SAP pre-announces best Q2 ever

SAP announced its best ever Q2 results today. All eyes will be on the detail and especially HANA sales
Written by Dennis Howlett, Contributor

SAP pre-announced its best ever Q2 results this morning with software revenues passing the magic €1 billion mark ($1.29 billion), up 26% year-over-year. Total revenue for the quarter was €3.9 billion ($4.75 billion) up 18%. Operating profit was €0.92 billion ($1.12 billion) up 7% on the previous year. 

According to the blurbs:

"We delivered double-digit growth in all regions driven by strong momentum from the core as well as SAP HANA, mobile and the cloud. The results came in at the upper end of our second quarter software revenue guidance in an uncertain macro-economic environment,” said Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, Co-CEOs.

 This was at the upper end of anlaysts expectations. 

In an earlier note from Morgan Stanley, analysts said: 

"We forecast €999m of new licences – this is up 14% organic and 19% stated. Consensus is at €980m, up 12% organic. Unusually for 2Q12, SAP gave specific guidance on new licences expecting them to be up 15-20% ex FX. This suggests a licence range of c. €1,010m - €1,060m and so both us and consensus are already some way below the low end of SAP’s own guidance.

On HANA, we forecast €60m – we think HANA licences have to be in the mid €50ms to avoid disappointment – and a number into the €60ms would be positive."

It looks like Morgan's were pretty much bang on the money. 

Last week, the markets got skittish following a warning from Informatica. At the time, Forbes' Eric Savitz said:

Looks like Informatica just blew up the entire enterprise software sector. In case you missed it, Informatica after the close on Thursday issued a stark June quarter earnings warning. The company sees revenue of $188 million to $190 million, with non-GAAP profits of 27-28 cents a share; consensus was $217.2 million and 37 cents. The company blamed the shortfall on “the changing macroeconomic environment, especially in Europe.”Throw into the mix warnings from Seagate last night and from Acme Packet this morning, and you have a recipe for an old-fashioned wholesale slaughter.

At the time I found that argument puzzling since TIBCO was not reporting similar issues. TIBCO and Informatica often play in similar spaces. When asked for comment, one analyst said: "Informatica has got everyone spooked and I think a number of the hedge funds are short SAP now as they don't see how they could have escaped the weakness that Informatica (and Qlik) pointed to in Europe."

Sources at IBM had been telling me that HANA sales were brisk in Q2 and they are now getting traction for consulting on those deals. While those gigs are nothing to get excited about at the moment, IBM sources believe that they will see a significant uptick going forward.

Other sources tell me that HANA is a minor part of their revenue stream but the broad strokes numbers under discussion are tracking what analysts expect from SAP itself but describe the deal flow as 'strong.' Bill McDermott has in the past said he hopes to reach something around $400 million in HANA sales by years' end. SAP is some way off that number right now but then we don't yet know what pipeline  is looking like. 

Quite how SAP achieved this performance has yet to be understood although I am told they closed out a mega deal (think €100 million) in the last quarter in EMEA. Those are the sort of deals that save the company's blushes but now of course they have to move forward to Q3.  

More to come from the analyst call, scheduled for later this month. 

Editorial standards