Moderate losses for Tibco after FQ1 beat, muted guidance

Tibco (TIBX -2%) guided on its CC (transcript) for FQ2 revenue of $263M-$271M and EPS of $0.20-$0.22 vs. a consensus of $267M and $0.22.

Worrying some analysts: Tibco admitted its Spotfire analytics/data visualization platform, once growing rapidly, "performed below plan." The company insists product quality isn't an issue. "We been too focused on big deals and traditional enterprise sales and we must move more aggressively to broaden out into a higher volume horizontal market business."

That's something analytics rival Tableau (DATA) has been doing quite well: The company's license revenue rose 93% Y/Y in the December quarter. The next version of Spotfire aims to improve ease-of-use, long a strong point for Tableau.

Tibco's event processing/analytics license sales (41% of license revenue, includes Spotfire) fell 7% Y/Y. On the other hand, its core infrastructure license sales (middleware, 59% of license revenue) rose 18%.

Morgan Stanley (Equal-weight) sees the contrast between Spotfire and middleware's performance as another example of Tibco being hard-pressed in recent years to maintain "consistent execution" across its product line. "With productive sales capacity declining, we don't see a quick fix."

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