"We see a solid set-up for a Q2 bookings rebound and more powerful multi-year product drivers than VMW has enjoyed in quite some time," writes Piper's Mark Murphy, upgrading VMware (VMW +2.7%) to Overweight.
Murphy adds a reseller survey points to "adoption rates moving to their highest level ever," and declares VMware has a better chance than investors realize to "mow down" PC virtualization leader Citrix (CTXS +0.1%), given product parity and talent defections.
VMware took fresh aim at Citrix last month by launching an integrated PC/app virtualization platform, and reported a 35% Y/Y Q1 increase in its end-user computing (inc. PC and mobile solutions) license bookings.
At the same time, the company posted sub-10% total bookings growth, as its standalone vSphere server virtualization sales come under pressure from Microsoft's Hyper-V and open-source offerings (inc. Citrix-backed Xen). VMware is counting on higher sales of its vCloud Suite (combines vSphere with cloud/data center management products) to help buck the trend.