NTAP reported F1Q20 earnings yesterday (8/14/19) after the close posting a slight beat on improved gross margins. The stock was up 4% in Friday’s trading. Two weeks removed from the 8/1 preannouncement, there was little room for surprise; FY revenue growth guide was maintained at -10% to -5%. Negatives included AFA business down 24% in the quarter, contrary to most of our checks; C-suite churn (including the CMO) will likely take some time to equilibrate. Positives included solid growth trajectory for private cloud and CDS as well as firm guidance on ELAs—vast majority back half weighted might provide further upside to gross margin.
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We surveyed 50 value-added resellers of storage in the US, Europe, and APAC. The survey was taken in July, asking about April-June business though we may have picked up some July views. Takeaways include (1) the outlook for overall IT spending in 2019 improved over last quarter; (2) storage spending stepped down sequentially with nearly 75% reporting fair/ok sales strength; (3) NTAP’s outlook worsened vs. the prior period, while DELL sales and outlook remained steady (4) discounting ticked down across our coverage with DELL & PSTG seeing the largest changes.
NTAP negatively preannounced F1Q20 last Thursday (8/1/19) after the close, reporting revenue of ~$1.25bn (down 17% YoY) vs. guidance of ~$1.390bn (down 6% YoY) and a gross margin above 65% on resulting mix. The stock traded down 20% on Friday. The company further issued F20 revenue growth guidance of down 10% to down 5% (vs. our prior estimate of up 3%). Management cited macro concerns causing a spending pullback amongst its largest global enterprise accounts as providing two-thirds of the miss and execution issues in the Americas making up the balance.
John Treadway has worked with large enterprises considering both private and public cloud implementations, first at Cloud Technology Partners, which was acquired by HPE, and now at Symphony Solutions, where he is CEO. Although hyperscaler revenue growth is moderating, he argues it is mostly due to tough comparisons as cloud approaches $70bn of revenue. He says AWS’s Andy Jassy might be right that only 3% of workloads are in the cloud by dollars.
In addition to tracking the five major tech sectors—Hardware, Semis, Software, Internet, and Services—we have added 2-3 subsectors for each for greater granularity. We show their performance in our weekly Wolfebytes.
AWS gains decelerated from 41% in 1Q to 37% in 2Q and Microsoft from 73% to 64%, still solid results that suggest workloads continue to move to public clouds and capex should improve in the second half. Google Cloud’s stated $2bn includes G Suite. We don’t have history from the company, but our estimates suggest a doubling YoY as Thomas Kurian begins to triple its salesforce. Full-year growth for the top four should be about 40%. We are hosting cloud consultant John Treadway Tues at 2pm.
Tech was strong last week during the first wave of earnings. The Wolfe Tech Universe rose 2.9%, outpacing the S&P 500’s 1.7%. Despite trade issues and weakening auto/industrial demand, Semi stocks jumped 5.4% and passed Software in three-month performance (Exhibit 1). Top stocks this week included Snap (+28%), AMS AG (+27%), Teradyne (+23%), Flex (+15%), and Twitter (+13%). Laggards were PTC (-17%), Computershare (-7%), LG Display (-6%), Citrix (-6%), and Atos (-5%).
With baseball season in full swing, let’s use the national pastime to discuss portfolio performance. The geeks not only own Silicon Valley but have taken over baseball. Sabermetrics, the application of statistical analysis to baseball, has contributed to the dominance of walks/strikeouts/home runs that plagues baseball today. The takeaway from Moneyball (especially the movie) was that on-base percentage is more important than batting average since a walk is almost as good as a single. More important, though, is slugging percentage, which gives more credit for a home run than a double or a walk. Batting average is quantity; slugging percentage is quality. All hits were not created equal.
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