Here's How Citrix Systems, Inc. Just Beat Earnings Expectations

By Markets Fool.com

It's okay,Citrix Systems investors, you can exhale now. In an encouraging follow-up to last quarter's mixed bag, shares of the software virtualization specialist are up 4% in after-hours trading Wednesday following its exemplary fourth-quarter report.

Continue Reading Below

Quarterly revenue climbed 6.1% year-over-year to $851 million, which translated to adjusted net income of $180 million, or $1.10 per share. Analysts, on average, were only modeling earnings of $1.03 per share on sales of $844 million.

In addition, Citrix announced it will implement a restructuring program, "designed to increase strategic focus and operational efficiency." The program will align Citrix around three business units -- Workspace Services, Delivery Network, and Mobility Apps-- and will unfortunately mean the elimination of 700 full-time and 200 contractor positions. At the same time, it should result in annualized pre-tax savings of $90 to $100 million. Before that happens, however, Citrix expects to incur pre-tax charges in 2015 of roughly $40 million to $45 million for employee severance packages and $9 million to $10 million related to the consolidation of leased facilities.

"I'm proud of our 2014 performance," elaborated Mark Templeton, "but we're not satisfied. We are looking ahead to 2015 with a focus on innovation that delivers a better experience, more flexibility, and greater security to our customers, and a more focused organizational footprint that enables profitable growth."

Breaking it down
So what drove the better-than-expected results in Q4?

First, product and license revenue decreased 1% but was more than offset by solid 10% growth in software as a service revenue, a 9% increase in revenue from license updates and maintenance, and a 26% bump from professional services.

Continue Reading Below

Breaking that down in terms of the above-mentioned business units, Citrix first saw Workspace Services revenue climb 2% over the same year-ago period to $437 million. Within that, Workspace Suite comprised roughly 15% of total licensing revenue. Citrix Service Provider sales also notably jumped around 50% year-over-year, albeit from a much smaller base.

Next, Delivery Network revenue increased 11% year-over-year to $195 million. Citrix saw transactions from over 2,600 unique customers in the segment, with two-thirds of its sales coming from enterprise customers. SDX platform revenue enjoyed the most impressive performance, growing more than 20% over last year to comprise around 19% of the mix.

Finally, SaaS-Delivered Mobility Apps saw revenue climb 10% year-over-year to $168 million, driven primarily by Communications Cloud sales which represented over 60% of the segment total. ShareFile sales also jumped around 60% over the same quarter last year, adding over 50,000 new customers to bring its base to 10 million total users.

What to expect going forward
Citrix ended the year with cash and equivalents of $1.9 billion -- and that's after spending more than $215 million during the fourth quarter to repurchase 3.3 million shares at an average price of $65.26 per share. As it stands, Citrix still has around $288 million remaining under its current share repurchase authorization.

For the current quarter, Citrix expects revenue to be in the range of $780 million to $790 million and adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.70 to $0.72. Citrix also noted the first quarter will see the brunt of its pre-tax restructuring charges, with $30 million to $35 million for employee severance and $3 million to $5 million for lease consolidations.Both ranges are below Wall Street expectations for earnings of $0.80 per share on sales of $796.7 million.

For the full year 2015, however, Citrix is calling for revenue of $3.29 billion to $3.33 billion and adjusted earnings per share in the range of $3.60 to $3.65. The mid-points of both ranges are still below analyst models, which call for 2015 earnings and revenue of $3.65 per share and $3.36 billion, respectively. At the same time, however, they significantly narrow the gap between the two. Assuming Citrix's restructuring efforts are successful, the resulting annualized savings and renewed focus on profitable growth should leave the company poised for much improved results going forward.

The article Here's How Citrix Systems, Inc. Just Beat Earnings Expectations originally appeared on Fool.com.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.