SAP Shares Leap After Cloud Business Prompts Full-Year Profit Guidance Hike
SAP shares some upbeat news.

SAP SE  (SAP) shares rose to the top of the German market Tuesday after Europe's biggest tech company boosted its full year outlook after topping €1 billion in cloud sales for the first time and outpaced U.S. rivals Oracle corp. (ORCL) and Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM) for international sales.

SAP said its profits for the three months ending in March rose to €1.235 billion, beating analysts' forecasts of €1.19 billion and rising 14% from the same period last year. Group sales, the company said, modestly missed the consensus estimate by coming in at €5.26 billion but the Walldorf, Germany-based company lifted its full-year revenue forecast to between €24.8 billion and €25.3 billion, a figure which suggests growth of between 5.5% and 7.5% and factors in the company's $2.4 billion January acquisition of Callidus Software Inc. 

Cloud sales, SAP's key growth driver, rose 18% on a constant currency basis, the company said, and topped 1 billion for the first time. New bookings also rose 25%.

"There are two things I am particularly proud of in Q1," said CFO Luka Mucic. "We faced a very strong prior year quarter comparison and still delivered cloud & software growth above our full year guidance. Moreover, we increased operating margins while continuing to invest in our people and our portfolio. This gives me great confidence for 2018 and beyond." 

SAP shares were marked 3.63% higher in the opening 30 minutes of trading in Europe to change hands at €90.53 each, a move that  trims its year-to-date decline to around 6.6%.

SAP paid $36 a share for Dublin, Calif-based Callidus in January, a deal CEO Bill McDermott insisted was not a change in tact for the M&A recalcitrant software giant but rather a "tuck-in" to its existing business. 

"The addition of CallidusCloud aligns perfectly to SAP's innovation strategy to transform the front office," McDermott said at the time. "SAP gives CallidusCloud the global scale to accelerate its already impressive growth. These two strong companies will be better together, help the world run better and improve people's lives."
 
Oracle posted weaker-than-expected sales for its fiscal third quarter lat month as revenue from its newly developed cloud computing division missed Wall Street forecasts, a move the company indicated was linked to a softer cloud outlook thanks to its introduction of a bring-your-own-license (BYOL) option for Oracle databases and certain other products.
 
By allowing companies to buy traditional software licenses and later make use of them on Oracle's cloud infrastructure if they wish, BYOL -- already supported by Microsoft ( MSFT) and Amazon's ( AMZN) rival cloud infrastructure platforms for certain databases -- has the effect of boosting Oracle's license revenue but depressing its cloud revenue.

Jim Cramer and the AAP team hold positions in Microsoft and Amazon for their Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL or GOOGL? Learn more now.

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