Apple is wholly unoriginal … and that’s okay ? Here Comes Sam(sung)

Apple is set to announce a handful of new products next week that you’ve already seen elsewhere. But when it comes to Apple, that’s not a problem.

Whether it’s larger phones, a smartwatch or a new mobile payments system — all of which are rumored to be announced next week — Apple will be following the lead of other companies that already have products on the market. That’s prompting renewed criticism that the company has lost its ability to innovate following the death of former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs.

But even if Apple isn’t the first company to make these products, its track record indicates that it still has the opportunity to reap gains by executing them better than the competition.
“Apple is not usually first to market — they typically make an existing product much better and more usable,” said Amit Daryanani, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets.

Apple is widely expected to unveil a pair of larger iPhones next week measuring 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, up from four inches on the iPhone 5S.
Those larger phones will finally give Apple (AAPL, Tech30) some entries into the “phablet” market. That product category has been led in recent years by rival Samsung.
For Apple, the larger phones are low-hanging fruit. Customers spent over $10 billion in the company’s App Store last year, the bulk of that going to gaming apps. Bigger screens and faster processors on the new iPhones will make those games even more compelling.
As for smartwatches, Apple will be following on the heels of devices from companies like Samsung, LG and Motorola that sync with smartphones and offer features like directions and fitness tracking.
But the recent crop of smartwatches have underwhelmed reviewers and failed to present a compelling reason why they’re more convenient than simply taking your phone out of your pocket. If Apple can find a way to improve on those models — perhaps with more sophisticated health tracking or location awareness — consumers may finally have a reason to ditch their old Timexes en masse.
The opportunity is even bigger in mobile payments, where smartphone-based systems like Isis and Google (GOOGL, Tech30) Wallet have been around for years without catching on.

Apple has reportedly been working with major credit-card companies on an iPhone-based payment system. The company already has more than 800 million credit cards on file thanks to iTunes and App Store accounts, according to some estimates, giving it a massive ready customer base.
Add to that the security of the iPhone’s fingerprint identification system and Apple could finally push merchants and consumers to ditch plastic and move to smartphone-based transactions.
“To say that Apple is coming out with a product that already exists ignores the fact that there were MP3 players before the iPod and smartphones before the iPhone,” said Walter Piecyk, an analyst with BTIG. “Those products defined their categories

Having trouble with your iPhone 5 battery? You might be eligible for a free replacement.
Apple (AAPL, Tech30) said “a very small percentage” of iPhone 5 smartphones may “suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.”

Don’t get too excited just yet. After a year or two, everyone’s iPhone battery seems to carry less juice than it once did. But Apple’s repair program is limited to certain customers in the United States and China.
Only iPhone 5 smartphones sold between September 2012 and January 2013 are eligible, and only those that fall within a certain range of serial numbers. Apple has opened a website that allows people to determine whether their phones are eligible. (To access your serial number, tap Settings > General > About > Serial Number).

Investors curbed their bets on Apple on Wednesday.

One possible reason: They got a reminder that the company won’t have a free run at the market this fall even with the release of the hotly anticipated iPhone 6 and supposed iWatch.

Apple’s shares fell 4.2%, having hit an all-time closing high of $103.30 on Tuesday. The drop coincided with rival Samsung’s event at the IFA show in Germany, where it previewed new versions of its Galaxy

Apple Inc. (AAPL)-Nasdaq
Prev Close: 103.30
Open: 103.20
Bid: 98.79 x 100
Ask: 98.82 x 100
1y Target Est: 106.83
Beta: 0.83
Earnings Date: Oct 27 – Oct 31 (Est.)
Day’s Range: 98.58 – 103.20
52wk Range: 63.89 – 103.74
Volume: 125,424,577
Avg Vol (3m): 49,884,300
Market Cap: 592.44B
P/E (ttm): 16.60
EPS (ttm): 5.96
Div & Yield: 1.88 (2.00%

iShares SouthKorea ETF (EWY : NYSE : US$65.27), Net Change: -0.13, % Change: -0.20%, Volume: 1,332,424
Arms race?

Samsung unveiled new versions of its Galaxy Note smartphone on Wednesday, featuring a crisper, 5.7-inch display edition version of the Note with a curved edge screen on one of the phone’s sides, helping users to stay focused on their main screen without having to respond to calendar reminders or incoming emails.

It also demonstrated a Virtual Reality headset that on version of the Note with a curved edge screen on one of the phone’s sides, helping users to stay focused on their main screen without having to respond to calendar reminders or incoming emails.

. The launch comes just less than a week before Apple’s September 9 event where Apple is expected to roll out a 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 as well as a possible iWatch device. Last week, Samsung said it would begin selling a stand-alone wristwatch, the Samsung Gear S, which will be able to make and receive calls without having to be tethered to a smartphone. Apple is also expected to join forces with credit card companies to provide a mobile payment option for the iPhone 6 and iOS 8.

Halogen Software Inc.

HGN : TSX : C$8.84 BUY 
Target: C$15.00
Halogen Software is a provider of Software-as-a-Service
Human Resources and Talent Management tools for
small and medium sized companies. The company’s tools
simplify performance appraisal, recruitment,
compensation management, succession planning and
more. Halogen Software is headquartered in Ottawa
Canada with ~300 employees.
All amounts in C$ unless otherwise noted.

Technology — Enterprise Software — Software as a Service
Investment recommendation
Halogen reported in-line Q2/14 revenue driven by strong international growth
and record recurring revenue, and provided a slightly soft Q3 outlook. Halogen
has revised its 2014 guidance down slightly, reflecting the removal of perpetual
license revenue from its forecast. Customer retention and dollar retention
remained at ~90% and 100%+, respectively, flat with the previous quarter. We
continue to believe Halogen is a leader in the mid-market with strong products,
experienced management and leading customer satisfaction, further reinforced
by the Halogen’s impressive repeat performance in the 2014 Gartner Magic
Quadrant for Talent Management. We reiterate our BUY rating but our target
goes to C$15.00 (from C$16.50) based on 4.0x (from 4.5x) NTM EV/Sales
reflecting lower trading multiples among peers.
Investment highlights
 In-line Q2 – Revenue was $13.6M (up 19% YoY), in line with our and
consensus estimates. Recurring revenue continued to outpace overall
revenue, growing 21% YoY to a record $12.3M. Adj. EPS was a loss of $0.12,
a penny below our and consensus estimates.
 Slightly soft Q3 outlook – For Q3/14, Halogen expects total revenue of $14.4-
14.6M, versus our estimate of $14.8M and consensus of $14.5M. Recurring
revenue guidance is $12.7-12.9M, compared with our forecast of $13.0M.
 2014 outlook revised – Given no perpetual license revenue expected for the
rest of 2014, Halogen tightened its 2014 revenue guidance to $56.5-56.9M
(from $56.8-57.8M, reflecting no perpetual license) with recurring revenue
of $50.5-50.9M (from $50.3-51.3M), versus our $51.2M estimate.
Halogen’s current valuation of 1.8x C2015E EV/Sales lags larger HCM SaaS
vendors at 7.1x and small/mid cap SaaS vendors at 3.6x. Halogen software,
despite lowered retention at 90% churn, remains a high growth recurring
revenue business with a strong product for a large and untapped market with few
direct competitors

Opower BUY

OPWR : NYSE : US$17.29

Target: US$23.00

Opower combines big data analytics and behavior science to
provide utilities around the world with cloud-based software
solutions for customer engagement, energy efficiency, and
demand response. The firm was founded in 2007, is
headquartered in Arlington, VA, and trades on the NYSE under the
ticker “OPWR”.

All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.

Technology — Enterprise Software — Software as a Service
Investment thesis
Opower posted a good start as a public company with greater upsides than we
expected. The firm’s growth spending should pay off in terms of a long-term
upward margin ramp beginning in early 2015. Meanwhile, in our opinion the
firm remains the definitive leader in consumer oriented energy efficiency and
energy data analytics space. The stock has the potential to deliver significant
returns over the long-run. Reiterate BUY.
 An upside out of the gate. OPWR reported total revenues and Adjusted
EBITDA of $28.6M and ($4.3), which were respectively $2.4M and $3.6M
ahead of our estimates. Revenue growth was 50% in the quarter. Calculated
billings of $34.2M were nicely ahead of our $31.6M estimate and up 17%
year-over-year versus a very difficult compare. Cash from operations was a
($2.1M) loss, which was better than our ($4.4M) estimate.
 Color from the call. Opower signed a deal with TEPCO in the quarter, which
is Japan’s largest utility (20M households) and the firm’s first major win in
the region. Sales hiring has accelerated to meet C2014 targets, and
management is pleased with the pace and early productivity of new
additions. Recurring revenue loss due to non-renewals has been <5% every
year since inception, which speaks the firm’s high level of visibility.
 Outlook: C2014 guidance well ahead of expectations. OPWR provided
guidance for the first time, setting mid-point C2014 revenue and EBITDA
targets that were respectively $5M and $2M better than our estimates. We
now expect the firm to grow revenues ~33% this year, which is up from our
pervious 27% estimate, and report EBITDA losses that are in the mid-20%’s
as a percent of sales – we believe there is still likely ups on both metrics.



NASDAQ : US$68.44 
BUY  Target: US$84.00

COMPANY DESCRIPTION: Benefitfocus sells a cloud-based benefits software platform for large employers and insurance carriers. The firm’s suite of solutions enables customers to more efficiently shop, enroll, manage, and exchange benefits information. Based in Charleston, SC, Benefitfocus was founded in 2000 and went public in September, 2013.
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.
A favorable mix shift towards the faster growing Employer business and an uptick in demand from Carriers around private exchanges could enable BNFT’s revenue growth rate to accelerate by a couple hundred basis points in each of the next 2-3 years. If we are correct, the natural, and eventual compression of the firm’s EV/revenue multiple of 12x 2014E will be both gradual and more than offset by high-20’s organic revenue growth. We continue to expect BNFT’s stock to advance faster than the overall stock market. Reiterate BUY.
 Preliminary Q4/13 results ahead of expectations. BNFT expects to report Q4 total revenue and Adjusted EBITDA loss of $30.3M and ($7.9M), which were respectively $1.8M and $0.4 better than our forecasts. Total revenues increased 36% y-o-y, and within the mix, Employer revenues increased 80% y-o-y and now make up 44% of revenue.
 Color on deal flow. BNFT added 14 new employer customers in the quarter, bringing the firm’s total to 393, up from 286 a year ago – we’d remind investors that the second and third quarters tend to be seasonally stronger as a result of the timing of open enrollment season. The firm saw particular strength with Carriers, adding 3 new accounts in the quarter, as those firms look to setup private exchanges. Q4 was a company record in terms of customer “go-lives.”
 C2014 investment initiatives. Management highlighted three areas of focus: (1) an increase in sales capacity to really put the foot on the gas in the hot Employer market; (2) an incremental $10M investment in their private exchange efforts for Carriers and brokers; and (3) the build out of a third-party channel for implementation services – the firm is already in discussions with multiple potential partners. The result of the initiatives will be a roughly $20M larger EBITDA loss in C2014 than we had previously forecast. As we are undoubtedly in the very early stages of this opportunity, we believe this is a logical strategy. Our C2014 and C2105 revenue estimates increase by $2.5M and $4.0MTechnology

Veeva Systems BUY


NYSE : US$37.80 
BUY  Target: US$48.00


Veeva provides industry-specific, cloud-based software to the life sciences industry. The firm’s solutions include: Veeva CRM for customer relationship management; Veeva Vault, a cloud-based content management and collaboration solution; and Veeva Network for the creation and maintenance of healthcare provider and organization master data. The firm was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, CA. All amounts in US$ unless otherwise

Technology — Enterprise Software — Software as a Service

Veeva delivered a trifecta tonight: 1) a meaningful, across the board, quarterly upside, 2) an above consensus outlook for F2015, and 3) an unexpected extension of its relationship with Salesforce through 2025. We expect continued strong fundamental execution in F2015 and beyond to enable VEEV’s revenue growth to more than offset an orderly, and likely elongated, compression in the firm’s valuation multiples. The result, in our opinion, will be a stock price that meaningfully outperforms the overall stock market. We reiterate our BUY rating.
 Excellent quarter: another solid upside. Veeva reported revenues and non-GAAP EPS of $62.8M (+58% y-o-y) and $0.07, which were respectively $5.1M and a penny ahead of our estimates. Subscription revenues grew 89% in the quarter and made up 73% of the revenue mix. Calculated billings of $76.7M were up 56% in the quarter and easily topped our $64.3M estimate. VEEV generated FCF of $15.8M, up 135% y-o-y and $7.5M better than we had forecast.
 Color from the call. Veeva added 10 new Vault customers in the quarter, including the firm’s first ever 7-figure deal with this product. The firm ended the year with 198 total customers – including 147 in CRM, 69 Vault, and 6 Network. The firm noted FQ4 revenue retention of 166%. Lastly, Veeva extended its platform partnership with CRM for an additional 10 years – at more or less the same terms from a margin perspective – which should ease investor concerns with regard to any prospective changes in this relationship.
Outlook: revenue estimates inch up, likely a conservative cut. Management provided FQ1 and F2015 revenue guidance that at mid-points were roughly $3.0 and $4.5M ahead of our respective estimates. The firm plans to continue to invest for growth, which will drive modest margin compression in F2016 – we’re forecasting a still impressive ~20% operating margin. We believe there is upside to our revised, high-end of the range forecasts.


Workday BUY

WDAY : NYSE : US$100.28 
BUY  Target:  $ 115


Workday provides enterprise-scale, cloud applications that deliver the core functions for global customers to manage the human capital and financial resources of an organization. Solutions include: HCM, Financial Management, Payroll, Time Tracking, Procurement, Employee Expense Management, etc. Workday was founded by the former founders of PeopleSoft in 2005 and is headquartered in Pleasanton, CA.S$115.00

Technology — Enterprise Software — Software as a Service STRONG QUARTER AND CONTINUED INVESTMENT. BUY, TARGET TO $115.
Workday’s continued business momentum and upwardly revised outlook were strong enough to keep investors’ “eyes on the prize” – which in this case, is about becoming a multi-billion revenue cloud-based replacement of incumbent applications from Oracle, SAP and the high end accounts of the largely PE funded firms like Infor, etc. It would be too aggressive to forecast that WDAY’s share price will generate 2x the return of the stock market, but it seems reasonable that 56% compound revenue growth from C2013 to C2015E will more than offset a nearly certain degradation of the firm’s 22x forward EV/revenue multiple. We would own at least a small position in this stock. BUY.
 The track record remains perfect: another big upside. Workday reported revenues, calculated billings, and FCF of $141.9M (+74%), $203.7M (+78%) and $7.5M, which were respectively $3.9M, $29.5M, and $31.2M ahead of our estimates. Subscription revenues grew 86% in the quarter, and non- GAAP EPS loss of ($0.13) was $0.02 better than we expected.
 Color from the call. Customer momentum continues as the firm added roughly 50 customers in the quarter (bringing the total to ~600), including the second straight quarter of “double digit” Financials additions. WDAY also recently acquired Identified, a small technology tuck-in that will add predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities to the firm’s apps.
Outlook: revenues move higher on bookings strength, F2015 operating losses in the mid-teens as WDAY continues to invest for growth. We have increased our F2015 and F2016 revenue estimates by $35M and $60M respectively, which now implies 56% and 42% growth in the next two years. F2015 calculated billings growth is expect to come in at ~45%, which is up from our previous 43% estimate. We have slightly increased our assumed operating losses in F2016 and expect WDAY to be FCF positive in F2017.

Autodesk : Hold

ADSK : NASDAQ : US$54.72 
HOLD  Target: US$52.00 

Autodesk is a global design software company that sells high- function, low-cost 2D and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) applications. The firm also provides visualization and simulation tools, which in conjunction with the company’s design apps, enable customers to experience their ideas early in the design process through the development and analysis of virtual prototypes. All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.

Technology — Enterprise Software — Applications BUSINESS MODEL CHANGE BEGINS. MAINTAIN HOLD FOR NOW. 
Investment thesis Autodesk generated normalized revenue growth of about 2%, and as reported revenues declined 3%, due in large part to a transition to subscription. If investors react to this transition as they have with Adobe, the stock will work. However, if the underlying fundamentals of the business do not change, Autodesk shares will eventually behave like EDA stocks, which similarly went to subscription, but underlying growth remained sluggish. We lean toward the former scenario, but for the time being, with not quite enough conviction to upgrade the stock. HOLD.
 An OK quarter: a bit of upside versus conservative forecasts. ADSK reported Q4/14 revenue and non-GAAP EPS of $587M and $0.40, which compared to our estimates of $573M and $0.35. Reported revenues were down 3% y-o-y, but when normalized for the model transition, grew 2%. Billings, which will become an increasingly important metric to watch during the transition, grew 3% in the quarter – overall, management was “pleased” with what the firm saw in its first full quarter with subscription licensing options. During Q4, ADSK signed its largest deal ever, worth more than $20M, and noted continued momentum with Suites, which were up 15% y-o-y.
 Outlook: a lot of moving parts, but 5-8% billings growth and fairly meaningful margin compression. Autodesk provided some new guidance metrics to add benchmarks against which investors will be able to measure progress while reported revenues are in flux. 5-8% billings growth is a step towards the firm’s 12% CAGR target and the addition of 150-200k net new subscribers would be roughly 9% growth. However, taking consideration for the dilution associated with Delcam as well the financial impact of ratable revenue recognition on an unchanged cost structure, near term margins will be negatively impacted. ADSK guided for non-GAAP operating margins in the range of 14-16%, which is down from the 22.5% reported in F2014. In the interim, investors will need to focus on cash flow growth, which we believe will be close to 10% in F2015.

Analog Devices

ADI : NASDAQ : US$51.23 
BUY  Target Price $ 60


Analog Devices designs, manufactures and markets high- performance analog, mixed-signal and digital signal processing integrated circuits (ICs) used in industrial, communications, computer, and consumer applications .target: US$60.00


ADI delivered a little upside for EPS last night and guided modestly better than the Street as all verticals except consumer ran ahead of expectations. With the better mix, gross margins were a positive surprise as was EPS. CQ1 guidance calls for more of the same as well as better revenue. With a dividend hike and $1b buyback in place, we believe ADI continues to offer defensive exposure to semiconductors at a time when growth for the industry remains in question. We are reiterating our BUY and increase our price target to $60 from $55.
We are increasing our estimates and price target largely on better gross margins. For CQ1, EPS is now expected to be $0.56 up from our prior estimate of $0.49, while revenues remain roughly $2.6B. EPS for C2014 is increased slightly to $2.40 from $2.39 while revenue remains roughly $2.8b. Our price target is increased to $60, or roughly 20x C2014 EPS plus $12.07 net cash per share.
Broad upside minus consumer ADI’s revenue was better than expected across its Industrial, Automotive, and Communications segments, while Consumer was weak. The most significant upside came from Communications where the company sells into wireline and wireless equipment and avoids lower margin smartphone ICs. We believe a strong capex cycle for wireless basestations could deliver revenue and earnings upside versus our revised estimates.


LOCK : NYSE : US$22.13 
BUY  Target: US$27.00


LifeLock provides identity theft protection services for consumers as well as identity risk assessment and fraud protection services for enterprises in the United States. As of June 30, 2012, the company served approximately 2.3 million paying members and more than 250 enterprise customers. LifeLock was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona. All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.

Technology — Enterprise Software — Software as a Service JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED. BACK-END LOADED YEAR IS THE RIGHT STRATEGY
While it doesn’t happen as often as we like, last week’s preview and supposition as to what this earnings call would look like was basically dead on. The firm beat by a bit, raised full year guidance, and inched down first half profit expectations due to a ramp in sales & marketing spend. ID theft is in the news, and it makes extraordinary sense for LifeLock to further cement its position as the leading firm in this space. We liked the shares last week, and we believe they are still attractive six days later. Buy.
6 in a row: another upside quarter. LOCK reported revenues, Adj. EBITDA, and non- GAAP EPS of $102.3M (+30% y-o-y, +33% in the consumer business), $22.9M (22.3% margin), and $0.22, which were respectively $1.3M, $0.8M and a penny ahead of our estimates. FCF of $20.4M in the quarter, or $0.21 per share, easily topped our $12.6M estimate.
Customer metrics. LOCK added 246k gross new members in Q4, which is up 24% y-o-y and well above our 215k estimate; the firm ended the period with 2.99M paying members. ARPU increased 10.7% y-o-y to $10.72/month driven by continued adoption of premium products – “Ultimate” again accounted for >40% of new members in the quarter. Member retention improved for the 14th consecutive quarter to 87.8%, and cost of customer acquisition was $139, down from $173 in Q3/13 and also down slightly compared to a year ago (Q4 is LOCK’s seasonally slow advertising quarter).
Outlook: C2014 revenues move higher, but as expected, a front-end loaded marketing effort. Management guided for mid-point C2014 revenues that were $6M ahead of our estimate and imply 25%+ growth. LifeLock will spend more in 1H/14 marketing to capitalize on recent identity breach media, which will drive EBITDA into the red in Q1 – as highlighted in our preview note, we continue to believe this is the right strategy. We have increased our C2014 and C2015 revenue estimates by $11.0M and $18.5M respectively.

Aspen Technology Target Price $52

AZPN : NASDAQ : US$41.60
Target: US$52.00

Aspen provides software and services to process intensive
industries such as oil & gas, petroleum,
chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The company’s products
aid in process design, production planning, economic
evaluation and simulation across three core areas -
engineering, plant operations and supply chain management.

All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.

Technology — Enterprise Software — Applications
AspenTech remains one of our favorite long-term GARP stocks. With over 20
years of deep technology innovation, the firm has developed a best-in-class
product within the process industry supply chain space. While we are required
to play the 90-day report card game, the real AZPN story is about the prospect
of a multi-year increase in operating margins to a level that we believe could
approach 50% within five years. This isn’t the stuff for momentum investors, but
it is certainly a good path to getting rich slowly. For those less frenetic investors,
we believe AZPN absolutely deserves a place in their portfolio.
 Another solid quarter. FQ2 LTCV grew 13.3% y-o-y (ahead of our 12.0%
estimate) to $1.75B, annual spend of $356M (+11.3% y-o-y) was slightly
ahead of our estimate, and FCF of $45.2M ($0.48 per share) grew 34%
year-over-year and was well ahead of our $36.4M estimate. For those who
track revenue and non-GAAP EPS (both non-relevant metrics during the
firm’s model transition, in our view), AZPN beat by $9.8M and $0.10.
 Business color. AZPN introduced new head of sales Chris Dartnell, who
joins the firm from Honeywell. CEO Pietri reiterated that focus remains on
increasing suite usage among the firm’s core 350 customers and to leverage
a relatively new inside sales effort to add new mid-market accounts.
 Outlook: FCF guidance moves higher again. In what has nearly become a
tradition, management increased midpoint F2014 free cash flow guidance
by ~$8M. The firm continues to expect “double digit” LTCV growth,
however our point estimate is for 12.1% growth (up from 11.5%). We have
increased our F2015 FCF per share estimate to $2.00, which implies
normalized FCF margins in the low-40% range.


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