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Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (RAX)

  • Thu, Nov. 19, 5:21 PM
    • Google (GOOG, GOOGL) has bought Bebop Technologies, a stealth-mode startup that has been working on an enterprise cloud app development platform, and which was founded by VMware co-founder and Google board member Diane Greene.
    • Greene will now lead a new unit containing all of Google's cloud businesses, including Google Apps (productivity apps), Google for Work (custom versions of Google products for enterprises), and the Google Cloud Platform (cloud infrastructure and app platform services). CEO Sundar Pichai declares the move will "bring together product, engineering, marketing and sales and allow us to operate in a much more integrated, coordinated fashion."
    • Pichai provides some vague details regarding Bebop: "[B]ebop is a new development platform that makes it easy to build and maintain enterprise applications ... bebop and its stellar team will help us provide integrated cloud products at every level: end-user platforms like Android and Chromebooks, infrastructure and services in Google Cloud Platform, developer frameworks for mobile and enterprise users, and end-user applications like Gmail and Docs."
    • The move comes shortly after Google SVP Urs Hölze proclaimed (in remarks that may or may not have been blessed by Google's brass) the company's Cloud Platform revenue could surpass its ad revenue in five years. With 90% of Google's Q3 revenue coming from ads (and much of the rest from hardware, Google Play, etc.), that could prove a tall order.
    • Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) fell 6.1% in regular trading, with Hölze's remarks having been mentioned as a potential culprit. Stifel defended Rackspace, arguing the remarks were misunderstood and that Rackspace will eventually strike a deal to provide managed services for Google's cloud offerings, much as it has with Amazon and Microsoft.
    • Synergy Research estimates Google is the 4th-largest player in the in the broader market for public, private, and hybrid cloud services, trailing IBM, Microsoft, and 800-lb. gorilla Amazon. The company has tried to differentiate its cloud offerings by emphasizing developer needs; the Bebop acquisition fits with that effort.
    | Thu, Nov. 19, 5:21 PM | 11 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 10, 12:48 PM
    | Tue, Nov. 10, 12:48 PM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 10, 9:13 AM
    | Tue, Nov. 10, 9:13 AM | 12 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 9, 7:11 PM
    • Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) spent $250M on buybacks in Q3. The company is three months removed from upping its buyback authorization to $1B, and promising to buy back at least $500M worth of shares in 6-9 months.
    • Adjusted EBITDA margin was 34.9%, up 180 bps Q/Q and 40 bps Y/Y, and above guidance of 33%-34%. Q4 guidance is still at 33%-34%. Adjusted free cash flow rose 9% Y/Y to $45.2M, with adjusted EBITDA growth offsetting a 9% increase in capex to $127.7M (a healthy 25% of revenue).
    • GAAP costs/expenses rose 8% to $452.4M. Average monthly revenue per server rose by $28 Q/Q and $39 Y/Y to $1,444. Servers deployed rose 2% Q/Q and 7% Y/Y to 118,654.
    • Rackspace's $350M debt offering consists of senior notes due 2024. A portion of the proceeds will be used to repay credit facility debt; the remainder will be used for general corporate purposes that may include buybacks. Rackspace ended Q3 with $213.5M in cash, and $25.1M in debt.
    • Shares have risen to $29.20 after hours, after dropping 4.2% in regular trading. BofA/Merrill's pre-earnings upgrade is looking good.
    • Q3 results/Q4 guidance, PR
    | Mon, Nov. 9, 7:11 PM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 9, 4:10 PM
    • Rackspace Hosting (NYSE:RAX): Q3 EPS of $0.26 beats by $0.06.
    • Revenue of $508.9M (+10.7% Y/Y) beats by $5.82M.
    • Expects 2%-3% Q/Q Q4 constant currency revenue growth. Consensus is for 1.7% Q/Q and 9.6% Y/Y growth in actual dollars.
    • $350M debt offering announced.
    • Shares +1.5% after hours.
    • Press Release
    • Update (4:32PM ET): Rackspace is now up 8.4%.
    | Mon, Nov. 9, 4:10 PM | Comment!
  • Sun, Nov. 8, 5:35 PM
  • Mon, Nov. 2, 10:08 AM
    • Stating fundamentals appear to be stabilizing, BofA/Merrill's Scott Shiao has upgraded Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) to Buy ahead of its Nov. 9 Q3 report, and set a $38 target.
    • Shiao adds an LBO analysis indicates upside, and that capex cuts could yield a higher valuation. Rackspace ended a strategic review last year after failing to strike a deal,
    • Shares still -40% YTD. They sold off in August in response to a Q2 sales miss and light guidance. Worries about competition from Amazon and other major cloud infrastructure providers has weighed.
    | Mon, Nov. 2, 10:08 AM | 5 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 6, 4:04 PM
    • Following multiple rumors to the effect, Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) has announced a deal with rival Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN) at the AWS re:Invent conference under which Rackspace will "offer tools, expertise, application management, and operational support to customers on the AWS Cloud."
    • In addition to a core support service known as Fanatical Support for AWS, Rackspace is launching (in beta) AWS-related services for managed security, compliance support, and the management of Adobe's Experience Manager content management solution. The company has also become an authorized AWS reseller and consulting partner.
    • With revenue of $6B for the 12 months ending June 30, AWS remains the 800-lb. gorilla of the public cloud infrastructure (IaaS) market. Rackspace closed down 0.5% today, after rallying strongly yesterday.
    | Tue, Oct. 6, 4:04 PM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Oct. 5, 12:29 PM
    • Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) is flying higher on a day the Nasdaq is up 1.1%. 1.92M shares have been traded thus far vs. a 3-month daily average of 2.545M.
    • Rackspace is widely expected to announce a partnership with bigger rival Amazon Web Services this week, at the latter's AWS re:Invent conference (runs from Tuesday-Friday). Much like Rackspace's July deal with Microsoft, the agreement is expected to cover Rackspace managed support and monitoring services for AWS deployments.
    • Shares closed on Friday just $0.62 above a 52-week low of $23.65. 10.7M shares (nearly 11% of the float) was shorted as of Sep. 15.
    | Mon, Oct. 5, 12:29 PM | Comment!
  • Wed, Aug. 26, 4:21 PM
    • The Nasdaq has closed its latest ultra-volatile day up 4.2%. Chip stocks, hit hard in recent weeks amid China/inventory concerns, were among the standouts (SOXX +5%) during the rally: Big gainers included Nvidia (NVDA +7.5%), Skyworks (SWKS +6.9%), Qorvo (QRVO +5.9%), Xilinx (XLNX +6.3%), Analog Devices (ADI +7.1%), Linear (LLTC +6.1%), SanDisk (SNDK +7.4%), ON Semi (ON +6.2%), and Cavium (CAVM +5.6%).
    • Cybersecurity plays and various other enterprise tech names also did well. Standouts included HP (HPQ +5.5%), Palo Alto Networks (PANW +6%), Rackspace (RAX +9.8%), Red Hat (RHT +5.9%), KEYW (KEYW +8.1%), Brocade (BRCD +5.6%), ShoreTel (SHOR +5.7%), Violin Memory (VMEM +14.7%), and Rapid7 (RPD +7.2%).
    • In addition to HP, tech large-caps turning in big gains included Apple (AAPL +5.7%) Microsoft (MSFT +5.5%), Google (GOOG +7.7%), and Intel (INTC +5.5%). Google benefited from a Goldman upgrade.
    • KEYW announced a CEO change yesterday afternoon. HP and Brocade are adding to last week's post-earnings gains. Skyworks/Qorvo peer Avago has posted an FQ3 beat after the close.
    | Wed, Aug. 26, 4:21 PM | 19 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 10, 4:25 PM
    • Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) uses its Q2 report to announce the company's buyback authorization has been hiked to $1B; a $500M buyback was launched last November, of which $200M has been used. At least $500M worth of shares will be repurchased in 6-9 months.
    • The program will be financed with a mixture of existing cash, future cash flows, and debt. Rackspace now plans to have a debt level equal to 1.5x annual EBITDA, and expects to achieve it in the next 24 months.
    • Guidance: Q3 guidance is for revenue to rise 2%-3.5% Q/Q on a constant currency basis; consensus is for revenue to rise 4% Q/Q in dollars to $511.1M. Q4 guidance is also for 2%-3.5% Q/Q constant currency growth, and full-year guidance is for 12%-14% Y/Y constant currency growth; the 2015 revenue growth consensus (in dollars) is at 12.2%. Adjusted EBITDA margin guidance for all 3 periods is 33%-34% (compares with Q2's 33.1%, +100 bps Y/Y).
    • As previously indicated, Rackspace is no longer breaking out its dedicated cloud (Web hosting) and public cloud (IaaS) revenue. Average revenue/server rose by $4 Q/Q and $41 Y/Y to $1,416. Servers deployed rose 2% Q/Q and 8% Y/Y to 116,329.
    • Cost controls helped EPS meet estimates in spite of a revenue miss: GAAP costs/expenses rose 7% Y/Y to $435.8M, less than revenue growth of 11%. Ahead of the new capital structure policy, Rackspace ended Q2 with $317M in cash, and just $7M in debt.
    • Shares have risen to $33.11 in AH trading.
    • Q2 results, PR
    | Mon, Aug. 10, 4:25 PM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 10, 4:03 PM
    • Rackspace Hosting (NYSE:RAX): Q2 EPS of $0.20 in-line.
    • Revenue of $480.2M (+8.9% Y/Y) misses by $10.34M.
    • Shares +4% AH
    • Press Release
    | Mon, Aug. 10, 4:03 PM | Comment!
  • Sun, Aug. 9, 5:35 PM
  • Tue, Jul. 14, 1:13 PM
    • A day after Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) announced a services partnership with Microsoft related to Azure, shares are rallying in response to a CRN report stating a similar deal with Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN) is close.
    • CRN states a channel partner for both Rackspace and Amazon "approached his company with an offer to participate in a beta program in which Rackspace would manage and provide support for his customers hosting workloads in Amazon's cloud." The source: "They are going to wrap their managed 'Fanatical Support' around AWS and essentially become an Amazon reseller."
    • AWS had revenue of $5.16B over the 12 months ending March 31, and (per Synergy Research) still controls nearly 30% of the global cloud IaaS/PaaS market.
    • Rackspace is now up 8.5% over the last two days. Shares are still down 17% YTD.
    | Tue, Jul. 14, 1:13 PM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Jul. 13, 11:52 AM
    • Rackspace (RAX +3.6%) is partnering with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to provide managed support, monitoring, and "architectural guidance" services to companies looking to deploy Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure/app (IaaS/PaaS) platform, which supports public, private, and hybrid cloud deployments.
    • The companies will also offer a hybrid cloud solution that combines Azure, Rackspace's private cloud solution, and Microsoft's Cloud Platform (a collection of products for deploying private clouds).
    • Rackspace, whose IaaS offerings compete with Azure and has often called its "fanatical" customer support as a differentiator, is offering both an Azure infrastructure and support bundle (effectively acts as a reseller arrangement), as well as a support-only option. The services will initially be provided to U.S. clients; international availability arrives in 2016.
    • Azure is believed to be the world's second-largest IaaS/PaaS platform, trailing only Amazon Web Services.
    | Mon, Jul. 13, 11:52 AM | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Jun. 3, 1:26 PM
    • IBM (IBM +0.1%) has acquired Blue Box, a provider of managed cloud services for companies deploying private and hybrid clouds based on the open-source OpenStack cloud infrastructure (IaaS) platform.
    • Cisco (CSCO +0.1%) is buying Piston Cloud Computing, a provider of software (called CloudOS) for managing and deploying services on commodity servers running OpenStack, as well as popular big data/analytics software platforms such as Hadoop and Spark. Terms for both deals are undisclosed.
    • IBM, whose SoftLayer unit already offers OpenStack services, will use Blue Box to "help businesses rapidly integrate their cloud-based applications and on-premises systems into OpenStack-based managed cloud," and that the deal allows it to offer a remotely-managed OpenStack private cloud solution.
    • Cisco asserts Piston and its engineers will "help accelerate the product, delivery, and operational capabilities" of its Intercloud platform, which (via service provider partners) provides a network of OpenStack cloud infrastructures running on Cisco hardware and software, and within which workloads can be moved between data centers. It also expects Piston to strengthen its OpenStack private cloud offering, the fruits of last year's acquisition of private cloud services provider Metacloud.
    • IBM ended Q1 on a $3.8B/year run rate for its various "cloud delivered as a service" offerings. Synergy Research believes IBM is the third-largest player in the public/private/hybrid cloud services space, trailing Amazon (easily the market leader) and Microsoft.
    • Many tech/telecom giants have embraced OpenStack in their efforts to compete against Amazon, Microsoft, and Google's proprietary platforms. Rackspace (RAX +0.7%) remains a top independent OpenStack provider
    | Wed, Jun. 3, 1:26 PM | 4 Comments
Company Description
Rackspace Hosting Inc, through its operating subsidiaries, is a provider of cloud computing services, managing web-based IT systems for small and medium-sized businesses as well as large enterprises.