VMware and Dell Technologies both reported rising earnings on Thursday ahead of a shareholder vote next month that will return Dell back to a publicly traded company.
VMware’s revenue for the fiscal 2019 third quarter was $2.20 billion, a year-over-year increase of 14 percent. Additionally, its revenue from software licenses rose 17 percent to $884 million. The virtualization giant also raised its full-year fiscal 2019 total revenue guidance more than $60 million to $8.882 billion, and it updated its non-GAAP net income per diluted share to $6.22, up from its prior guidance of $6.14.
Meanwhile Dell Technologies, which owns 81 percent of VMware, reported third quarter revenue of $22.5 billion, up 15 percent year over year, and non-GAAP revenue of $22.7 billion, up 14 percent from the prior period.
Both earnings calls happened less than two weeks ahead of a shareholder vote.
On Dec. 11 shareholders will vote on Dell’s proposal to acquire VMware tracking stock, which would allow Dell to be publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange without a formal initial public offering. The company recently sweetened the deal, offering shareholders a maximum of $120 a share in cash and stock, up from $109. Dell also said it now has the support of at least 17 percent of shareholders. That shareholder support, combined with investor Carl Icahn dropping his lawsuit against Dell, means the tracking stock offer will likely be approved.
The company expects shareholders will support the deal “with the projected close date and first day of trading for the Class C common stock on the NYSE under the ticker symbol DELL on December the 28,” said Rob Williams, senior vice president of investor relations at Dell Technologies, at the start of the Thursday conference call.
What About AWS On-Prem?
The elephant in the room on both calls, however, was the VMware-Amazon Web Services (AWS) relationship, which has grown significantly since the companies first announced a partnership two years ago.
Earlier this week at AWS re:Invent, the companies announced AWS Outposts — AWS branded servers running in customers’ on-premises data centers. This could hurt legacy hardware vendors like Dell.
In the question and answer portion of the call, Dell Technologies CFO Tom Sweet downplayed the idea that AWS Outposts could cut into Dell’s networking and server businesses.
“It validates our view of the world, which is it’s a multi-cloud, hybrid world,” Sweet said. “Obviously [AWS is] a competitor, but we do think we’ve been in that world, and it just reinforces our view of where technology and how compute is being used and [where it’s] migrating to.”
On VMware’s earnings call, CEO Pat Gelsinger said the Outposts announcement is “chapter three” in his company’s relationship with the cloud giant. (Chapter one was VMware Cloud on AWS, which allows VMware customers to run their workloads in the public cloud using their existing VMware software stack. And chapter two was Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) on VMware. This new service allows customers to deploy the public cloud-native database in their on-premises VMware-based data centers.)
VMware expects 2020 revenue to grow 12 percent, in part because of increased sales from these hybrid cloud offerings. Gelsinger said new VMware Cloud on AWS customer wins include TEPCO, Whirlpool, JetBlue, and IHS Markit.
“We see the VMware Cloud on Outposts as an opportunity to really expand the footprint for VMware Cloud,” he said. “And it’s not only in the AWS environment. It’s on-premise.”