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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Oracle Earnings Rebound to Second Best Ever!

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Oracle reported QE May 2017 financial results on June 21


Summary
    • Oracle reported an exceptional earnings beat of $0.89 EPS, a YoY increase of +10%.
    • Total revenues were a strong $10.89 billion, a YoY increase of +3%.
    • ORCL stock has been in an long-term uptrend and is about +33% YTD 2017 and +25% for the past 12 months.

Has Oracle Reversed the Financial Downtrend with Cloud Hyper-Growth?

Oracle (ORCL) earnings per share for the quarter ending May 31, 2017 were the second best ever. CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz reported a large surprise earnings beat with an exceptional quarter including a YoY increase in Non-GAAP earnings per share (+10%) and a YoY increase in revenues (+3%). The analysts had estimated -3.7% and -1.4% while the Oracle management outlook was -1.2% and +0.5%, respectively.

“Our fourth quarter results were very strong as revenue growth and earnings per share both substantially exceeded the high end of guidance. We continue to experience rapid adoption of the Oracle Cloud led by the 75% growth in our SaaS business in Q4. This cloud hyper-growth is expanding our operating margins, and we expect earnings per share growth to accelerate in fiscal 2018.”, said CFO Safra Catz.

I continue to consider ORCL a Hold and but now have a Positive outlook on Oracle’s future financial performance. This was a decisive reversal of the financial downtrend, but the QE May 2014 remains the financial pinnacle to be exceeded.

Earnings per Share

The Non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.89 was a beat over the $0.78 projected by analysts and was well above the prior four-quarter average of $0.69. This was the second highest earnings per share ever recorded.


What is the Oracle Management Guidance for next quarter?
Estimated QE August 2017 Earnings per Share (Non-GAAP):
  1. ORCL Average Estimate: $0.60
  2. Prior Year $0.55 = +9% YoY
  3. Prior Quarter $0.89 = -33% QoQ


Earnings per Share Year Over Year Growth Rate (%)

The Non-GAAP EPS was an impressive +9.88% increase year over year, from $0.81 to $0.89. This was the largest increase since the QE August 2013 (+11.32%)! Oracle management is projecting a year over year growth rate of +9.09% for next QE August 2017, which would be a slight slowing. This trend is still a vast improvement over the downtrend from the QE November 2014 through the QE November 2016.



Revenues

Total Non-GAAP Revenues were an encouraging, and annual cyclical peak, of $10.94 billion and a beat over the $10.45 billion projected by the analysts. Prior year QE May 2016 was $10.60 billion.



What is the Oracle Management Guidance for next quarter?
Estimated QE August 2017 Total Revenues (Non-GAAP):
  1. ORCL Average Estimate: $9.03B
  2. Prior Year $8.60B = +5% YoY
  3. Prior Quarter $10.89B = -17% QoQ


Conclusion

Financial Performance: Non-GAAP and GAAP financial performance had slowed from both a cyclical peak and a pinnacle for the QE May 2014. At that time, Non-GAAP EPS was $0.92 and total revenues were $11.33 billion. By comparison, this QE May 2017 was $0.89 and $10.89 billion. This latest quarter, and the management estimates for next quarter, indicate financial performance is improving.

Financial Position: Capital and working capital are adequate. Total assets of $135 billion is a record high. The current assets to total assets ratio is 53%, so there is liquidity. The total debt ratio, both short-term and long-term, is a very high at 43% of total assets and has been at this higher level for a couple of years.

Pivot to the Cloud: Co-CEO Safra Catz has clearly indicated that the cloud is the future for Oracle. She also stated in the Q3 2017 earnings call, “Next year I expect our cloud revenue will be larger than our new software licensing revenue. The investments we’ve made to transition our business to the cloud has been important to ensure Oracle remains a technology leader and we’re now beginning to see the benefits in our results.”

Earnings Returned to Shareholders: Oracle is paying a record-high dividend of $0.19. At a selected benchmark $50.00 stock price this is a 1.52% annualized yield. Oracle repurchased $494 million of common stock in the QE May 2017. These repurchases combined with the $787M dividends equal $1.281B earnings returned to shareholders.

Stock Price: ORCL stock has been in a long-term upward trend. ORCL has price support from the dividends paid, dividend yield, stock repurchases, and institutional buyers.

Stock Evaluation and Opinion: As an intermediate-term to long-term investor, and from that perspective, I continue to consider Oracle stock to be a Hold, compared to Buy or Sell. I am now Positive on Oracle stock, compared to previously being Neutral. Long-term will hopefully have better prospects, but that has not been completely proven yet. The quarters ending in May are the annual cyclical peaks for top line revenues and bottom line earning per share. The pinnacle of these financial performance indicators was reached for the QE May 2014 and has not been regained since.

(Graphs created by author using data from Oracle. Time frames generally are intermediate-term = 1-3 months and long-term = 3+ months for purposes of the above discussion.)

About Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), visit www.oracle.com or contact Investor Relations at investor_us@oracle.com or (650) 506-4073.


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Friday, June 23, 2017

Cisco Unveils Network of the Future That Can Learn, Adapt, Evolve

Designed to be intuitive, Cisco's new network can recognize intent, mitigate threats through encryption, and learn over time, unlocking opportunities and enhancing business agility


SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/20/17 -- Today Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) unveiled intent-based networking solutions that represent one of the most significant breakthroughs in enterprise networking. The introduction is the culmination of Cisco's vision to create an intuitive system that anticipates actions, stops security threats in their tracks, and continues to evolve and learn. It will help businesses to unlock new opportunities and solve previously unsolvable challenges in an era of increasing connectivity and distributed technology.

This new network is the result of years of research and development by Cisco to reinvent networking for an age where network engineers managing hundreds of devices today will be expected to manage 1 million by 2020.

"The network has never been more critical to business success, but it's also never been under more pressure," said Chuck Robbins, chief executive officer for Cisco. "By building a more intuitive network, we are creating an intelligent platform with unmatched security for today and for the future that propels businesses forward and creates new opportunities for people and organizations everywhere."

Read more at the Cisco website!


About Cisco Systems

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow's digital opportunity today. Discover more at thenetwork.cisco.com and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.

Amazing Adobe Earnings Beat Again

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Adobe reported QE May 2017 financial results on June 20


Summary
    • Adobe reported another earnings beat with an exceptional YoY increase in Non-GAAP earnings per share of +44%.
    • Total revenues were an all-time high of $1.77 billion which is a YoY increase of +27%.
    • ADBE stock has been in an extraordinary long-term uptrend and is about +37% YTD 2017 and +44% for the past 12 months.
    • I continue to consider ADBE a Buy and have a Positive outlook on Adobe’s future financial performance.

Earnings per Share

Adobe (ADBE) reported earnings for the quarter ending June 2, 2017 on Tuesday, June 20. CEO Shantanu Narayen reported another beat with a strong quarter including a YoY increase in Non-GAAP earnings per share (+44%) and a YoY increase in revenues (+27%). The analysts had estimated +34% and +24% while the Adobe management outlook was +32% and +24%, respectively.

“Adobe continues to execute well, with another quarter of record revenue and operating profit in Q2. We’re excited about the strong business momentum we have as we enter the second half of fiscal 2017 and remain confident in our ability to drive strong revenue and earnings growth in the future”, said CFO Mark Garrett.

The Non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.02 was a beat over the $0.95 projected by analysts and was well above the prior four-quarter average of $0.83. This is another all-time high. Non-GAAP earnings per share have been $1.02, $0.94, $0.90, $0.75 for the past four quarters, in reverse chronological order.


What is the Adobe Management Guidance for next quarter?
Estimated QE August 2017 Earnings per Share (Non-GAAP):
ADBE Estimate: $1.00
Prior Year $0.75 = +33% YoY
Prior Quarter $1.02 = -2% QoQ


Earnings per Share Year Over Year Growth Rate (%)

The Non-GAAP EPS was an impressive +44% increase year over year, from $0.71 to $1.02. The prior four-quarter average was also +44%. Adobe management is projecting a year over year growth rate of +33% for next quarter, which would be a slowing. However, Adobe has been beating the EPS estimates each quarter.


Revenues

Total revenues were a record $1.77 billion and a beat over the $1.73 billion projected. Revenues had previously averaged $1.54 billion for the prior four quarters reported.


What is the Adobe Management Guidance for next quarter?
Estimated QE August 2017 Total Revenues (GAAP & Non-GAAP):
ADBE Estimate: $1.815B
Prior Year $1.464B = +24% YoY
Prior Quarter $1.772B = +2% QoQ


Revenues by Segment

Quarterly revenues by segment are comprised of Digital Media (68%), Digital Marketing (29%), and Print and Publishing (3%). Adobe management continues their leadership in the digital transformation. CEO Shantanu Narayen stated in the most recent earnings call, “Digital transformation continues to be the burning agenda for creative professionals, enterprises, governments and educational institutions. Adobe is now the go-to company for creating world-class digital customer journeys from design to delivery to measurement and monetization.” As can be seen in the chart below, the Digital Media segment is driving the revenues, and earnings, upwards.


Revenues by Region

Quarterly revenues by region are comprised of the Americas (58%), Europe, Middle East, Africa (27%), and Asia Pacific (15%). As can be seen in the chart below, the Americas is driving the revenues, and earnings, upwards.


Return on Assets and Margins

Because Non-GAAP earnings are higher than GAAP earnings, the return on assets is also higher. For the QE May 2017, the annualized return on average assets was an improved +14.2% for Non-GAAP and +11.3% for GAAP. Both measures have been increasing as the overall profitability of Adobe has increased and reached new highs. For both Non-GAAP and GAAP, gross margin has remained relatively stable, with a slight improvement to 86%. Operating margins are 28% and 37% for GAAP and Non-GAAP, respectively. Net margins are now 21% and 29%, respectively. Both operating and net margins for both GAAP and Non-GAAP have improved overall in the long-term.

Conclusion

Financial Performance: Amazing Adobe continues to, well, amaze. Non-GAAP and GAAP financial performance has steadily increased and each quarter is a record quarter for total revenues and earnings per share.

Financial Position: Financial position is strong with a capital to assets ratio of 58%. Total assets of $13.4 billion are at a record high. Working capital of $3.0 billion is adequate. The current assets to total assets ratio is 45%, so there is liquidity. The total debt ratio, both short-term and long-term, is an acceptable 14% of total assets.

Dividends: Adobe does not pay dividends.

Stock Repurchases: Adobe repurchased $300 million of common stock in this most recent QE May 2017. The ongoing repurchases equal $1.2B for the past four quarters. The repurchases for the past four quarters have been $300M, $200M, $300M, $400M, in reverse chronological order.

Stock Price: ADBE stock has been in an exceptionally long-term upward trend. ADBE does have price support from stock repurchases and institutional buyers. The stock beta is a low 1.03, so this stock is steady and there normally is not much excess volatility

Stock Evaluation and Opinion: As an intermediate-term to long-term investor, and from that perspective, I consider Adobe stock to be a Buy, compared to Hold or Sell. I am Positive on Adobe stock, compared to Neutral or Negative. Both the revenues and earnings per share growth has been exceptional but may be slowing. Management projections for revenues and earnings per share for next quarter is mildly disappointing. However, Adobe management guidance tends to be low and set up for a beat each quarter. Even at a possible slowing financial performance growth rate, Adobe continues to be a top tech financial performer. (Graphs created by author using data from Adobe. Time frames generally are intermediate-term = 1-3 months and long-term = 3+ months for purposes of the above discussion.)

About Adobe

Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.


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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Can Oracle Reverse Its Earnings Downtrend?

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Oracle reports QE May 2017 financial results on June 21




Summary
  • Earnings estimates are an average of $0.78 per share by the analysts and $0.80 by Oracle management. This is a -3.7% and -1.2% YoY decrease, respectively.
  • A small YoY decrease in revenues (-1.4%) is projected by the analysts from $10.60 billion to $10.45 billion.
  • ORCL stock has been in a long-term uptrend and is up about 17+% for both 2017 YTD and the past 12 months.




Read more analysis and see the financial charts at Seeking Alpha!


About Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), visit www.oracle.com/investor or contact Investor Relations at investor_us@oracle.com or (650) 506-4073.


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Amazing Adobe Expected To Report Record Earnings

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Adobe reports QE May 2017 financial results on June 20




Summary
  • Earnings estimates are an average of $0.95 per share by the analysts and $0.94 by Adobe management. This is a strong +34% and +32% YoY, respectively.
  • Both the analysts and management estimate total revenues of $1.73 billion, a YoY increase of +24%.
  • ADBE stock has been in a lengthy long-term uptrend and is up about +34% YTD 2017 and +42% for the past 12 months.




Read more analysis and see the financial charts at Seeking Alpha!


About Adobe

Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.


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A Trillion-Dollar Boost: Salesforce Releases New Research on the Economic Impact of Artificial Intelligence on CRM

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By 2021, AI-powered CRM activities could increase global business revenues by $1.1 trillion and create 800,000 net-new jobs, according to predictions in new study. Salesforce customers are estimated to account for $293 billion of this revenue and more than 155,000 of the net-new jobs by 2021. The global market for AI in CRM is estimated to jump from $7.9 billion in 2016 to $46.3 billion by 2021.


A Trillion-Dollar Boost: Salesforce Releases New Research on the Economic Impact of Artificial Intelligence on CRM


Summary

SAN FRANCISCO, June 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Salesforce [NYSE: CRM], the global leader in CRM, today announced new research from IDC detailing the economic impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on CRM. AI-powered CRM activities will drive new efficiencies in how companies sell, service, and market, ultimately expected to create more than $1.1 trillion in new GDP impact worldwide and 800,000 net-new jobs by 2021 - surpassing those lost to automation.

AI has impacted nearly every aspect of our consumer lives, redefining how we engage with technology and each other. With the convergence of increased computing power, big data and breakthroughs in machine learning, AI is also poised to transform how people work. While some researchers predict automation driven by AI could impact 49 percent of job activities and eliminate around 5 percent of jobs,1 new data from IDC suggests AI could also augment and increase the productivity of employees, specifically in CRM-related fields. From predictive sales lead scoring to service chatbots to personalized marketing campaigns, AI could provide every employee with tools to be more productive and provide smarter, more personalized customer experiences.

According to the new IDC White Paper, commissioned by Salesforce,2 2018 will be a landmark year for AI adoption. More than 40 percent of companies said they will adopt AI within the next two years. In fact, by 2018, IDC forecasts that 75 percent of enterprise and ISV development will include AI or machine-learning functionality in at least one application. AI-powered CRM activities will cover a large spectrum of use cases and touch almost all facets of an enterprise, including accelerating sales cycles, improving lead generation and qualification, personalizing marketing campaigns and lowering costs of support calls."

"AI is impacting all sectors of the economy and every business. For the CRM market—the fastest-growing category in enterprise software - the impact of AI will be profound, ushering in new levels of productivity for employees and empowering companies to drive even better experiences for their customers," said Keith Block, vice chairman, president and COO, Salesforce. "For companies embracing AI, it's critical that they create new workforce development programs to ensure employees are prepared for this next wave of innovation."

Read more at the Salesforce website!


About Salesforce

Salesforce, the world’s #1 CRM company and the Intelligent Customer Success Platform, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM." For more information about Salesforce, visit: www.salesforce.com.


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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Intel Named to DARPA Project Focused on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

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Extracting Insight from the Data Deluge Is a Hard-to-Do Must-Do


Intel Named to DARPA Project Focused on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence


Summary

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 5, 2017 - Intel has been selected by DARPA, a U.S. Department of Defense agency, to collaborate on the development of a powerful new data-handling and computing platform that will leverage machine learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) techniques.

The notion of Big Data emerges from the observation that 90 percent of the data available today has been created in just the past two years. From devices at the edge to large data centers crunching everything from corporate clouds to future energy technology simulations, the world is awash in data – being stored, indexed and accessed.
DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office created the Hierarchical Identify Verify & Exploit (HIVE) program to develop new technologies to realize 1,000x performance-per-watt gains in the ability to handle graph analytics.

Read more at the Intel website!

Extracting Insight from the Data Deluge Is a Hard-to-Do Must-Do (DARPA)

About Intel

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) expands the boundaries of technology to make the most amazing experiences possible. Information about Intel can be found at newsroom.intel.com and intel.com.


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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Cisco Visual Networking Index Predicts Global Annual IP Traffic to Exceed Three Zettabytes by 2021

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IoT applications will represent more than 50 Percent of global devices and connections by 2021


Cisco Visual Networking Index Predicts Global Annual IP Traffic to Exceed Three Zettabytes by 2021


Summary

SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/08/17 -- Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) -- Over the next five years (2016 - 2021), global digital transformation will continue to have a significant impact on the demands and requirements of IP networks according to today's release of the Cisco Visual Networking Index™ (VNI) Complete Forecast. Top-level indicators include the projected increase in Internet users -- from 3.3 to 4.6 billion or 58 percent of the global population1, greater adoption of personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections -- from 17.1 billion to 27.1 billion from 2016 - 2021, average broadband speed advances -- from 27.5 Mbps to 53.0 Mbps, and more video viewing -- from 73 percent to 82 percent of total IP traffic. Over the forecast period, global IP traffic is expected to increase three-fold reaching an annual run rate of 3.3 zettabytes by 2021, up from an annual run rate of 1.2 zettabytes in 2016.

For the first time in the 12 years of the forecast, M2M connections that support Internet of Things (IoT) applications are calculated to be more than half of the total 27.1 billion devices and connections and will account for five percent of global IP traffic by 2021. IoT innovations in connected home, connected healthcare, smart cars/transportation and a host of other next-generation M2M services are driving this incremental growth -- a 2.4-fold increase from 5.8 billion in 2016 to 13.7 billion by 2021. With the rise of connected applications such as health monitors, medicine dispensers, and first-responder connectivity, the health vertical will be fastest-growing industry segment (30 percent CAGR). The connected car and connected cities applications will have the second-fastest growth (29 percent CAGRs respectively).

Video will continue to dominate IP traffic and overall Internet traffic growth -- representing 80 percent of all Internet traffic by 2021, up from 67 percent in 2016. Globally, there will be nearly 1.9 billion Internet video users (excluding mobile-only) by 2021, up from 1.4 billion in 2016. The world will reach three trillion Internet video minutes per month by 2021, which is five million years of video per month, or about one million video minutes every second.x

Read more at the Cisco website!


About Cisco Systems

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow's digital opportunity today. Discover more at thenetwork.cisco.com and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.


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Salesforce Data Management Platform Named a Leader

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Salesforce achieved highest score among all reviewed vendors in strategy and market presence categories


Salesforce Data Management Platform Named a Leader by Independent Research Firm


Summary

SAN FRANCISCO, June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, today announced the Salesforce Data Management Platform (DMP) was named a leader by Forrester Research in its report The Forrester Wave™: Data Management Platforms, Q2 2017. The report evaluated 11 vendors based on 35 criteria, including current offering, strategy and market presence.

Salesforce received the highest possible scores among all reviewed vendors for the strategy and market presence categories. The report states that Salesforce DMP "approaches data management differently from other DMPs: Rather than algorithmically deriving insights from aggregated data, Salesforce DMP ingests raw data and applies machine learning to allow insights to bubble up, eliminating the inherent biases that algorithms entail...The company's approach works, as one client said: 'Over 85% of our traffic comes from in-app mobile sources. Salesforce DMP has been able to manage our user identify issues, providing deep matches to second- and third-party data sources and addressing a broad range of design needs.' Surveyed customers gave Salesforce DMP high praise for change management, segment creation and management, data security and leakage prevention, flexibility and usability of the user interface, privacy capabilities, cost, and overall flexibility."

Read more at the Salesforce website!


About Salesforce

Salesforce, the world’s #1 CRM company and the Intelligent Customer Success Platform, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM." For more information about Salesforce, visit: www.salesforce.com.


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Dell Technologies Revenues and Earnings Down

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Dell Technologies reported QE April 2017 financial results on June 8


Dell Technologies Revenues and Earnings Down


Summary
  • Dell Technologies is a privately held company, but reports publicly due to public debt and related SEC requirements.
  • Dell Technologies has two tracking stocks (DVMT, SCWX) for its ownership in VMware and SecureWorks, respectively.
  • Therefore, overall financial performance and position are not represented by a "Dell Technologies stock" in the stock market.

Below are the charts for both GAAP and Non-GAAP financial performance (in millions $).

GAAP net revenues ($17.8B), gross profit ($4.3B), operating loss (-$1.5B), net loss (-$1.4B):




Non-GAAP net revenues ($18.2B), gross profit ($5.6B), operating earnings ($1.2B), net earnings from continuing operations ($581M).




About Dell Technologies

Dell Technologies is a unique family of businesses that provides the essential infrastructure for organizations to build their digital future, transform IT and protect their most important asset, information. The company services customers of all sizes across 180 countries – ranging from 98 percent of the Fortune 500 to individual consumers – with the industry's most comprehensive and innovative portfolio from the edge to the core to the cloud.


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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What You Need to Know from Apple WWDC 2017

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Apple WWDC 2017


What You Need to Know from Apple WWDC 2017


Summary
  • HomePod
  • Augmented Reality
  • iOS 11 with many improvements
  • Siri improvement
  • New macOS: High Sierra
  • watchOS design changes
  • New iPad Pro 10.5"
  • MacBook refresh
  • iMac refresh
  • MacPro refresh
  • iMac Pro upgrade to Apple's most powerful computer




About Apple

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.


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Friday, June 2, 2017

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Faces 'Some Current Headwinds'

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise Earnings reported QE April 2017 financial results on May 31




Summary
  • HPE reported a discouraging YoY decrease in Non-GAAP earnings per share (-17%) and management has projected a performance crushing YoY decrease of -47% for the next QE.
  • Management has maintained their fiscal year 2017 outlook of $1.46 to $1.56 for Non-GAAP earnings per share. That means Q4, the QE 10-31-17, needs to be $0.40 to $0.50.
  • HPE is a different, smaller company. Both financial performance and position have been materially affected by the separation of the Enterprise Services segment.


Read more analysis and see the financial charts at Seeking Alpha!


About Hewlett Packard Enterprise

HPE is an industry-leading technology company that enables customers to go further, faster. With the industry's most comprehensive portfolio, spanning the cloud to the data center to workplace applications, our technology and services help customers around the world make IT more efficient, more productive and more secure.


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