NEW YORK (Reuters) - Several large U.S. tech companies posted their quarterly results on Tuesday afternoon, including Apple Inc, Yahoo Inc and VMware Inc.
* Apple said quarterly profit rose 26 percent, driven by sales of its new iPhone but it issued a forecast for the current quarter well below Wall Street expectations.
* Yahoo said its quarterly profit fell sharply on weak sales as corporate advertisers slashed spending on brand promotions at the leading provider of online display advertising.
* VMware reported quarterly earnings and revenue that blew past Wall Street expectations, sending its shares higher even as the business software maker guided its outlook lower.
The following are comments from analysts and other business insiders on the results:
KATHERINE EGBERT, ANALYST, JEFFERIES & CO — VMWARE
“The quarter looks good. They beat by $7 to $8 million on revenue. Licenses were not up that much. Expectations were low. They beat nicely on EPS.
“Given that there is upside on the quarter and they are guiding on the low end. That means that the fourth quarter numbers have to come down.
“On the operating margins they had previously guided to 25 percent, plus or minus. Now it looks they are guiding to 23 percent, plus or minus.
“The stock is up $4 now. It’s a relief rally because it was a good quarter. Expectations were very low. Good for them.”
“Wall Street will be happy.” The results are “good for VMware and good for the industry.
“The real thing is, what’s going to happen with the next quarter. VMware, like every high-tech company, is going to have to hold their breath.
“But it’s definitely a cause for celebration in a bearish market. They’re certainly holding their own at this point.”
“I think they posted very positive iPhone results, higher than people were expecting, but the concern is for guidance on the December quarter. Both the forecasted revenue and earnings per share were below consensus.
“The question is what message is Apple sending with regard to guidance, recognizing full well that Apple’s been very conservative in the past.”
“As you look at the December quarter, it looks like pretty wide guidance and they’re missing the consensus by quite a bit, by almost $1 billion on the top-line. It kind of goes hand in hand with what we’re seeing with the consumer spending slowdown.
“Iphone did very well ... It looks like they’re picking up market share very nicely ... The question now is how does that factor in with the whole macroeconomic environment.”
“Not a surprise in the sense of pretty disappointing. Revenue came in toward the lower end as far as the quarter, free cash flow was pretty low, down 31 percent.
“Guidance, also disappointing. I had been predicting they would reduce their guidance for Q4 but they really whacked it ... it had been in the mid-teens, now it’s just barely over 2 percent for revenue growth in the fourth quarter, normally a seasonally stronger one.
“We all know part of the reasons why, but ... aside from the macro-economic issues and ad demand being a challenge, I still think Yahoo has a lot of challenges. Largely because of Google on search and advertisers looking for better targeting on display ads, I think those two things are working against them.”
“It was a good quarter as usual. It looks like they came up a bit short on the revenue, but all in all there was some rapid growth. The Street is just having a fit because they can’t get a grip on what the numbers will look like each quarter, but this is the eighth quarter where Apple has beaten the consensus. We’re not disappointed at all.
“The range for the first quarter outlook is pretty big, but Apple is just being conservative, which is prudent in this environment.
“In the next few days, I can see the stock trading down some, but the conference call will probably help the stock. That’s just a guess at this point. I don’t see anything negative coming out of the conference call.
“The company has one of the best product pipelines, I think, and I don’t see any changes in that in the near-term. The laptops complement the group of the iPhones and iPods, and any improvements in the operating system will help take some Windows business from Microsoft. Looking further out, I think Apple is in the catbird seat.”
Reporting by Jim Finkle, John Tilak, Jim Christie, Sue Zeidler, Gina Keating and Ryan Vlastelica