Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hosting/Cloud Index outperforms NASDAQ Nearly 4x

Exactly a year ago, in 2009, I started looking into whether the market for Hosting and Cloud Computing could be measured in the stock market - with my first Blog on the topic. I revisited again in January 2010, and later in February 2010.

I created a number of model portfolios based on leading public hosting companies. The list included: Digital Realty Trust; DuPont Fabros; Equinix; Internap; Iomart; Macquarie Telecom; Navisite; Rackspace; Savvis; Switch & Data; Telecity; Terremark. During 2010, this index has gained 45% to the Nasdaq's 17%

I also created a sub-group of those companies with explicit cloud computing offerings. That included Equinix; Navisite; Rackspace; Savvis; Terremark. During 2010, this sub-index has gained 57% to the Nasdaq's 17%

I'm not surprised by either outcome... Assuming the market doesn't lie because it takes into account valuations and expectations, I draw a few personal conclusions:
  • More enterprises are turning to outsourcing their IT. Whether or not it involves cloud computing, I suspect enterprises find it advantageous to hand-over IT (management, or at least co-location) to businesses where this technology is core. It may also indicate the skyrocketing consumption of computing power by enterprises.
  • It would appear that hosting firms with Cloud Computing offerings are being valued higher than their counterparts. I haven't looked at cashflows or balance sheets (yet) to determine whether this is actual value, or speculative value.
What's next for 2011?  I'm going to guess more of the same, if not an acceleration as more companies move to outsource non-core IT operations.  I'll also be watching consolidation of data center operators, as recently evidenced by Rackspace acquiring cloudkick, and Cologix acquiring Navisite. 'Guess I'll have to update my portfolio companies...


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