Shares of Nimble Storage Inc. (NYSE: NMBL) were down 13.2% as of 12:15 p.m. EST Wednesday after the flash storage technology specialist released solid fiscal third-quarter 2017 results, but followed them with underwhelming forward guidance.
Quarterly revenue climbed 26% year over year, to $102 million, as Nimble Storage's customer base grew 38% year over year, to more than 9,450 customers worldwide. Bookings were particularly strong from large enterprise customers and cloud service providers, growing 53% and 65%, respectively. That translated to an adjusted net loss of $15.7 million, or $0.18 per share, compared to a net loss of $11 million, or $0.14 per share in the same year-ago period.
For perspective, both the top and bottom lines were in line with Nimble Storage's guidance, which called for revenue of $100 million to $103 million, and an adjusted net loss per share of $0.17 to $0.19.
For the current quarter, however, Nimble Storage anticipates revenue of $112 million to $115 million, which should result in an adjusted net loss per share of $0.13 to $0.15. By contrast, analysts' consensus estimates predicted the company would incur a narrower $0.12-per-share adjusted net loss on roughly the same revenue at $113.1 million.
Nonetheless, Nimble Storage CFO Anup Singh stated, "We continue to execute well against our financial and operational plan. [...] As we look ahead, our priority is to drive revenue growth while delivering improvements in operating leverage."
That's fair enough. And I'm not convinced that Nimble Storage's light bottom-line outlook was as bad as today's steep share-price decline seems to indicate. But at the same time, nothing about this report was particularly inspiring for growth-hungry investors, and I can't blame the market for taking a step back today.