Red Hat Fails to Impress Investors Despite Earnings Beat

Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) released its fiscal first-quarter earnings report after markets closed on Wednesday. The company detailed in the report that it had $0.50 in earnings per share (EPS) on $568 million in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters called for $0.50 in EPS on $562.76 million in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.44 in EPS on $481 million in revenue.

Subscription revenue for the quarter was $502 million, up 18% in both U.S. dollars and constant currency from last year. This made up 88% of the total revenue. Subscription revenue from Infrastructure-related offerings for the quarter was $403 million, an increase of 14%, while subscription revenue from Application Development-related and other emerging technologies offerings for the quarter was $98 million, an increase of 39%.

At the end of the first quarter, the company’s total deferred revenue balance was $1.69 billion, an increase of 18% from last year.

In terms of outlook for the second quarter, the company expects to have EPS of $0.54 and revenues in the range of $587 million to $593 million. There are consensus estimates that are calling for $0.55 in EPS on $588.6 million in revenue for the coming quarter.

Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO of Red Hat, commented:

Digital transformation and cloud computing are changing the way companies compete in virtually every industry today. Organizations that rapidly embrace agile IT technology are succeeding as industry innovation accelerates around them. Our open source-based technologies are helping customers capture the business benefits associated with this rapid rate of change. Strong adoption of our technologies has been reflected in our total revenue growth including 18% year-over-year growth in Q1 that was driven in part by 39% growth of our Application Development-related and emerging technologies.

Operating cash flow was $232 million for the first quarter. On the books, cash, cash equivalents, and investments totaled $1.40 billion at the end of the quarter, compared to $1.21 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Shares of Red Hat closed Wednesday at $79.71, with a consensus analyst price target of $88.97 and a 52-week trading range of $59.59 to $84.44. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was down 5.4% at $75.43 in the after-hours trading session.