VMware’s Quarterly Sales That Exceed Analysts’ Estimates

VMware Inc., the biggest maker of software that lets computers run different operating systems, said second-quarter sales rose 17 percent as customers renewed multiyear agreements and added new programs to them.

Sales climbed to $1.46 billion from $1.24 billion a year earlier, VMware said in a statement yesterday. Profit excluding certain items was 81 cents a share. Analysts had projected profit of 79 cents and sales of $1.44 billion, according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“Ultimately, I think VMware is in a great situation,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets & Co., before the results were announced. “It’s about a good second quarter, a healthy outlook for the second half and investors buying into the growth story for 2015.”

VMware customers are re-signing multiyear deals for virtualization software that can help them trim corporate network costs and at the same time are adding on VMware’s tools for managing those setups, said Abhey Lamba, an analyst at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. with a buy rating on the stock, in a note. Palo Alto, California-based VMware is majority-owned by EMC Corp.

Net income fell 32 percent to $167 million, or 38 cents a share, from $245 million, or 57 cents, a year earlier, the company said.

The shares of VMware declined 1.6 percent to $94.52 at the close in New York, leaving them up 5.4 percent this year.

Going Forward

VMware forecast third-quarter sales of $1.48 billion to $1.52 billion, in line with analysts’ average estimate of $1.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company anticipates total 2014 revenue of $5.96 billion to $6.08 billion, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $6.03 billion.

The company said that excluding certain costs, operating margin will be 29 percent, the same as in the second quarter. That’s down from 31 percent in the first quarter and 35.6 percent in the last quarter of 2013. VMware forecast 2014 operating margin of 31 percent.

“The overall strength of our forecast and what we’re seeing is the opportunity to continue to grow the company throughout the rest of 2014,” Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Chadwick said in an interview.

Potential Spinoff?

Elliott Management Corp., an activist hedge fund based in New York, recently amassed a more than $1 billion stake in EMC and is pushing the world’s biggest storage computer maker to spin off VMware.

Elliott has held talks for several months with potential buyers of EMC without the VMware piece, a person with knowledge of Elliott’s campaign has said. EMC would be an attractive acquisition target for technology giants including Oracle Corp., International Business Machines Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., or Hewlett-Packard Co., the person has said.

In the event of a spinoff, VMware will not change too much, said Ives.

“VMware is really run like its own company,” he said. “The bark would be worse than the bite in how that would change the business, the inner-workings.”

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