Black ink sure is sweet, especially for shareholders of Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO ) , which reported healthy first-quarter earnings last night. It's not the first time the company has realized a profit, as its overall fiscal 2011 results posted $4.6 million net income, but it's always nice to start off a new year with a bang.
First-quarter revenue soared by a whopping 175% from $27 million last year to $74.4 million. The company was able to translate the top line into an adjusted profit of $15.1 million, or $0.15 per share, which sure beats last year's $4.9 million adjusted loss in the first quarter. Gross margin jumped from 43% to a solid 63.2%. The figures handily toppled the market's expectations of $64.3 million in sales and $0.03 earnings per share.
Demand for the company's next-generation data decentralization platform for data storage using solid-state drives has been snowballing, threatening to disrupt incumbents like EMC (NYSE: EMC ) and NetApp (Nasdaq: NTAP ) . It also helps having Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) co-founder Steve Wozniak on the team, who likely helped land Apple as one of Fusion-io's biggest customers alongside Facebook.
The company also relies heavily on big-name OEMs such as IBM (NYSE: IBM ) , Dell (Nasdaq: DELL ) , and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) to help sell its wares. It would be good to diversify the customer base, but having relationships with all of these tech powerhouses gives credence to the disruptive potential of Fusion-io's offering.
Fusion-io CEO David Flynn said the company's products "address the data supply problem enterprises face as they struggle to meet the growing demand to process more data faster." The rapid adoption of the cloud and virtualization is creating unique challenges for IT departments that Fusion-io's technology can confront.
I'm not the only one to think this stock has great growth potential and can storm the enterprise data storage industry. I've had my eye on Fusion-io since it went public in June, and it might eventually find its way into my portfolio.
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