VMware Inc. Stock Hold Recommendation Reiterated (VMW)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- VMware (NYSE: VMW) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C+. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VMW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • VMW's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.08 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, VMW has a quick ratio of 2.02, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • VMWARE INC's earnings per share declined by 9.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VMWARE INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.71 versus $1.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.29 versus $1.71).
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, VMWARE INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Looking at the price performance of VMW's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 28.60%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, VMW is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.

VMware, Inc. provides virtualization infrastructure solutions in the United States and internationally. VMware has a market cap of $8.5 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. Shares are down 28.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full VMware Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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