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Cloud Stocks: What Should SAP Acquire to Triple its Value by 2023?

Posted on Thursday, Apr 25th 2019

During the last quarter, ERP giant SAP (NYSE: SAP) has been in the news on account of the large scale restructuring and management reshuffle announcements. Despite the departures, the company continues to invest in cloud, AI, and IoT technologies as it targets to more than double its value by 2023.

SAP’s Financials
SAP’s fourth quarter revenues grew 9% to €7.434 billion (~$8.48 billion), ahead of the market’s estimated $8.28 billion. Overall, the company reported an income of €1.41 (~$1.61) per share. On an adjusted basis, EPS came in at €1.51 (~$1.72), missing the Street’s forecast of $1.78 for the quarter.

By segment, Services revenues grew 11% to €1.108 billion (~$1.26 billion) and Cloud and software business revenues grew 9% to €6.327 billion (~$7.21 billion). Within the Cloud segment, Cloud subscriptions and support revenues grew 40% to €1.413 billion (~$1.61 billion) and Software licenses and support revenues grew 5% to €4.914 billion (~$5.6 billion).

During the quarter, SAP’s new cloud bookings grew 25% to €736 million (~$840 million). It ended the year with backlog for Cloud subscriptions and support segment at €10 billion (~$11.4 billion), up 30% over the year.

SAP continued to see growth for S/4HANA, which saw adoption increase 33% over the year to 10,500 customers. It reported almost 600 additional customers for the service.

SAP ended the year with revenues of $29.18 billion and a profit of $4.82 billion, or $4.04 per share.

For the current year, SAP expects to deliver cloud revenues of €22.4-€22.7 billion (~$25.2-$25.9 billion).

SAP’s Restructuring

SAP announced plans to implement a large-scale restructuring in 2019 and expects to spend €800-€950 million (~ $912-$1,083 million) in the year. This is its first restructuring program since 2015. It expects more of these expenses to be recognized in the first quarter this year. It expects these efforts to drive savings of €750-€850 (~$855-$970 million) million in 2020. Through its restructuring, SAP expects to simplify its structures and processes and ensure that resource allocation is aligned with its strategic priorities to meet evolving customer demands.

Some of the exits on account of the restructuring include names like Executive Board Member and Co-Lead to its Digital Business Services Division Bernd Leukert, President and Executive board member Robert Enslin, Chief Technology Officer and Head of SAP’s cloud platform business Bjoern Goerke.

Analysts expect these savings to be reinvested into the business into initiatives such as IoT, AI, and cloud platforms. Through these initiatives, SAP is looking to treble the size of the cloud business by 2023, bringing total revenues to €35 billion (~ $40 billion).

SAP’s Growth Focus

SAP continued to add several new features for its Cloud, IoT, and AI initiatives to drive the next round of growth. It recently announced enhancements to its Next-Generation Support that integrate machine learning and AI capabilities to deliver incident solution matching and other real-time support services.

Within SAP HANA, it launched several updates including enhanced cloud support, persistent memory support with Intel, intelligent recommendations for efficient database management, new machine learning (ML) capabilities, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) certification, and improved cost-effective data tiering and data security enhancements.

It also recently announced that it was expanding new solutions on SAP Analytics Cloud Platform to handle business processes along with offering augmented analytics, cloud-computing, machine-learning, enterprise planning workflows, and data-analysis services. The solution already had analytics capabilities, but the new features will allow users to add new machine learning and artificial intelligent capabilities to existing business intelligence and planning workflows.

Over the past few years, SAP has built a robust platform strategy. Its open PaaS, SAP Cloud Platform, allows organizations to develop, extend, integrate, and deploy mobile-ready cloud applications that can take advantage of an in-memory database, core platform services, and other microservices such as machine learning, blockchain, and IoT capabilities. Developers can leverage its platform to build apps and integrate them with cloud and on-premise applications through API management, smart data integration and open connectors. SAP also operates an app marketplace that currently features a library of more than 1,300 apps developed by its network of third party developers.

SAP has set a high target for itself for the next few years. I think to hit it, it would need to acquire big companies. It could look to add enterprise collaboration players like Atlassian or SmartSheet. Adding Atlassian, for instance, would help SAP add enterprise collaboration and project management tools and give Atlassian a much bigger access to the enterprise segment.

Other interesting acquisitions could be those of Hubspot, Splunk and Zendesk. Hubspot, which last reported revenues of $513 million and a capitalization of $7 billion, would add MarTech capabilities to SAP. Splunk, which is much bigger at $1.8 billion revenues and $19 billion market capitalization could add big data capabilities to its platform.

To compete more closely with Salesforce, a Zendesk acquisition could add CRM skills to SAP. Zendesk ended 2018 with $599 million in revenue and is trading at a market capitalization of $7.8 billion.

Among relatively smaller companies, there is the financial software provider, BlackLine, that has $228 million in revenues and a market capitalization of $2.6 billion. BlackLine already has a strong integration with SAP and an acquisition could help SAP add reconciliation capabilities. Anaplan, with revenues of $240 million and a market capitalization of $4.8 billion could help SAP provide a more flexible cloud-based planning application.

SAP’s stock is trading at a 52-week high of $129.08 with a market capitalization of $158.3 billion. Like other technology stocks, it had fallen to a 52-week low of $94.81 in December last year.

Photo Credit: Paul Downey/

This segment is a part in the series : Cloud Stocks

. Smartsheet Acquiring Bootstrapped Startups to Drive Growth
. Bootstrapped Unicorn Atlassian is Acquiring Capital Efficient Startups
. Netflix Price Hike Ruffles Competition
. How Will Carbon Black Differentiate?
. ServiceNow Grows Through Addition of Capital-Efficient Startups
. Zendesk and Freshworks Follow Different Acquisition Strategies
. Tableau Grows Through Small Acquisitions
. Open Platform Strategy Stands Intuit in Good Stead
. Will GoDaddy Follow the PaaS Route?
. Adobe Delivers Via PaaS
. A Look at Oracle’s 2018 M&A Activity
. What Apps Will Drive More Traction for Cloudera?
. Slack's App Focus Will Be Key to Post-IPO Success
. IBM Counts on its Cloud and Platform for the Turnaround
. Atlassian Acquires From its PaaS Marketplace
. What Should SAP Acquire to Triple its Value by 2023?
. Expect ServiceNow to Acquire From App Marketplace
. Should Follow a PaaS Strategy?
. How Upwork Can Leverage the Virtual Company Trend
. Qualys Scouting For Acquisitions
. Should SAP Acquire Zendesk or Freshworks?
. HubSpot Counts on its API Strategy
. SurveyMonkey Eyes Acquisitions for Growth
. Workday Wants to Disrupt Cloud Computing Using Machine Learning
. Einstein and Open-Source Platform Lead the Charge for Salesforce
. DocuSign Prepares to Beat Rival Adobe
. Veeva Soars, But Dassault Acquires Medidata for $5.8 Billion
. Tableau Acquisition Signals Massive Analytics Push for Salesforce
. Oracle Joins Hands with Microsoft to Take on Amazon
. GoDaddy is Making Strategic Acquisitions for the Next Level of Growth
. Alteryx Sees Strong Momentum
. Adobe Leveraging Magento and Marketo to Deliver Blockbuster Performance
. Is Slack Overvalued?
. How Will Cloudera Address the Competition?
. Zoom is Not Bothered by Cisco or Microsoft
. Domo Counts on Enterprise Revenue for Growth
. Netflix Plays with Pricing and Games to Attract Subscribers
. CrowdStrike Has a Successful IPO
. Atlassian Crosses the Billion Dollar Revenue Milestone
. ServiceNow Believes Strength Lies in Tie-ups
. Partnerships are the Mantra for BlackLine
. SurveyMonkey Counts on Enterprise Segment for Growth
. HubSpot Soars to a New High
. Intuit Pushes AI to Simplify Tax Filing
. Splunk Sees Strong Cloud Momentum
. Forescout Partners with Big Names
. Smartsheet Tapping into the Government Sector
. Salesforce Continues its Shopping Spree
. Palo Alto Networks Targets the IoT Security Market
. DocuSign Focuses on the Mortgage Sector
. Oracle Brags About Autonomous Database
. Blackbaud Acquires YourCause to Grow Addressable Market
. The Market Expects a Lot More from Adobe
. Anaplan Makes its First Acquisition Post IPO
. Activist Investor Drives Market Interest in Box
. MongoDB's Formula for Success
. Coupa Aims for $1B Revenue
. Dropbox on a Rocky Road
. Medallia Banks on Acquisitions
. IBM Banks on AI
. Time For Skepticism with Netflix
. SAP Riding High on the Cloud
. Amazon's Faster Shipping Hurting its Earnings
. ServiceNow CEO Change Signals Focus on Acquisitions
. Will Google Acquire Fitbit?
. HubSpot Focuses on Its Platform
. BlackLine Partners with Google Cloud
. Rapid7’s Focus on Cloud SIEM Pays Off
. Splunk Bets Big on Data Streaming
. Intuit's QBO Scores Big
. VMware Builds Up With Acquisitions
. Palo Alto Targets $5B Revenue by 2022
. Workday Targeting Procure-to-Pay Cycle
. Will Salesforce Acquire DocuSign?
. Okta Targets Enterprise Customers
. MongoDB Eyeing China With Alibaba Partnership
. Twilio Counts on API Upgrades for Growth
. Adobe Revs up its Experience Platform
. Top 20 for 2020
. Anaplan Sees Expanding Use Cases
. Dropbox Gears Up to Regain Lost Valuation
. Forescout Fails to Deliver
. Enterprise Bet Pays Off for SurveyMonkey
. SAP Bets Big on Experience Management
. Twilio Steps up Investment in 2020 to Preserve Growth Momentum
. Zendesk, Freshworks Focus on Marketplaces and Integrations
. Proofpoint Targets Insider Threats Through Acquisition
. RingCentral's Powerful Partner Strategy Would Augment with PaaS
. Qualys Counts on Google and Microsoft for Growth
. Shopify Soars on Improved Merchant Offerings
. HubSpot Believes in the Importance of PaaS
. BlackLine Remains Focused on SAP Integration
. Recently Public Cloudflare has New Edge
. GoDaddy is on a Shopping Spree
. Intuit Targets Online User Base Through Acquisition
. Should Palo Alto Networks Acquire ZScaler?
. Why Salesforce Buying Vlocity Proves the Growing Importance of PaaS
. Datadog Performing Well Post Recent IPO
. Workday Should Open Up About its PaaS Success
. Anaplan Focuses on API Connectors for its Platform
. Veeva
. Five9 Strengthens its PaaS Focus
. RealPage Brings AI and SaaS to Real Estate
. Splunk Should Open up About its PaaS Metrics
. Okta Benefiting from App Diversity
. Oracle Sees Growth Momentum
. Xero Focuses on a PaaS Strategy
. DocuSign Resilient to COVID-19
. Smartsheet Looking up to Enterprise Customers for Growth
. Paylocity Delivers Solid Results
. Q2 Holdings Expands TAM with Acquisitions
. New Relic Focuses on PaaS
. AppFolio Leverages AI for Product Enhancement
. Will Adobe Open Up About its PaaS Statistics?
. Change Healthcare Pushes APIs
. Dropbox Needs to Share API Metrics
. Upwork Improves Monetization
. MongoDB has Miles to go
. Nutanix Needs to Define a PaaS Strategy
. Cloudera Focuses on Hybrid Cloud
. Atlassian Gears Up for Growth, Unfazed by Covid-19
. Shopify Helps Merchants Pivot to Online Stores
. ServiceNow Steady in Turbulent Seas
. RingCentral Sees Strong Traction
. Twilio Hits 52-Week High Amidst COVID Crisis
. HubSpot Lowers Outlook Amidst Virus Concerns
. Proofpoint Acquiring Even Amidst Crisis
. BlackLine Looks Solid At The Face of Covid-19
. GoDaddy Continues to Acquire
. Qualys Expands Cloud Offerings to Soar to New Highs
. Zendesk Struggling Amidst the Downturn
. Alteryx Bounces Back Despite Low Outlook
. Palo Alto Networks Continues to Acquire
. Workday Extends its PaaS Strategy
. Splunk Rides High on Cloud Initiatives
. Salesforce Partners with Workday to Address the New Normal
. Veeva Scales New Highs
. Is Smartsheet’s Pullback a Buying Opportunity?
. MongoDB Soars Even in the Crisis
. Okta Reiterates Outlook
. Is Anaplan a Prospect for Oracle, SAP?
. Oracle Relies on Autonomous Offerings
. Adobe Shifts its Focus
. Paycom Confident Under Current Conditions
. DocuSign Soars to Record Highs
. Paylocity Acquires Amid Crisis
. Datadog's Integrations and Upgrades Help it Soar
. AppFolio Improves Offerings for Current Conditions
. SurveyMonkey Should Get Into PaaS
. Model N Soars to a Record High
. Appian Focuses on RPA for Growth
. Slack Beefs up its Portfolio
. Coupa Expands into Treasury Services
. CrowdStrike Soars to Record Highs
. Guidewire Expands Cloud Offerings
. Dropbox Should Focus on PaaS
. Talend Expands Data Offering Through Partners
. IBM Expands Cloud Partners
. One Medical Supports COVID-19 Care Digitally
. Microsoft Rides High on Teams and Gaming
. Investors Say Yes to nCino’s IPO
. Nutanix Focuses on Government and Media Verticals
. SAP Rethinks Qualtrics Acquisition
. Tenable Expands Into Industrial Cyber-Security
. ServiceNow Expands Ties with Zoom
. Cloudera Powers its Data Platform with Partnerships
. Atlassian Continues to Acquire from PaaS Ecosystem
. Shopify Soars to an All-Time High
. The PaaS Landscape
. HubSpot Focuses on the Enterprise Segment
. GoDaddy Restructures During COVID
. Akamai's Security Solutions Thriving
. Blackline Needs a PaaS Strategy
. Twilio - A Successful PaaS Story
. Zendesk Invests in the Future
. Qualys Continues to Acquire Indian Startups
. ZoomInfo Lists Despite COVID-19
. Analysis of Alteryx PaaS Strategy
. Fastly Needs to Diversify from TikTok
. Way to Go, Salesforce
. Intuit Continues to Acquire
. VMware Continues Buying Spree
. Analysis of Five9's PaaS Strategy
. Okta Expands Alliances to Attract Enterprises
. Palo Alto Continues to Acquire
. Analysis of Splunk's PaaS Strategy
. BigCommerce Goes Big with IPO
. Analysis of Workday's PaaS Strategy
. Analysis of Anaplan's PaaS Strategy
. Sees Strong Demand
. Analysis of MongoDB's PaaS Strategy
. Analysis of Wix's Platform Strategy
. New Relic Product Upgrades Deliver Growth

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