Software Stocks' Earnings on Oct 24: FFIV, CTXS & MSFT
The third-quarter earnings season has already seen releases from 84 S&P 500 members as of Oct 19. Per the latest Earnings Preview, total earnings of these members increased 19.2% from the same period last year on 8.4% higher revenues, with 82.1% beating EPS estimates and 61.9% beating revenue estimates.
Further, the report suggests that third-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are projected to improve 19.2% year over year on 7.2% revenue increase.
The technology sector, which software stocks are part of, appears to be on a strong footing. For the sector, earnings are expected to improve 15% year over year while revenues are likely to rise 11.4%. Notably, it is one of the 10 sectors projected to report double-digit earnings growth in the quarter to be reported.
Factors Benefiting Software Growth
Coming to software, the industry is benefiting from continued strong digital transformation demand environment. Software has become the focal point of technological innovation. A series of breakthroughs in cloud computing, predictive analysis, artificial intelligence (AI), self-driving vehicles, digital personal assistants and Internet of Things (IoT) have set the stage for strong growth in the software industry.
Moreover, continued enterprise investment in big data and analytics along with the ongoing adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) presents significant growth opportunity for industry players.
SaaS companies are anticipated to register strong top-line growth due to a higher percentage of recurring revenues.
However, this does not ensure earnings beat for all companies in the space. It should be noted that a company’s earnings outperformance is dependent on the overall business environment as well as management’s ability to implement operating and strategic plans.
Let’s see what’s in store for the following three software stocks slated to report on Oct 24.
F5 Networks, Inc. FFIV is likely to beat fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 expectations as it has a favorable combination of a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +0.76%.
According to the Zacks model, a company with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) has a good chance of beating estimates if it also has a positive Earnings ESP. Stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) or 5 (Strong Sell) are best avoided.
The results are expected to benefit from growth in its software solutions and services, including its recently launched BIG-IP Cloud Edition. (Read more: F5 Networks to Post Q4 Earnings: What's in the Cards?)
Notably, the company’s results surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, delivering an average positive earnings surprise of 6.61%.
F5 Networks, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
F5 Networks, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | F5 Networks, Inc. Quote
Citrix Systems CTXS also has a favorable combination of a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +0.48%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
The company’s third-quarter 2018 results are expected to benefit from impressive growth in subscription-based services segment. (Read More: Is a Beat in Store for Citrix Systems in Q3 Earnings?)
Notably, Citrix surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, with an average positive earnings surprise of 12.65%.
Citrix Systems, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
Citrix Systems, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | Citrix Systems, Inc. Quote
However, Microsoft’s MSFT has an unfavorable combination of Zacks Rank #2 and an Earnings ESP of -0.08%.
Nevertheless, robust adoption of Azure, remains a key catalyst. The company is incorporating AI capabilities in its Office 365 solutions, which are expected to boost engagement, consequently bolstering adoption. (Read more: Microsoft's (MSFT) Q1 Earnings to Benefit from Azure Growth)
Notably, Microsoft has a positive record of earnings surprises in the trailing four quarters, with an average surprise of 11.42%.
Microsoft Corporation Price and EPS Surprise
Microsoft Corporation Price and EPS Surprise | Microsoft Corporation Quote
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
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