Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) +3% AH after Q3 earnings rose 26% Y/Y and beat Wall Street estimates, thanks to higher activity in the Bakken shale field in North Dakota and Permian Basin in Texas.
Total revenue rose 17%, its highest increase in nine quarters, to $1.81B; sales in the completion and production services business, which handles the post-drilling processes used to extract oil and gas, rose 19% to $612M despite two Pacific hurricanes crossing into Texas during the quarter.
NBR says the recent fall in oil prices could affect customer spending, but that it is "much better positioned to weather and potentially capitalize upon any significant downturn in industry activity" because of steps taken to improve financial flexibility, streamline operations and improve cost structure.
Onshore drillers such as NBR should be less affected by falling oil prices than offshore drillers, whose customers need higher prices to break even.
CREE's gross margin fell 550 bps Q/Q and 680 bps Y/Y in FQ1 to 32.4%; before, the company had only forecast GM would be below an original target of 37.5%. A GM of ~33.5% is expected in FQ2.
There were two major culprits: A 770 bps Y/Y drop in Cree's LED chip/component GM to 39% (caused by declining sales and price pressure), and a revenue mix shift toward LED lighting products, which carried only a 24.9% GM (-200 bps Y/Y).
LED chip/component revenue fell 20% Y/Y to $173.6M, while lighting products revenue rose 51% to $223.1M. Power/RF product sales (carried a 57.6% GM) rose 24% to $31M.
GAAP opex rose 9% Y/Y to $124.4M, even with revenue growth.
Cree ended the quarter with $1.1B in cash/investments (a figure equal to 31% of the company's current market cap), and only $45M in debt. Are buybacks on the way?
VMware (NYSE:VMW) has guided in its Q3 earnings CC slides (.pdf) for Q4 revenue of $1.67B-$1.71B, mostly below a $1.71B consensus. License revenue is expected to grow 11%-14% Y/Y; it was up 13% in Q3, and 16% in Q2.
Meanwhile, parent EMC, which is set to report tomorrow morning, says it plans to disclose a "new business development." That appears to be fueling hopes a full VMware spinoff will be announced.
EMC has already been reported to be thinking of fully unloading its VMware stake, as sought by Elliott Management.
Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) recorded a $6.3B Q3 post-tax gain related to its Alibaba IPO windfall. The company expects to pay $3.3B in cash taxes related to the sale Q1 2015.
The company disclosed on its CC mobile was responsible for $200M of Yahoo's Q3 revenue (17% of total). It expects full-year gross mobile revenue (doesn't back out traffic acquisition costs) of more than 1.2B.
Marissa Mayer predicts Tumblr (acquired last year for $1.1B) will produce over $100M in 2015 revenue, and generate positive EBITDA.
With expectations depressed going into earnings iRobot's (NASDAQ:IRBT) strong Q3 beat is overshadowing its soft Q4 outlook: The Roomba maker expects revenue of $158M-$167M and EPS of $0.26-$0.31, below a consensus of $167.8M and $0.35.
A 31% Y/Y increase in U.S. home robot sales to $46.8M (much better growth than Q2's 7%) fueled the Q3 beat. International home robot sales rose 13% to $85.2M, after growing 19% in Q2. Defense/security robot sales rose 6% to $10.7M, a sharp reversal from Q2's 59% drop.
573K home robots were shipped, up from 565K in Q2 and 526K a year ago. Home robot ASP rose to $573 from $565 in Q2 and $526 a year ago.
Gross margin rose to 47.3% from 44.4% in Q2 and 43.4% a year ago. GAAP opex rose 5% Y/Y to $45.2M.
Over 1/4 of the float was shorted as of Sep. 30, providing plenty of fuel for a squeeze.