Plenty of enterprise software names have underperformed on a down day for tech stocks after VMware (VMW -9.2%) provided soft bookings numbers (sub-10% Y/Y growth in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pac), and blamed it on delays in signing major enterprise licensing deals (ELAs) as it talks with clients about more expansive agreements.
VMware rivals Oracle (ORCL -1.6%), Citrix (CTXS -2.8%), and Red Hat (RHT -1.7%) are among the decliners. Others: CRM -2.5%. WDAY -5.6%. SPLK -6.3%. VEEV -4.3%. NOW -4.2%. TIBX -2.9%. INFA -2.2%. QLIK -3.2%.
Nomura (Buy) observes that while VMware reported 18% Y/Y billings growth, underlying growth may have been in the single digits after accounting for the AirWatch deal and other adjustments. Nonetheless, it thinks ELA weakness might be a seasonal issue that will correct in Q2.
Is competition taking a toll? In spite of the soft bookings figures, VMware managed to report strong licensing activity for products other than its core vSphere server virtualization platform, and noted on its CC (transcript) solutions other than standalone vSphere made up over 45% of license bookings (up from 30%+ a year ago).
Microsoft's Hyper-V has been gradually eating into vSphere's market dominance. Other cheaper alternatives such as the open-source Xen (backed by Citrix) and KVM have also been gaining ground.