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Why MobileIron Stock Popped on Tuesday

By Steve Symington – Jan 31, 2018 at 9:00AM

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The enterprise mobility specialist is teaming up with Google. Here's what investors need to know.

What happened

Shares of MobileIron Inc. (MOBL) climbed as much as 12% early Tuesday, then settled to close up 6.8% after the mobile device-management specialist announced a collaboration with Alphabet's Google on a new platform for enterprise cloud services.

More specifically, the end-to-end cloud services product will combine Google's Orbitera e-commerce platform -- which the search giant acquired in mid-2016 -- with MobileIron's app distribution, security, and analytics capabilities.

A man in a suit pointing to a chart indicating business gains


So what

"Operators have a fantastic business opportunity to become a bridge for secure cloud services marketplace for their customers," explained MobileIron CEO Simon Biddiscombe. "Our work with Google Cloud will look at ways we can help operators sell the way they want to sell and help CIOs to buy the way they want to buy."

For perspective, Biddiscombe previously served as MobileIron's CFO before taking the helm this past October, when former CEO Barry Mainz stepped down from his post. Shares fell at the time due to a combination of the unexpected executive turnover and disappointing third-quarter results. However, management later explained that their revenue shortfall during the quarter was partly due to a single large multiyear perpetual transaction that was recognized ratably rather than up front.

Biddiscombe also voiced his confidence at the time in MobileIron's product since he joined the company in 2015, describing it as the "only modern cloud and endpoint security platform that combined enterprise mobility management with client security."

Of course, this could prove to be a particularly intriguing competitive advantage for Google and MobileIron as their combined product takes on competing platforms from the likes of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).

Now what

The partnership is still in its infancy, and it's unclear exactly when and how much this deal will contribute to MobileIron's top and bottom lines. But with its revenue expected to arrive at just under under $187 million in 2018, MobileIron has the advantage of building from a relatively modest base -- and it's hard to ask for a better partner to that end than Google. It was no surprise to see MobileIron stock rally in response.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Teresa Kersten is an employee of LinkedIn and is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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