Red Hat's CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript - TheStreet

Red Hat (RHT)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

March 28, 2012 5:00 pm ET


Tom McCallum -

James M. Whitehurst - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Charles E. Peters - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President


Philip C. Rueppel - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Joel P. Fishbein - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

Mark R. Murphy - Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division

Adam H. Holt - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Matthew Hedberg - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Michael Turits - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Steven M. Ashley - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Kash G. Rangan - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Stewart Materne - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

John S. DiFucci - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Walter H. Pritchard - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Heather Bellini - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Edward Maguire - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Research Division

Brent Thill - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Jesse Hulsing - Pacific Crest Securities, Inc., Research Division

James Derrick Wood - Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division



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Good afternoon. My name is Jamaria, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Red Hat's Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2012 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Tom McCallum. Sir, you may begin.

Tom McCallum

Thank you, Jamaria. Hello, everyone, and welcome to Red Hat's earning call -- earnings call for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. Speakers on today's call will be Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO; and Charlie Peters, Executive Vice President, CFO. Our earnings press release was issued after the market closed today and may be downloaded from on the Investor Relations page. Also on this page, you will be able to find a historic reconciliation schedule of GAAP to non-GAAP financial metrics as well as the schedule on currency rates.

Various remarks that we may make about the company's future expectations, plans and prospects, including the statements containing the words believe, anticipate, plan, project, estimate, expect, intend or will, constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those discussed in the company's most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC, as well as the Safe Harbor statement in today's press release.

In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our estimates or views only as of today, March 28, 2012, and these estimates or views may change. While the company may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so even if our estimates or views do change. And therefore, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our estimates or views as of any date subsequent today.

With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Jim.

James M. Whitehurst

Thank you, Tom, and let me add my welcome to all of you joining us on today's call. I'm pleased to report that we delivered fourth quarter results that exceeded the high end of our guidance, and it represented a very strong finish to another record year for Red Hat. Red Hat associates around the globe have contributed to 40 straight quarters of sequential revenue growth, culminating in fiscal 2012 revenue that exceeded the $1 billion mark.

Red Hat has become the first pure-play open source company and one of a few select software companies to have ever achieved this milestone. Our consistent strong growth over the last decade stems from the high value we deliver to customers, the power of our subscription model and the freedom, flexibility, reliability and security that our customers find with our open source solution.

Let me share with you just a few of our financial highlights: records billings proxy of $418 million for the quarter up 31% year-over-year; full year revenue growth of 25%, a 160 basis point improvement in our operating margin for fiscal 2012 even while we invested aggressively in growth opportunities in virtualization, cloud computing and unstructured data storage. Finally, we delivered record operating cash flow, up 35% for the quarter and for the fiscal year. The strong growth that we achieved for fiscal 2012 is all the more impressive when considering the strength of our fiscal 2011 performance.

Red Hat's top line growth indicates that we are gaining market share from our competitors. In addition, we believe we are one of the few technology companies that is helping to define the new era of computing and enabling it through our technology and value proposition. Customers are looking to Red Hat to help modernize their data centers with reliable high-performing and agile technologies that prepare their infrastructure for cloud computing and the growth of big data.

We also see a structural shift in the global economy where companies have been forced to become more lean and productive by doing more with less. One of the key enablers for success in this new economy is innovative technologies like Red Hat's portfolio of enterprise-class solutions. To shift simply -- this shift simply cannot be addressed by legacy proprietary software.

So from Wall Street firms to Main Street global retailers, CIOs are partnering with Red Hat more and more. These shifts in how business and data centers are run have enabled Red Hat to expand our footprint at existing customers and to attract new customers. An illustration of this expansion can be seen in our largest renewal. This quarter, we renewed 24 out of our top 25 largest deals or 99 out of 100 for the year, and we experienced 130% growth in these top accounts. Included in this metric was a record financial services deal with a global bank that significantly increased their purchases to an 8-figure deal

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