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Why Is Arista Networks (ANET) Down 16.8% Since Last Earnings Report?

Zacks Equity Research

A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Arista Networks (ANET). Shares have lost about 16.8% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Arista Networks due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Arista Tops Q2 Earnings Estimates on Product Strength

Arista reported solid second-quarter 2019 results, wherein both the bottom line and the top line surpassed the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate, and increased year over year. The strong quarterly performance reflected the underlying strength of the resilient business model and diligent execution of operational plans.

Net Income

On a GAAP basis, net income improved to $189.2 million or $2.33 per share from net loss of $155.2 million or loss of $2.08 per share in the year-ago quarter primarily driven by top-line growth. The bottom line was also hampered by huge legal settlement costs to the tune of $405 million.

Quarterly non-GAAP net income came in at $198.6 million or $2.44 per share compared with $155.7 million or $1.93 per share in the year-ago quarter. The bottom line beat the consensus estimate by 22 cents.

Revenues

Quarterly total revenues increased 17% year over year to $608.3 million and were at the higher end of the company’s guidance of $600-$610 million, driven by healthy overall demand with strength across the business, particularly in cloud titans vertical. The top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $606 million.

Arista generated 73% of total revenues from the Americas and the balance 27% from international operations. Product revenues jumped to $513.2 million from $444.8 million while Service revenues rose to $95.2 million from $75.1 million on healthy renewal activities.

Other Quarterly Details

Non-GAAP gross profit improved to $393.8 million from $335.1 million for respective margins of 64.7% and 64.5%. The non-GAAP gross margin was above the mid-point of management’s guidance of 64-65%. This was reflective of healthy enterprise and service contributions combined with a continued focus on cost optimization.

Non-GAAP operating income came in at $235.1 million compared with $191.2 million a year ago. Non-GAAP operating margin improved to 38.7% from 36.8%.

Cash Flow and Liquidity

Arista generated $366.5 million of cash from operating activities in the first six months of 2019 compared with $326.1 million in the year-ago period. As of Jun 30, 2019, the cloud networking company had $944.4 million of cash and cash equivalents with $229.9 million of non-current deferred revenue balance. During the quarter, the company repurchased $100 million worth shares at a weighted average price of $246 per share.

Outlook

Arista is well positioned with its key cloud customers and is focused on expanding presence across all the verticals. For third-quarter 2019, the company projects revenues in the range of $647-$657 million. It anticipates non-GAAP gross margin of 63-65% and non-GAAP operating margin of approximately 36%.

Moving Forward

Apart from driving cloud area networking, Arista boasts the number one market position in 100-gigabit Ethernet switching share in port for the high-speed datacenter segment. The company aims to sustain profitable revenue growth and healthy cash generation in 2019 and beyond on the back of industry-leading product offerings.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in fresh estimates.

VGM Scores

Currently, Arista Networks has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with a C. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Arista Networks has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.



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