Shares of virtual computing veteran VMware (VMW) fell 18.6% in February, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock tracked alongside the broader market all month long, coronavirus warts and all, until the bottom dropped out due to a mixed fourth-quarter report at the very end.
Revenue increased by 11% year over year to $3.07 billion, and adjusted earnings rose 9% to $2.05 per share. Wall Street's consensus estimates had been calling for earnings near $2.17 per share on sales in the vicinity of $2.95 billion.
VMware provided optimistic revenue guidance but weak earnings targets for fiscal 2020. These projections included a small slowdown in Asian sales and operating profits due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, based on the geographically limited spread of the disease at the time.
VMware's management kept a stiff upper lip, but investors looked past the calming effort to the potential for a larger virus-based slowdown. The shift toward a subscription-based business model could be thrown off track by virus-related challenges. That being said, VMware is trading at the low, low ratio of 7.3 times trailing earnings right now. Investors searching for a value idea in the tech sector should take a second look at this company today.