Ultimate Software Group, Inc. (The) (ULTI) - NASDAQ
  • Fri, Feb. 5, 11:01 AM
    • A long list of enterprise software and security tech names are off sharply after business intelligence/analytics software upstart Tableau (down 45.3%) reported slower-than-expected license revenue growth and issued below-consensus Q1/2016 guidance.
    • Also possibly weighing: LinkedIn (down 39.6%), which derives a large % of its revenue from cloud-based recruiting and sales tools for enterprises, issued weak Q1/2016 guidance.
    • Given the magnitude of the drops, margin calls and forced selling by funds could be playing a big role. The Nasdaq is down 2.2%.
    • Tableau suggested its growth slowdown has to do with softening IT spend and a need to improve sales productivity, but analysts have raised questions about competition from the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, and Qlik. LinkedIn forecast a growth slowdown for its field sales hiring solutions business, while blaming European/Asian macro pressures. The company also noted its display ad business continues declining amid weak industry growth.
    • Major enterprise software decliners include Splunk (SPLK -23.7%), Workday (WDAY -15.1%), Adobe (ADBE -7%), Zendesk (ZEN -15.2%), ServiceNow (NOW -13.6%), NetSuite (N -12.4%), Salesforce (CRM -11.2%), Paycom (PAYC -10.6%), Ellie Mae (ELLI -11.5%), Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD -7.8%), Veeva (VEEV -7.7%), Ultimate Software (ULTI -9%), Luxoft (LXFT -7.5%), Manhattan Associates (MANH -8.5%), Box (BOX -6.6%), Guidewire (GWRE -13.6%), Demandware (DWRE -9.3%), Hortonworks (HDP -9.7%), and Tableau rival Qlik (QLIK -16.6%). The casualty list includes many cloud software firms, as well as several analytics software plays. Previously covered: New Relic, Atlassian.
    • Major decliners among security tech firms: Palo Alto Networks (PANW -12%), FireEye (FEYE -8.9%), Rapid7 (RPD -8.6%), CyberArk (CYBR -8.3%), Proofpoint (PFPT -8%), Imperva (IMPV -8.3%), Fortinet (FTNT -6.9%), and Vasco (VDSI -5.1%). The selloff comes in spite of an FQ3 beat and in-line FQ4 guidance from Symantec, which has been losing share to various upstarts.
    | Fri, Feb. 5, 11:01 AM | 19 Comments
  • Oct. 28, 2015, 2:33 PM
    • Though Ultimate Software (NASDAQ:ULTI) slightly missed Q3 revenue estimates (while beating on EPS), it's guiding for 22% 2015 revenue growth, nearly even with a 21.9% consensus. Recurring revenue (e.g. cloud subscriptions) is expected to rise 23%.
    • The cloud HR/HCM software vendor has also set preliminary 2016 revenue growth guidance of 23%, above a 21.6% consensus. Recurring revenue is expected to rise 25%, and op. margin grow to 21% from an expected 2014 level of 20%.
    • Recurring revenue rose 23% Y/Y in Q3 to $131.8M; services revenue rose 18% to $23.6M. GAAP operating expenses rose 36% Y/Y to $83.8M. $31.1M was spent to buy back 187K shares.
    • Shares have made new highs, and are up 40% YTD.
    • Q3 results, PR
    | Oct. 28, 2015, 2:33 PM | 1 Comment
  • May 19, 2015, 6:54 PM
    • As part of a change in analyst coverage for cloud software stocks, Needham's Scott Berg has launched coverage on Workday (NYSE:WDAY) and HealthStream (NASDAQ:HSTM) at Buy, upgraded Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ:CSOD) to Strong Buy, and upgraded Ultimate Software (NASDAQ:ULTI) to Buy after the close. Though their product lines differ, all 4 companies have exposure to the cloud HR/talent management space.
    • Berg on Workday: "[W]e believe WDAY has the combination that growth investors seek: large market, well positioned product versus industry megatrends, and a financial model that yields significant revenue visibility ... Although we believe the company's current valuation assumes almost flawless near-term sales execution to further expand its valuation multiples, we believe its execution within a HCM market exhibiting high demand creates a positive risk/reward scenario..." The remarks come ahead of Workday's May 26 FQ1 report.
    • Berg on HealthStream: "We believe HealthStream uniquely benefits from two significant mega-trends; 1) the strong secular adoption rates within the Talent Management Enterprise Software subsector, and also 2) an environment that is increasingly regulated, requiring its products’ end users to evaluate competencies and train employees on a more frequent basis." The cloud healthcare software firm is a month removed from posting a Q1 beat.
    • WDAY +0.7% AH to $91.28. CSOD +1.9% to $32.44. ULTI +1.2% to $170.29. HealthStream hasn't yet moved AH.
    | May 19, 2015, 6:54 PM
  • Apr. 29, 2015, 3:30 PM
    • Tech companies rallying after posting earnings include telecom analog/mixed-signal chipmaker InPhi (IPHI +11.5%) and process-optimization/supply-chain software vendor Aspen Technology (AZPN +6.3%). Those down strongly include telecom equipment vendor Calix (CALX -8.1%), pay-TV infrastructure hardware provider Harmonic (HLIT -6.4%), and cloud HR software vendor Ultimate Software (ULTI -5.6%).
    • InPhi beat Q1 estimates and offered in-line Q2 guidance: Revenue of $59.6M-$60.8M and EPS of $0.22-$0.24 vs. a consensus of $60.6M and $0.23. With shares having sold off going into earnings thanks to soft guidance from peers, the outlook is better than feared.
    • Aspen beat FQ3 estimates and issued strong FY15 (ends June '15) guidance on its CC (transcript): Revenue of $437M-$439M and EPS of $1.41-$1.43, above a consensus of $436.9M and $1.33.
    • Calix missed Q1 estimates and offered light guidance on its CC (transcript): Revenue of $94M-$98M and EPS of -$0.06 to -$0.02, below a consensus of $104.4M and $0.05. The company blames delays in the rollout of carrier capex budgets.
    • Harmonic beat Q1 estimates, but also guided for Q2 revenue of $97M-$107M, below a $108.4M consensus. The company blames macro issues in several regions, a strong dollar, customer M&A activity, and the deferred revenue components of new projects.
    • Ultimate posted roughly in-line Q1 results and guided for Q2 revenue of $146M, below a $148.4M consensus. Full-year revenue growth guidance of 22% is in-line. Many peers are rallying following a report stating Salesforce has received buyout interest.
    • Previously covered: Twitter, GoPro, LogMeIn, Xoom, GrubHub, MicroStrategy, Smith Micro, AppliedMicro, OpenText
    | Apr. 29, 2015, 3:30 PM
  • Apr. 17, 2015, 1:46 PM
    • Cloud IT service management software leader ServiceNow is down 14.5% after providing soft guidance (thanks in part to forex) to go with a Q1 beat. Many high-beta enterprise tech names are off sharply amid a 1.5% drop for the Nasdaq.
    • In addition to Salesforce and Workday (previous), cloud software firms posting big losses include NetSuite (N -4.8%), Constant Contact (CTCT -3.3%), InContact (SAAS -3.9%), Paycom (PAYC -3.6%), Ultimate Software (ULTI -3.6%), and Textura (TXTR -3.7%). NetSuite reports on April 23, Ultimate Software on April 28, Constant Contact on April 30, and Paycom on May 6.
    • Big data/analytics software plays have also been hit hard. Tableau (DATA -6.3%), Splunk (SPLK -5.2%), Hortonworks (HDP -6%), and Varonis (VRNS -4.3%) are all off sharply. Though its growth rates and multiples are similar to those of many analytics software firms, ServiceNow generally isn't seen as an analytics play. This morning, D.A. Davidson launched coverage on Tableau and Splunk at Buy, and Hortonworks at Neutral.
    • Tableau, which surged yesterday following bullish Stifel and William Blair coverage launches, reports on May 7. Stifel praised Tableau's "superior product performance and simplified user experience," data discovery market lead, international growth potential (less than 25% of license revenue is from outside of North America), and ability to capitalize on "free demo downloads by front-line information workers evangelizing [Tableau's] product."  William Blair stated its survey work "indicates that the perceived value of Tableau exceeds that of other self-service [business intelligence] vendors."
    • Pac Crest hiked its Splunk target to $82 yesterday after attending a user conference. "[T]he economic value derived from expanding Splunk implementations ... into new areas like security intelligence, compliance and real-time capacity planning results in cost avoidance that can far overshadow the historical pricing objections to Splunk. This is a significant change in customer behavior and pricing perception ... It was clear that the appetite of existing Splunk users to find new use cases remains fierce..."
    | Apr. 17, 2015, 1:46 PM
  • Sep. 19, 2014, 11:23 AM
    • SAP (SAP -3.9%) investors have a case of sticker shock after the company agreed to pay $8.3B (to be financed through a credit facility) to buy cloud travel/expense management software leader Concur Technologies. The acquisition price is equal to 9.6x Concur's estimated FY15 (ends Sep. '15) sales.
    • On the other hand, enterprise cloud software names are rallying on hopes of fresh deal activity. CRM +1.5%. N +2.7%. NOW +2.6%. PAYC +5%. ULTI +2.2%. JIVE +1.8%. DWRE +1.8%. MKTO +1.7%.
    • SAP CEO Bill McDermott proclaims combining Concur's products with Ariba's cloud procurement/B2B marketplace offerings and Fieldglass' cloud labor-management software will help his company redefine "how businesses conduct commerce across goods and services, contingent workforces, travel and entertainment."
    • McDermott also praises Concur's corporate travel ecosystem, which includes Hertz, Delta, Expedia, Sabre, and many others, and sees an opportunity to create real-time travel collaboration tools running on SAP's Hana in-memory database. SAP notes only 30% of Concur customers are currently SAP clients, yielding plenty of cross-selling opportunities.
    | Sep. 19, 2014, 11:23 AM
  • Aug. 29, 2014, 1:00 PM
    • Low expectations and a high short interest (11.9M shares as of Aug. 15) are proving a good mix for Veeva (VEEV +18.1%) following its FQ2 beat and guidance hike. Several firms have raised their targets.
    • Workday (WDAY +5.5%), which sold off yesterday (and took peers down with it) following its FQ2 report, is following Veeva higher. As are Veeva partner Salesforce (CRM +2.1%) and several other cloud software names. NOW +2.9%. CTCT +3.4%. JIVE +2.5%. CSOD +2%. ULTI +1.9%. MKTO +1.9%.
    • "We like [Veeva's] momentum with new products, the pace of customer deployments, and view the second-half guidance as likely conservative," says Deutsche (Buy).
    • Pac Crest (Outperform) likes the fact Veeva's billings and subscription revenue each rose over 60% Y/Y, and that its large deal activity also grew. It sees a $5B addressable market for life sciences CRM/content management software.
    | Aug. 29, 2014, 1:00 PM | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 12, 2014, 11:04 AM
    • Ultimate Software (ULTI +4%) will be joining the S&P MidCap 400 after Thursday's close, and Consolidated Communications (CNSL +3.4%) will be joining the S&P SmallCap 600 following the Aug. 18 close.
    • The companies are respectively replacing The Hillshire Brands and Taylor Capital, each of which is set to be acquired.
    | Aug. 12, 2014, 11:04 AM
  • Jul. 30, 2014, 3:58 PM
    • Ultimate Software (ULTI +7.4%) beat Q2 estimates on the back of a 26% Y/Y increase in recurring revenue (84% of total revenue). The cloud HR software vendor also disclosed on its CC (transcript) it added three new enterprise clients with 10K or more employees; the largest has 40K.
    • Full-year guidance for 23% revenue growth (25% recurring growth) has been reiterated. Q3 guidance for revenue of $127M is roughly in-line with a $127.3M consensus.
    • A number of cloud software peers have also rallied. Cloud HR/talent management peers Workday (WDAY +6.5%) and Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD +5.1%) are among the biggest gainers, but others are also doing quite well. CRM +2.7%. NOW +4.7%. LPSN +5.3%. MKTO +4.1%. CNQR +4.8%. JIVE +3.6%. N +4.2%.
    | Jul. 30, 2014, 3:58 PM
  • Apr. 29, 2014, 12:44 PM
    • Cloud ERP/HR/e-commerce software vendor NetSuite beat Q1 estimates, reported strong deferred revenue growth, and hiked its 2014 top-line guidance.
    • Meanwhile, Pac Crest is reiterating an Outperform for Workday (WDAY +8.8% - competes to an extent with NetSuite) and Splunk (SPLK +5.6%), and thinks the companies, along with Neutral-rated Salesforce (CRM +3.6%), can attract growth investors at current levels. The firm adds the companies are trading below their average price/sales multiples for the last 3 years.
    • Workday is down 38%, and Splunk 47%, from their respective 52-week highs. But the companies still both go for ~12x FY16E (ends Jan. '16) sales. Price/billings multiples are a bit lower, but still steep.
    • Several other enterprise cloud software vendors are joining NetSuite, Workday, and Salesforce in rallying on an up day for the Nasdaq. NOW +7.7%. CSOD +5.6%. ULTI +4%. DWRE (a NetSuite rival) +3.2%.
    | Apr. 29, 2014, 12:44 PM | 2 Comments
  • Apr. 3, 2014, 3:57 PM
    • Today's rout in tech momentum names (the latest in a string) has been especially harsh on enterprise cloud software, security, and big data/analytics plays.
    • Major cloud software decliners: NOW -11%. WDAY -9.6%. N -6.5%. CNQR -7.2%. SAAS -6.3%. TXTR -6.3%. ULTI -5.5%. DWRE -8%. MKTO -6.2%. CSLT -9%. RALY -7.2%.
    • Salesforce (CRM -4.1%) is following the group lower after announcing plans to offer industry-specific cloud software solutions. Pac Crest thinks Salesforce's top-line will benefit, but is cutting its EPS estimates on margin concerns.
    • Security decliners: FEYE -10.3%. PANW -8.2%. KEYW -5.7%.
    • Big data/analytics decliners: DATA -7.4%. SPLK -6.9%. QLIK -4.1%. Splunk's selloff comes in spite of a two-notch CLSA upgrade to Outperform.
    | Apr. 3, 2014, 3:57 PM | 10 Comments
  • Jan. 30, 2014, 1:16 PM
    • Much as consumer Web plays are rising in sympathy with Facebook, enterprise cloud software names are sharply higher after cloud IT service desk software leader ServiceNow (NOW +14.3%) beat Q4 revenue estimates, provided very strong guidance, and reported its deferred revenue/backlog balance rose 59% Y/Y.
    • Salesforce (CRM +5.5%), Workday (WDAY +5.4%), NetSuite (N +6.2%), Textura (TXTR +9.8%), Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD +3.6%), Jive Software (JIVE +3.4%), Ultimate Software (ULTI +3.4%), InContact (SAAS +3.9%), Tangoe (TNGO +3.7%), and LivePerson (LPSN +5.4%) are among the winners.
    • Baird has upgraded ServiceNow to Outperform, and several other firms have upped their PTs. Raymond James (Strong Buy) praises ServiceNow's efforts to expand into complementary markets such as HR automation, grow both its packaged and custom app sales, and to keep taking share from on-premise IT service desk vendors such as CA, BMC Software, H-P, and IBM.
    • On the CC (transcript), CEO Frank Slootman mentioned ServiceNow's installed base has grown to 2,060 accounts and 400 global 2000 customers. That's up from 1,900 and 360 three months earlier.
    • He added 80% of customers are now deploying custom apps, and that 20% of the annual contract value recorded in Q4 involved products other than tradition IT service desk licensing.
    | Jan. 30, 2014, 1:16 PM
  • Oct. 16, 2013, 9:56 AM
    • Intel (INTC +0.3%) has been upgraded to Buy by B. Riley following its Q3 beat and light Q4 revenue guidance.
    • Yahoo (YHOO +1.7%) has received a two-notch upgrade to Outperform from CLSA after it posted mixed Q3 results and soft Q4 guidance, but also strong Q2 numbers for Alibaba.
    • Cisco (CSCO +0.4%) has been cut to Neutral, and Juniper (JNPR +3.6%) upgraded to Buy, by MKM. Juniper reports on Oct. 22.
    • Netflix (NFLX -0.2%) has been cut to Hold by Hudson Square ahead of its Oct. 21 Q3 report.
    • Vimpelcom (VIP +3.9%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Morgan Stanley.
    • BT (BT +1.7%) has been upgraded to Conviction Buy by Goldman.
    • CyrusOne (CONE +2.7%) has been upgraded to Buy by BofA/Merrill. However, the firm is maintaining its $23 PT.
    • Ultimate Software (ULTI +1.6%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Evercore.
    • Ellie Mae (ELLI -6.5%) has been cut to Market Perform by JMP.
    • Super Micro (SMCI -2.7%) has been cut to Hold by Stifel.
    | Oct. 16, 2013, 9:56 AM | 1 Comment
  • Mar. 1, 2013, 1:00 PM
    Surging deferred revenue and healthy free cash flow (over 2x earnings) help Salesforce (CRM +7.8%) make new highs following its FQ4 report. Needham, lifting its PT to $200, is pleased 7 and 8-figure deals rose 50% Y/Y, albeit while admitting bookings growth (28%) benefited from forex and deal timing. On the earnings call, Marc Benioff promised more M&A - "We're going to buy small and big. We're going to be aggressive." - and boasted 3M+ apps have been developed on Heroku and Force.com. WDAY +2.2%. N +2%. MKTG +2.6%. ET +1.8%. ULTI +1.5%.
    | Mar. 1, 2013, 1:00 PM
  • Jan. 18, 2013, 11:49 AM

    In addition to downgrading cloud ERP/CRM software vendor NetSuite, Goldman is changing its stance on two cloud HR plays: Ultimate Software (ULTI -2.1%) has been downgraded to Neutral, and Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD +4.2%) upgraded to Buy. Though still positive on ULTI's long-term potential, Goldman isn't crazy about its valuation at current levels. The firm predicts Cornerstone's core business growth will accelerate, and (like Pac Crest) is positive on its Recruiting Cloud product.

    | Jan. 18, 2013, 11:49 AM
  • Oct. 12, 2012, 10:33 AM
    Ultimate Software (ULTI +3.5%) and Saba Software (SABA +2.3%), both the subjects of occasional M&A speculation, are moving higher following cloud HR peer Workday's memorable IPO. Ultimate is also benefiting from ThinkEquity's decision to start coverage with a Buy and $116 target.
    | Oct. 12, 2012, 10:33 AM
Company Description
The Ultimate Software Group, Inc. develops and provides Web-based payroll and workforce management software solutions. The company's UltiPro software, which is designed to deliver the functionality businesses need to manage the complete employment life cycle from recruitment to retirement. This... More
Sector: Technology
Industry: Internet Software & Services
Country: United States