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Why VMware, Inc. Stock Surged 59.2% in 2017

By Daniel Sparks - Updated Jan 10, 2018 at 3:40PM

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VMware left investors without any doubts about its ability to grow revenue and earnings.

What happened

Virtualization solutions-provider VMware (VMW 3.62%) had a great year in 2017. As a result, its stock price soared an impressive 59.2% according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

VMware's big 2017 was driven by double-digit revenue and earnings growth, increasingly more ambitious guidance for its full-year fiscal 2018 results (VMware's fiscal 2018 began on Feb. 4, 2017 and ends on Feb. 2, 2018), and an acceleration in the growth rates of several of its key businesses.

A chalkboard sketch of a bar chart highlighting growth

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

In its nine months ending Nov. 3, 2017, VMware saw its revenue rise 10.5% compared to the nine-month period ending Sept. 30 in 2016. VMware saw this double-digit revenue growth continue into its most recently reported quarter, when revenue increased 11.2%. Net income in VMware's net income climbed from $745 million in the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2016, to $1 billion in the nine months ending Nov. 3, 2017.

The strong growth reported in VMware's most recent quarter captured the company's impressive ability to drive growth in two of its growth businesses, NSX (VMware's network virtualization and security platform) and EUC (end-user computing solutions). Both businesses saw their growth rates accelerate in Q3.

In Q3, NSX license bookings increased more than 100% year over year, management said. EUC license bookings were up over 40% year over year.

Now what

With broad-based strength across its products and geographies during 2017, VMware has raised its guidance for full-year revenue several times. As of the last time management provided guidance for full-year fiscal 2018 results, it said it expects total revenue of about $7.9 billion and adjusted non-GAAP EPS of $5.13. Importantly, management also said it expects free cash flow of $2.84 billion for the period.

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