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(Reuters) – Oracle Corp on Monday forecast current-quarter profit above estimates after growth in its cloud services and license support unit helped the business software maker surpass Wall Street expectations for the second quarter.
FILE PHOTO: People gather prior to the start of a keynote speech at the All Things Oracle OpenWorld Summit in San Francisco, California September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jana Asenbrennerova/File Photo
Shares rose 5 percent, with the company saying that excluding fluctuations in exchange rates, it expected third-quarter adjusted profit to be between 86 cents and 88 cents per share.
Analysts on average were expecting 84 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Revenue at its cloud services and license support unit, its biggest, rose 2.7 percent to $ 6.64 billion and beat analysts’ estimate, as more companies shifted to cloud computing from the traditional on-premise database model to cut costs.
Oracle’s in June created a new revenue reporting structure that merged its cloud and software license businesses, which analysts have said gives little insight into the standalone performance of its cloud unit.
Oracle is a late entrant to the rapidly growing cloud-based software business, but has aggressively stepped up its efforts to catch up with rivals such as Workday Inc, Microsoft Corp and Salesforce.com Inc.
“Oracle’s growth in cloud services and license support of just 3 percent appears to be contradicting the strength in the overall cloud market,” said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager of Synovus Trust Co, which hold 152,500 shares in the company.
Last month, Workday reported a 35 percent jump in cloud subscription revenue, while Salesforce’s flagship product Sales Cloud grew 11 percent.
“Oracle is still dragging behind other old line enterprise software players like Microsoft in its transition to becoming a top cloud company,” said Morgan, whose firm also hold shares in Salesforce and Microsoft Corp.
The company’s net income rose to $ 2.33 billion, or 61 cents per share, in the second quarter ended Nov. 30. Excluding items, the company earned 80 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 78 cents.
Total revenue fell marginally to $ 9.56 billion, but brushed past analyst expectation of $ 9.52 billion.
Shares of the company were up at $ 48 in after-market trading.
Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur
Its iPhone sales grew by 20% in the quarter, while services revenue increased to $ 9.6bn.
Apple said revenue in its wearables product line, which includes the Apple Watch, Air Pods and Beats, had grown to $ 10bn over the past four quarters.
The company said Apple Pay was now available in 24 markets, supported by 4,900 bank partners, while its services segment, which includes digital content and services, AppleCare, Apple Pay, licensing and other services, reported revenue of $ 9.6bn, up 31% compared with the third quarter of 2017.
In a transcript of the earnings call posted on the Seeking Alpha financial blogging site, Cook claimed that the Apple App Store for IoS apps was more profitable for app developers than Google’s Android Play store. The Apple App Store, which launched a decade ago with the company’s first iPhone, has earned developers $ 100bn, he claimed.
When asked about how frequently existing customers were replacing their iPhones, especially given that cheap iPhone batteries are now readily available, Cook admitted some replacement cycles were lengthening.
“The major catalyst for that was probably the subsidy plans becoming a much smaller percentage of total sales around the world than they were at one time, so some are lengthening. But I think for us, the thing that we always have to do is come out with a really great innovative product, and I think iPhone X shows that when you deliver a great innovative product, there are enough people who would like that and it can be a really good business, so that’s how to look at that.”
Development efforts to enhance user experience
One of the areas Cook discussed during the earnings call was how Apple was working to make application development on MacOS more closely aligned with iOS, to stimulate application compatibility and support a similar user experience across Macs, iPads and iPhones.
“We want to empower our developers to bring their innovative apps from the iOS ecosystem to the Mac with minimal effort,” he said. “Though iOS and MacOS are different, they’ve shared common foundations from the very beginning, so we’ve taken key frameworks from iOS and adapted them to specific Mac behaviours like using a mouse or trackpad, resizing windows, copy and paste, and drag and drop.”
Cook also highlighted some of Apple’s development efforts to speed up the coding of machine learning (ML) and augmented reality (AR) applications.
“Developers will be able to build even more intelligent apps with just a few lines of code using the power of machine learning with Core ML 2 and Create ML,” he said.
Cook also introduced the third release of its ARKit augmented reality coding framework.
“We believe AR can enable profound experiences. With ARKit 2, iOS 12 will provide an even more powerful platform to make dynamic AR apps, integrating shared and persistent AR experiences, object detection and image tracking,” he said.
Cook claimed Apple was unlikely to be affected by the US trade tariffs on steel and aluminium being put in place by the Trump administration and the risk of a trade war, but he said the company was assessing the potential impact of another proposed tariff.
“The fourth tariff, which includes goods valued at $ 200bn, also focuses on goods that are imported from China. We’re evaluating that one. It’s a tedious process, because you not only have to analyse the revenue products, but you also have to analyse the purchases you’re making through other companies that are not related to revenue,” he said.
Losing market share to Huawei
Although Apple posted a record quarter, analyst Canalys said Apple had dropped to third place in terms of market share. The second largest smartphone maker is now Huawei, while Samsung is the market leader.
Mo Jia, a Canalys analyst based in Shanghai, said Huawei’s strategy had evolved significantly over the past six months. It shipped seven million of its latest flagship products – the P20 and P20 Pro.
“Huawei has accelerated its adoption of new technologies this year, focusing on AI [artificial intelligence] with its NPU chipsets and on imaging with its triple-camera setup,” said Jia. “Its efforts have paid off. The P20 and P20 Pro sold faster than their predecessors in their launch quarter. Outside of China, the P20 and P20 Pro more than doubled the shipments of the P10 and P10 Plus.”
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Sharp Corp scrapped a plan to issue up to $ 2 billion in new shares, changing its mind in a matter of weeks after the initial announcement prompted investors to dump its shares on fears of earnings per share dilution.
In a statement on Friday, Sharp cited worries about trade frictions between the United States and China. “Due to increasing market uncertainties, the company decided that carrying on with the plan to issue new shares would not yield maximum benefit for shareholders,” it said.
Sharp shares rose 17 percent by early afternoon as investors cheered the about-face. The plans to issue new shares, announced on June 5, had sparked a sell-off on the market as they would have eroded Sharp’s earnings per share by about 20 percent.
“The shares fell after the announcement, so they decided to quit. It’s that simple,” said Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan.
“To announce a new share issue, and then say ‘we changed our mind’ because the shares fell… that’s not common but not unprecedented.”
Sharp had previously said it would use funds from the new shares to buy back preferred shares that were issued to banks in return for a financial bailout in 2015. The plan was finalised just a week ago.
The company had tried to persuade investors that the issuance would benefit them in the long run, saying dilution would be more if the preferred shares were converted into regular stock.
Sharp’s shares sank 21 percent since the June 5 announcement until Friday’s open, compared with a 1 percent fall in the broader Tokyo stock market over the same period.
The company said it would continue to discuss with the banks to dissolve the preferred shares.
Sharp has been showing signs of recovery under Taiwan’s Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract manufacturer which is formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd.
It recently posted its first annual net profit in four years, helped in large part by cost cuts but also by Foxconn’s sales network in China. It has also said it will buy Toshiba Corp’s personal computer business for $ 36 million.
Some analysts said the Osaka-based electronics maker had become more decisive and responsive to shareholders since it was taken over by Foxconn two years ago.
“My impression is that Sharp has really changed as a company,” said Hajime Nakajima, chief strategist at investment advisory firm AsLink, adding the management’s decision on the matter was a speedy one.
Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Additional reporting by Chang-Ran Kim, Shinichi Saoshiro and Yoshiyuki Osada; Writing by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Richard Pullin and Muralikumar Anantharaman
FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) – Germany’s SAP (SAPG.DE) announced upbeat results in the seasonally tough first quarter, saying it was gaining ground on its main competitors Salesforce (CRM.N) and Oracle (ORCL.N) in the cloud and that its margin recovery was firmly on track.
SAP, Europe’s largest tech company by stock market valuation, also raised its sales and profits guidance for 2018 to take into account the $ 2.4 billion acquisition of U.S. sales software firm Callidus that was announced in January.
“We’re gaining share fast and we’re outpacing our toughest competitors pretty handily,” Chief Executive Bill McDermott told reporters on a conference call, calling the results strong at the top and bottom line.
SAP now expects total non-IFRS revenues at constant currencies this year of 24.8-25.3 billion euros ($ 30.28-$ 30.89 billion), representing growth of 5.5-7.5 percent, up from an earlier expectation of 5-7 percent growth.
Non-IFRS operating profits rose 14 percent in constant currency to 1.235 billion euros, compared to the average forecast of 1.19 billion euros in a Reuters poll of 15 analysts.
Cloud subscription and support revenues, SAP’s growth driver, grew by 18 percent to exceed 1 billion euros for the first time. At constant currencies they rose 31 percent, to which McDermott said: “Wow.”
Cloud growth accelerated outside the United States and grew faster than any of SAP’s major rivals, including Oracle, Salesforce and Workday (WDAY.O), he added SAP has faced currency headwinds due to the strong euro, and both the company and analysts focus on key metrics after adjustment for currency effects to get an underlying picture of performance.
Had SAP reported in U.S. dollars, like its competitors, the growth numbers would have turned out even better, said Chief Financial Officer Luca Mucic. Cloud subscriptions, for example, would have shown year-over-year growth in the first quarter of 37 percent in U.S. dollar terms, he said.
“We grew faster than every ‘best-of-breed’ cloud (competitor) out there,” McDermott said. “Faster than Workday, a lot faster than Salesforce, and a lot faster than Oracle.”
Mucic said that an expansion of 1.1 percentage points in operating margins in the first quarter boded well for SAP after a strong showing in the same quarter a year ago.
($ 1 = 0.8191 euros)
Reporting by Douglas Busvine and Eric Auchard; Editing by Tom Sims
(Reuters) – Switch Inc (SWCH.N) raised about $ 531.3 million from its initial public offering which was priced at $ 17 per share, making the data-center operator the second-largest U.S. technology listing this year.
The 31.3 million Class A share offering was priced above the proposed $ 14 to $ 16 per share range, giving it a market value of as much as $ 4.2 billion.
Switch Inc, which was incorporated in June for the purpose of issuing the Class A shares in this offering, intends to use the proceeds to buy out investors in Switch Ltd and take control of it as a holding company.
Las Vegas-based Switch Inc, whose major customers include Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), eBay (EBAY.O) and PayPal Inc (PYPL.O), helps enterprises manage data by renting out its cloud service infrastructures on a contractual basis.
The company, which also operates data centers in Michigan and Reno, Nevada, posted net income of $ 35.3 million for the six months ended June 30, flat compared with the year-ago period.
Goldman Sachs & Co, J.P.Morgan, BMO Capital Markets, Wells Fargo Securities were among top underwriters to the offering.
Reporting by Nikhil Subba and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft
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