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Elastic’s Search Upgrades Ruffle Competition

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 7th 2021

According to a recent research report by Research and Markets, the global Enterprise Search market is projected to grow from $3.8 billion to $8 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 11.4%. Elastic (NYSE: ESTC) is a leading player in the open source Big Data search sector that continues to deliver strong results.

Elastic’s Financials

For the recently reported third quarter, Elastic’s revenues grew 39% to $157.1 million with SaaS revenues growing 79%. Adjusted net loss was $0.04 per share. The market was looking for revenues of $146.7 million with a loss of $0.15 per share.

By segment, subscription revenues grew 41.3% to $147.2 million. Within the segment, subscription, licensed, self-managed, and SaaS revenues grew 47.1% to $132 million. Professional services revenue grew 9.8% to $9.9 million.

Among key metrics, calculated billings for the company grew 40.9% over the year to $173.2 million. Total subscription customer count grew from 12,900 a quarter ago to over 13,800 at the end of the third quarter. Total customer count with Annual Contract Value (ACV) of more than $100,000 grew to 670 from 650 in the previous quarter. Net Expansion Rate continued to be more than 130%.

Elastic expects to end the fourth quarter with revenues of $158-$159 million and an adjusted net loss of $0.18-$0.15 per share. It expects to end the year with revenues of $589-$590 million and an adjusted net loss of $0.19-$0.16 per share. The market was looking for revenues of $158.91 million for the quarter with a net loss of $0.16 per share and revenues of $589.76 million for the year with a net loss of $0.17 per share.

Elastic’s Product Upgrade

Recently, Elastic announced a partnership with Grafana Labs to develop a Grafana ElasticSearch plugin to integrate the benefits of Grafana’s visualization platform with the full capabilities of ElasticSearch. The plugin will be able to provide the customers with access to an integrated experience with aggregations, broader query language support, and support for space-saving constructs such as rollups.

Grafana Labs is known for its open and customizable monitoring and observability platform that has been built around Grafana, the open-source technology for dashboards and visualization. The company has more than 1,000 customers and 650,000 active installations. The plugin will be available for free to the customers of both Grafana Labs and Elastic.

Elastic also recently announced a series of new products and upgrades. It recently released Kibana, a new way for customers to create, manage, and monitor alerts and notifications throughout Elastic Stack and external systems. The Kibana framework provides users with the ability to create notifications that drive awareness and actions. It is integrated with other platforms such as PagerDuty, Jira, ServiceNow, and Microsoft teams to provide customers with the ability to spot, react, and resolve issues.

It released a new web crawler for Elastic App Search that now offers a faster and a more powerful way for users to ingest content directly from publicly accessible web sites and make that content easily searchable in their App Search engines. The introduction of the web crawler for App Search will help simplify Elastic deployments and enable new use cases for enterprise customers.

Elastic Enterprise Search now offers support for Box as a content source inside Elastic Workplace Search, thus allowing teams to easily access important files. The prebuilt connector also includes document-level permissions to limit user access to sensitive or private content. The addition of Box deepens an already robust portfolio of content sources available in Workplace Search, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Salesforce, Slack, ServiceNow, and Sharepoint.

Other search advancements include the general availability of searchable snapshots and the beta of schema on read with runtime fields to maximize data insights and cost efficiency across its Elastic Enterprise Search, Observability, and Security solutions. Searchable snapshots will allow customers to retain and search data on low-cost object stores such as AWS S3, Microsoft Azure Storage, and Google Cloud Storage to balance storage costs. The beta of runtime fields will allow users to define the schema for their index at query time, create fluid data structures with schema on read, and reduce the time to first insight and optimizing cost.

Earlier this year, Elastic made its way into Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines. Insight engines are an evolved offering of search and natural language technologies (NLTs). They deliver information in context to people and to support machine automation by connecting to various sources and types of content and data. Gartner rated Elastic as a challenger in the segment along with Microsoft and Google. According to Gartner, Elastic rates high on the ease of execution, innovation, and the ability to support multiple languages, but it could benefit by verticalizing its products to provide industry support. Other competitors in the space include IBM with its Watson Discovery engine and Mindbreeze for its Inspire product that has the widest range of connectors in the space.

Elastic’s stock is currently trading at $121.31 with a market capitalization of $10.9 billion. It reported a 52-week high of $176.49 in January and a 52-week low of $49.12 in March last year.

Disclosure: All investors should make their own assessments based on their own research, informed interpretations, and risk appetite. This article expresses my own opinions based on my own research of product-market fit, channel execution, and other factors. My primary interest is in product strategy. While this may have bearing on stock movements, my writings tend to focus on long-term implications. The information presented is illustrative and educational, but should not be regarded as a complete analysis nor recommendation to buy or sell the securities mentioned herein. I am not a registered investment adviser and I am not receiving compensation for this article.

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