BMC Bullish on Earnings Forecast

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2008-02-07

BMC Bullish on Earnings Forecast

Despite a cloudy outlook for other technology companies such as Cisco Systems, BMC Software on Feb. 7 predicted even better results for its earnings and revenue for its full fiscal 2008.

In reporting its third-quarter 2008 results, BMC officials upped their earnings-per-share forecast to a range of $1.90 to $1.94 a share for fiscal 2008 on a non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) basis.  BMC's earlier forecast predicted earnings per share of between $1.78 to $1.86 for the full year on a non-GAAP basis.

At the same time BMC upped its revenue growth expectations for the full year to be in the high single digits, up from a forecast of 6 percent that it made late last year.

For its most recently completed quarter, BMC said its net earnings hit $89 million, or 45 cents per share on a GAAP basis.  That was on revenue of $459 million, which represents a jump of 11 percent over the third fiscal quarter of 2007.  Non-GAAP net income was $112 million, or 57 cents a share, which also tracked higher than BMC originally projected.

"This is the 11th consecutive quarter we've met or exceeded our guidance," said CEO Bob Beauchamp in BMC's earnings call. Beauchamp attributed its growth to its leadership in the BSM (business service management) market.

"IT environments are becoming increasingly complex. At its core, BSM provides the opportunity to align IT with business priorities, so budgets can be recaptured or reallocated to grow the company's business," said Beauchamp.

In an interview with eWEEK later, Beauchamp attributed BMC's sunnier outlook to the efficiencies its customers can achieve in streamlining their IT operations using BMC's BSM software.

"The evidence in front of us shows that deals are not slipping. We have not seen any projects delayed or canceled as result of economic issues.  To the contrary, we've seen some companies that had very intense cost initiatives standardize on us," Beauchamp said.

At the same time, while market researchers such as Gartner and Forrester Research expect IT spending to only grow 5 to 6 percent, spending on enterprise software is expected to grow faster, at between 8 and 9 percent, he added. "That means somebody's going to get cut hard, but enterprise software, with its ability to cut out costs, is very positive for our sector," he said.

BMC Not Immune

Still, Beauchamp cautioned that BMC is not immune, with some constriction expected in the financial services sector as well as the consumer space.  And BMC did experience some weakness in Europe, although Beauchamp attributed that to "just a few countries" and to "poor execution" on BMC's part. 

Despite increasing competition in the BSM space, with other Big 4 enterprise management competitors such as IBM, CA and Hewlett-Packard also touting CMDB (configuration management database) technology as a foundation for IT Infrastructure Library initiatives, Beauchamp remained optimistic about BMC's continued success in that market.

"When you adopt a strategy and are a leader and your competitors say the same message, it helps validate the strategy even further. All our competitors are saying they will write a CMDB too. We have no fear of a highly competitive CMDB.  We expect more competitive pressure, but the reality is our market share is already so large that we have a very strong strategic advantage," he said.

Measuring that market share has been a challenge, however.  No market researchers have published market share numbers that span the whole BSM market.  In segments of it, such as the service desk market, BMC is the "undisputed market share leader by a wide margin," Beauchamp said.  The same is true for the CMDB market segment, he added. The BSM market is growing "in the high teens," he said.

For its fourth fiscal quarter of 2008, BMC said it expects its earnings per share to range between 48 to 52 cents a share on a non-GAAP basis and revenue to range from $450 million to $465 million.

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