SAP delivered better-than-expected preliminary fourth quarter results, but analysts noted that the financials got a boost from the acquisitions of Concur and Fieldglass.
The application software giant said its pro forma cloud subscriptions and support revenue was up 72 percent in the fourth quarter from a year ago, or 59 percent in constant currencies.
SAP talked up its cloud growth and noted that HANA, its analytics engine, "had another great quarter."
Related: SAP confirms purchase of travel expenses platform Concur for $8.3B | SAP acquires VMS provider Fieldglass | Enterprise vendors: Can they scale and keep it simple? | Oracle: Winning cloud perception game with IT buyers
For 2014, SAP said that cloud subscriptions and support revenue was up 45 percent from a year ago to €1.10 billion. Software and software related service revenue was up 6 percent (7 percent in constant currencies), which was in line with SAP's growth targets.
Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, said the company's plan is to roll out next-gen applications for HANA in 2015. The company is holding an investor powwow on Feb. 3. Analysts expect SAP to set its targets for the year there.
Total revenue for the fourth quarter was €5.46 billion, up 7 percent from a year ago. Analysts were expecting €5.378 billion. Concur delivered €45 million in revenue in the fourth quarter and Fieldglass added €19 million.
BMO analyst Joel Fishbein said in in a research note:
SAP reported cloud revenues of €360mm vs. consensus €320mm, our €300mm, and implied guidance of €314mm, although note our model and many Street estimates don't reflect the closing of Concur, which contributed €45mm in the quarter. Reported cloud growth of 72% year over year and 59% year over year in constant currency would have been 50%, although that number also includes contribution from the Fieldglass acquisition. These results are in line.
Fishbein added that software and support revenue would have missed expectations without Concur. "This continues a trend of sluggish core software growth offset by acquisition-driven cloud upside seen all year," said Fishbein.
Evercore analyst Kirk Materne was more charitable. He said the key for SAP is setting a realistic expectations bar for 2015.
"While Concur is expected to be a major catalyst for cloud subscription and support revenue in the coming year, seeing the 'legacy' SAP cloud offerings growing in the 30% range is an encouraging result, in our view," said Materne.