Cloud computing services firm Rackspace Technology Inc. took a beating in extended trading today, its stock down more than 15% on the back of weaker than expected guidance for the coming quarter and full year. That followed solid fourth quarter financial results that beat expectations on earnings and revenue.
Rackspace reported earnings before certain costs such as stock compensation of 25 cents per share on revenue of $ 777 million, up 9% from the same period one year ago. The company’s net loss for the quarter came to $ 63.8 million.
That was better than expected, with Wall Street looking for earnings of 24 cents per share on revenue of just $ 771.22 million.
Long ago, Rackspace used to compete with giants such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud in the public cloud computing infrastructure space. Unable to keep up with those rivals due to a lack of funding, it eventually pivoted to helping enterprises design, build and operate cloud environments and manage services on those rival platforms instead.
Rackspace Chief Executive Kevin Jones (pictured) said the company ended the year well and that it continues to execute on its mission to lead the cloud services market.
“I’m pleased with our results and accomplishments in 2021,” he added. “We delivered double-digit core revenue growth and record revenue, strong mid-teens non-GAAP operating margins, and double-digit non-GAAP EPS growth while increasing cash flow from operations more than three-fold. And we accomplished this while executing our pivot from mature to growth businesses, improving our cross-sell and up-sell of higher margin services to our installed base, reducing our cost structure, and investing in new product offerings and service delivery. ”
Rackspace said its “core revenue” for the quarter came to $ 734 million, up 11% from a year ago. The core revenue comes from the company’s main growth businesses, namely its Multicloud Services and Apps & Cross Platform segments, where revenue rose by 11.7% and 3.9% to $ 639.3 million and $ 94.8 million, respectively.
Rackspace also has an OpenStack Public Cloud business that saw revenue decline 17.7% to $ 43.2 million.
The company also reported record quarterly bookings of $ 329 million, up 12% from a year ago. Bookings are a forward-looking metric that represents customer commitments to spend money on services over a future period of time.
For fiscal 2021, Rackspace reported total revenue of $ 3.01 billion, up 11% from a year ago.
So far so good but it all went wrong when Rackspace offered guidance for the next quarter. The company said it expects first quarter earnings of between 20 cents and 22 cents per share, with revenue in the range of $ 768 million to $ 778 million. Wall Street is looking for earnings of 26 cents per share on revenue of $ 789.5 million.
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