Why Splunk, Inc. Shares Soared, Then Fell Today

What: Shares of Splunk, (NASDAQ: SPLK  ) initially jumped more than 10% Friday, then gave up its gains to close down nearly 3% after the company turned in mixed fiscal fourth-quarter 2014 results.

So what: Quarterly revenue rose 53% year over year to $99.9 million, easily beating analysts' expectations for sales of $90.36 million.

However, adjusted net income only came in at $0.03 per share, compared to estimates which called for earnings of $0.05 per share.

In addition, Splunk expects current-quarter revenue to be between $78 million and $80 million, the midpoint of which sits slightly below expectations of $79.43 million. Current quarter adjusted operating margin should also be between negative 8% and 10%.

For the full fiscal year 2015, Splunk sees revenue of roughly $400 million with flat adjusted operating margin. Analysts, for their part, were modeling full fiscal year 2015 sales of $397.52 million, with adjusted net income of $0.13 per share.

Now what: Despite Splunk's top-line beat this quarter, I can't blame the market for taking a step back after fully digesting the rest of Splunk's report. And though price-to-earnings ratios offer little help for businesses on the cusp of profitability, it's worth noting that Splunk is currently being valued as a $10-billion company, or roughly 25 times this year's expected sales. That's generous, to say the least, so I'm not personally inclined to dive in today. For now, I'm perfectly happy watching Splunk from the sidelines.

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