Data specialist Teradata (NYSE:TDC) has impressed the market with its third-quarter earnings, as its shares have been trading at least 4% higher all day Thursday. Teradata's $667 million in revenue more or less met Wall Street's $667.6 million consensus, while adjusted earnings of $0.71 per share came in ahead of the $0.66-per-share consensus.
The company's full-year guidance remains unchanged, but we can now calculate likely results based on the three quarters of actual data available for 2014. On this measure, there may be room for some disappointment. Teradata's top-line guidance still calls for constant-currency revenue growth at the lower end of a 3% to 7% range higher than 2013's full-year result, which works out to fourth-quarter revenue of approximately $828 million based on a full-year growth rate of 4%. This would be a fair bit better than the $797.7 million Wall Street expects.
However, Teradata's full-year EPS guidance has targeted the low-end of a $2.85 to $3.00 range. If full-year adjusted EPS hits $2.90, it would leave enough room for $0.93 in fourth-quarter EPS, which is $0.01 below Wall Street's expectations.
Let's take a look at how these top- and bottom-line figures stack up against the rest of Teradata's recent financial history:
As you can see, Teradata's third quarter looked a bit better on the bottom line, which posted 1.4% year-over-year growth, than on the top line, which was essentially flat year over year. Both top and bottom lines look to improve in the fourth quarter, though.
A modest estimate of Teradata's fourth-quarter revenue works out to nearly 8% growth year over year, which would be the company's highest quarterly growth rate since late 2012. EPS of $0.93 would represent a 5.7% improvement over 2013's fourth quarter, which is pretty modest, but still better than a year-over-year decline, which has happened three times in the past eight quarters. If Teradata can nudge its trailing 12-month EPS to $2.90, it would set a new all-time high, nudging past the first quarter's trailing 12-month record of $2.88 in EPS.
Teradata offered no real surprises in terms of geographic growth. Its international sales, which unexpectedly grew by double digits in the second quarter, were up only 1.9% year over year in the third. However, sales in North America stabilized at a 1% year-over-year decline. This isn't exactly encouraging, but is nonetheless better than the 8.3% drop it suffered in the prior quarter. Teradata's three primary sales segments -- products, consulting services, and maintenance services -- all performed similarly to their recent trends:
Teradata's third-quarter earnings were solid, but not smashing, which is why its shares have only gained modestly today despite surpassing bottom-line expectations. Teradata's trailing 12-month revenue has only improved 5.5% from the third quarter of 2012 to today, and its trailing 12-month adjusted EPS is only up 4.8% in the same time frame.
On a GAAP basis, Teradata's trailing-12 month EPS is actually 4.3% lower today than it was in the third quarter of 2012. This must be frustrating for investors who have hung on in the hopes that Teradata might be better able to separate itself from myriad massive tech companies with similar designs on the storage-and-analytics space.
Teradata's pop today has only brought it back to zero for the past year, and investors still seem skeptical that the company can reignite the growth engine that drove its gains not that long ago. Today's report doesn't give us any surprises, and it doesn't give us anything new to talk about. Ultimately, it seems to be more of the same, which won't be enough when investors are looking for big growth from Big Data.
Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Follow him on Twitter @TMFBiggles or connect with him on LinkedIn for more insight into investing, markets, economic history, and cutting-edge technology.
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