Tibco Looks Down at Nasdaq From 'Cloud'

Software maker says it sees future better than Oracle and could even have caught the Christmas Eve bomber.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of enterprise-software provider Tibco (TIBX) have returned more than four times the Nasdaq over the past year, and Chief Executive Officer Vivek Ranadive expects continued outperformance despite a sluggish economy.

Ranadive sat down with

TheStreet

to talk about his company's recent success and what we can expect from Tibco in the second half of this year.

What's driving Tibco's stock?

Ranadive:

It's largely performance. For eight consecutive quarters, we have beaten consensus. We had a 30%-plus increase in earnings per share over the past year, and in just the most recent quarter. And there's a general belief that event-driven software has now reached the proverbial tipping point. So even though the stock has outperformed, we believe the best days are still ahead for the company.

Which sectors are ordering the most right now?

Ranadive:

Our historical success has been in financial services and telco. But one of the reasons I say we've reached the proverbial tipping point is because we're now starting to see success in a variety of sectors. So we're seeing it in retail. We're seeing it in health care. We're seeing it in government. We're seeing it in airlines. We're seeing every geography and every sector embracing this move to event-driven technology that Tibco stands for.

What is Tibco doing in the "cloud" right now?

Ranadive:

Tibco is providing the middleware so people can put their infrastructure and their applications in the cloud. What Levi Strauss did during the gold rush is provide jeans so people could get gold. We're doing that for the cloud -- we're providing the tools and the infrastructure so people can leverage cloud solutions.

We keep hearing that American and European spending are down as economies are slowing. How are you doing in these regions, as well as the emerging markets, where growth is faster?

Ranadive:

We have actually done very well in the U.S., and we've done extremely well in Europe. So from our perspective, those have been good markets for us. But we are actually seeing great opportunities in the emerging markets. Brazil is one of our fastest-growing markets, as is India. We've seen great success in China. So we're investing heavily in all those markets, and we're tasting success there.

How does Tibco hold its ground while competing against some of the giants of the software industry, such as IBM (IBM) - Get Report and Oracle (ORCL) - Get Report

?

Ranadive:

We have software that is truly solving 21st-century problems with 21st-century technology. And this economic environment actually favors us because customers are forced to focus on value more than brand. So just the brand of IBM doesn't cut it anymore.

Oracle and IBM are well-known for their acquisitions, but even for a small cap, Tibco is also buying companies. Tell me about some of your recent purchases and what you have planned for the future.

Ranadive:

The difference between us and Oracle is that they're largely buying maintenance. So they're buying 20th-century companies and technologies that are outdated, and they're buying them for their maintenance revenue stream. Tibco is buying 21st-century technologies, so we're buying companies that have technologies that are changing the world.

We bought a company called

Netrics

recently and they solve the problem of data: When you have different names, how do you make sense out of the names? Quite honestly, if the government had this technology, we would have solved the Detroit Christmas Eve bomber problem. We were not able to find him because his name was misspelled. With Tibco technology, that problem is solved. So what Tibco is doing is buying 21st century technologies for 21st century problems that make the world a better place.

-- Reported by Gregg Greenberg in New York.

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Before joining TheStreet.com, Gregg Greenberg was a writer and segment producer for CNBC's Closing Bell. He previously worked at FleetBoston and Lehman Brothers in their Private Client Services divisions, covering high net-worth individuals and midsize hedge funds. Greenberg attended New York University's School of Business and Economic Reporting. He also has an M.B.A. from Cornell University's Johnson School of Business, and a B.A. in history from Amherst College.