Billion Dollar Unicorn Splunk (NASDAQ: SPLK) recently announced its third quarter results that outpaced guidance for the 27th consecutive quarter. Splunk may have initially been launched as a machine generated data analytics platform, but today it has expanded into several diverse areas. It remains focused on becoming “the ubiquitous machine data platform, the standard in every organization” in the field of IT operations and application delivery, security compliance, fraud management, business analytics, and the Internet of Things.
Revenues for the third quarter grew 40% over the year to $481 million, significantly ahead of the market’s expectations of $432.3 million. It ended the quarter with a net loss of $55.7 million and an adjusted EPS of $0.38. The Street was looking for an EPS of $0.31 for the quarter.
By segment, Splunk’s software revenues grew 49% to $325 million. Maintenance and services revenues grew 35% to $201.4 million. During the quarter, Splunk added more than 500 new enterprise customers including names like Jabil, Norfolk Southern, Japan’s Softbank, and Australia’s Department of Home Affairs.
For the current quarter, Splunk expects revenues of $560 million, compared with the market’s estimate of $553.1 million. It expects to end the current fiscal with revenues of $1.74 billion, compared with $1.69 billion estimated a quarter ago. Splunk also released its fiscal 2020 guidance, forecasting revenues of $2.15 billion for the year.
Splunk’s Product Upgrades
After a series of acquisitions announced earlier last year, during the last quarter, Splunk focused on improving its product releases and upgrades. Among the new releases, it announced Splunk Next, an evolving series of beta technologies that offers experimental, pre-release features or products to a limited number of customers for feedback. It includes its AI, machine learning, and natural language processing capabilities as part of the Next service. Some of the additional services on Next include the Splunk Data Fabric Search that allows organizations to perform search at a massive scale and Splunk Data Stream Processor that helps evaluate, transform, and perform analytics on data in motion.
Splunk also released Splunk for Industrial IoT, its first product dedicated to these devices. The new service will help industrial organizations minimize downtime, shift operations from reactive to proactive, and save money.
Splunk continued to announce several product and version upgrades. It has released Splunk Enterprise 7.2, a new version of Splunk Cloud, Splunk Enterprise Security 5.2, Splunk User Behavior Analytics 4.2, and Splunk Phantom 4.0. The upgraded products offer additional capabilities such as event sequencing, new use case library to accelerate investigations, rules to improve insider threat detection models, and solutions to provide a threat intelligence-centered view for investigations.
Splunk’s products and services are also earning several accolades. Last quarter, it was ranked ninth on the Forbes Digital 100 list which ranks the top 100 public companies that are shaping the digital economy. It was also recognized by IDC as the fastest growing vendor in the IT Operations market, and by Gartner as the second biggest player in the AIOps/ITIM/Other Monitoring Tools category. In some sectors, Splunk is outpacing market growth, and eating into its competitors’ share. For instance, in the security market, IDC estimates that Splunk grew five times faster than IBM and Micro Focus in 2017.
Splunk has been successful at integrating the complexity and chaos of today’s data with its platform to help users find insights without the need for parsing and structuring data. It is aligning itself with the market’s requirements of advanced analytics and machine-learning based approach. It has expanded across the IT universe so that customers like Softbank who may have initially signed for mobile devices and application management are now also using it for infrastructure and operations management.
Some of the new features that Splunk has released through its general offering and through the Next platform are seeing interesting uses. For instance, the University of Connecticut is using Splunk’s new features in their aquaponics lab so that the researchers can use their mobile devices and walk through the lab to check things like UV light and pH balance to monitor the growth of their fish. As users of Splunk, I would like to know what interesting use cases are you deploying Splunk in?
Splunk’s stock is trading at $112.90 with a market capitalization of $16.7 billion. It was trading at a 52-week low of $82.63 in January last year and had grown to a 52-week high of $130.00 by August last year.
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