Two of our stocks took a double-digit step back yesterday on news that was more cosmetic than material. The real story isn't the recent news but the way they've run so far in the last few months.
We'll talk more about Roku (ROKU: $61, down 15% this week) in the weekend Bull Market Report, but insofar as there is a story here at all, it's overstated. Management filed a shelf prospectus to sell up to $100 million in stock, which would be a slight drag on the stock if and when they sell the shares.
The real story is a lot simpler. Roku was up a staggering 130% YTD. (It was a $27 stock at Christmas.) Dropping back 14% yesterday is realistic and even healthy. If the stock had continued to rally without any pauses for breath, we'd start to doubt that the 74% gains we've given subscribers are real. Either way, we're here for the long haul. There was also talk about the CFO selling some shares. This is a normal part of most businesses on Wall St. Again, not overly concerned.
Cloudera (CLDR: $14.64, up 6% but down 14% overnight) has a similarly exaggerated tale to tell. Earnings last night were outstanding where they needed to be in the wake of the merger with onetime rival Hortonworks: Revenue of $144 million blew our $120 million target away and guidance for the first post-merger year is solid.
Back when the companies were separate entities, we were looking for them to report roughly $900 million in 2019 revenue together. Counting $60 million in deferred sales that management has decided to push beyond the current year, the new Cloudera is confident that that's going to be the floor and not the ceiling. Total revenue could easily come in $20 million higher, giving us at least the 10% top-line expansion we were expecting.
The combined companies are still burning cash. They weren't profitable on their own, weren't likely to be profitable in 2019 and management now confirms that it will take more time for synergies to emerge. That's how mergers work in the real world. Instant gratification is rare.
What we like about this merger is the way two companies that once wasted a lot of resources competing against each other are now aligned. The conference call was all about adding up the discounts both legacy sales teams needed to offer in order to win business. Pricing is going to firm up a lot and we could see a significant improvement in the current quarter.
From there, guidance is actually on the extremely "modest" side, to use the Chief Financial Officer's word. We weren't here for a sudden flip from cash burn to earnings. We want sales to accelerate. This is how Cloudera does it. Anyone who's been watching the company seriously, knows this. We're here to see this merger deliver results, even if it means watching the stock give back the last few months of hard work. From here we'll be patient and look for $20 later in the year.