02-$1.06 billion. Non-GAAP core revenues (excluding the impact of currency and revenues from acquisitions concluded within the last 12 months) increased 9% year over year.
Meanwhile, GAAP revenues advanced 8% from the year-ago quarter to $1.087 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues was $1.045 billion.
Management is optimistic about capitalizing on key growth segments in several end markets. The company’s focus on launching solutions for growth markets like 5G, IoT, next-generation wireless, high-speed datacenters and automotive & energy is a key catalyst.
Coming to price performance, shares of the company were up more than 7% in after-hours trading. This can primarily be attributed to robust third-quarter results. Notably, Keysight’s stock has returned 41.6% in the past year, outperforming the industry’s growth of 16.5%.
In a bid to clear up ambiguities in the reporting process, Keysight removed the Services Solutions Group (SSG) as a distinct reportable segment starting first-quarter fiscal 2019.
The financial reporting is now realigned into three segments — Ixia Solutions Group (ISG), Electronic Industrial Solutions Group (EISG) and Communications Solutions Group (CSG).
Keysight restructured reporting segments as part of its go-to-market plan. Notably, SSG revenues are reflected in CSG and EISG, adjusted according to the respective services delivery.
The company has provided previously-reported figures, adjusted accordingly to streamline comparison.
Quarter in Detail
Orders grew 10% year over year to approximately $1 billion during the reported quarter. Notably, core orders also improved 10%.
CSG includes commercial communications (CC) and aerospace, defense & government (ADG) end markets. Non-GAAP CSG revenues climbed 13% to $683 million.
CC revenues of $440 million improved year over year on the back of “double-digit” growth in orders, driven by research and development (R&D) solutions related to technologies like 5G, 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), and LTE-Advanced and Wi-Fi testing.
ADG revenues increased 2% year over year to $2435 million. Higher spending across the United States was partially offset by weakness in international end markets.
Keysight stated that orders for 5G solutions recorded double-digit growth year over year in the quarter under review. The acquisition of Ixia, in particular, is enabling the company to unveil new offerings in the 5G domain, including the latest 5G User Equipment Emulation scalable solution.
In fact, Keysight has a robust 5G portfolio, comprising a comprehensive set of test and design solutions enabling telecom companies to accelerate 5G deployment.
Non-GAAP EISG revenues increased 3% to $295 million, primarily owing to strength in automotive, general electronics and next-generation parametric tests.
In the reported quarter, the company witnessed robust R&D investments in autonomous driving, electric and hybrid electric vehicles, and connectivity.
ISG reported non-GAAP revenues of $110 million, down 7% year over year, primarily due to weakness in the network test market. This was partially offset by higher adoption of network visibility solutions.
Region-wise, non-GAAP revenues from Americas advanced 10% from the year-ago quarter to $444 million (41% of total revenues). Non-GAAP revenues from Asia-Pacific rose 11% on a year-over-year basis to $462 million (42%). However, non-GAAP revenues from Europe declined 3% on a year-over-year basis to $182 million (17%).
Non-GAAP gross margin was 63% during the quarter. CSG and EISG’s gross margin of 62.8% and 61.53% expanded 470 bps and 60 bps, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. Meanwhile, ISG gross margin contracted 320 bps to 72.3%.
Non-GAAP operating margin expanded 500 bps on a year-over-year basis to 25.2%.
Balance Sheet & Cash Flow
Keysight ended the reported quarter with cash & cash equivalents of $1.394 billion, up from the previous quarter’s $1.277 billion.
As on Jul 31, 2019, the company reported total debt (short-term plus long-term) of $1.79 billion, flat sequentially.
Cash flow from operations during the quarter came in at $274 million compared with the previous quarter’s $221 million.
Free cash flow was $244 million compared with the previous quarter’s $192 million.
During the reported quarter, the company repurchased approximately 760,000 shares for $60 million.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, the company expects GAAP revenues to be $1.078-$1.098 billion. Meanwhile, non-GAAP revenues are expected to be $1.08-$1.1 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $1.07 billion.
Non-GAAP earnings per share are projected to be $1.14-$1.2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at $1.06.
For the fiscal, non-GAAP revenues are expected to grow 9-10%.
Non-GAAP earnings per share are projected to be $1.14-$1.2.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Keysight carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are Fortinet, Inc. FTNT, Chegg CHGG and Anixter International AXE. All three stocks flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Long-term earnings growth rate for Fortinet, Chegg and Anixter is currently pegged at 15.5%, 30% and 8%, respectively.
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