Shares of Nutanix (NASDAQ:NTNX) have been flying high on the stock market this year. The cloud computing specialist is taking advantage of the booming demand for hyper-converged cloud infrastructure, a market that could be worth $12 billion in 2022 thanks to a rapid annual growth rate of 43%.

Nutanix is firmly on track to make the most of this opportunity, as clearly evident from its second-quarter results. Let's look at how the company performed last quarter and why it probably isn't done growing yet.

Computer key denoting cloud computing.

Image Source: Getty Images.

Nutanix is aggressively moving toward profitability

Nutanix's revenue in the recently reported second quarter shot up 44% year over year to $287 million. It would have reported stronger growth, but the company eliminated $14 million worth of hardware-related revenue as it is pivoting its business toward a software-only model.

This shift in its business model should boost its push toward profitability. And the strategic shift is margin accretive already -- last quarter gross profit margin increased by 1.6% sequentially.

The margin improvements have positively impacted the bottom line despite a 20% increase in operating expenses. Nutanix's net loss fell 18% year over year to $62.6 million, and it can cut its losses further as the software shift gains momentum.

Nutanix currently gets 73% of its revenue from the software and support side of the business, with hardware revenue accounting for the rest. The company is on track to reduce hardware sales to just 8% to 9% of total revenue by the end of the current fiscal year, so Nutanix will get closer to achieving profitability in the coming quarters.

Its offerings are gaining great traction

Nutanix's terrific financial growth during the second quarter was driven by a rapid growth in its customer base. The company added 1,057 customers last quarter, taking its total customer base to 8,870. By comparison, Nutanix had 5,380 customers in the year-ago period and had added 900 new clients during that quarter.

Nutanix has just announced new incentives for its channel partners that could continue to boost sales. For instance, Nutanix's channel partners will be rewarded with a 5% rebate for bringing in new customers, and could also get a $3,000 rebate for each XC Core server node they sell. These initiatives will encourage the company's partners to push sales of Nutanix software and help the company tap more of the hyper-converged cloud infrastructure market.

Nutanix's customers are now striking bigger deals, showing the company's growing clout in the hyper-converged cloud space. Last quarter, Nutanix saw a 104% year-over-year increase in the number of $1-million-plus deals to 57. Additionally, the company struck five deals worth more than $3 million related to software and support.

The growth in Nutanix's deal size and customer count boosted the company's deferred revenue by 57% year over year to $478 million. Deferred revenue is the amount received by a company for services that will be delivered at a later date, and is a common metric used to forecast the growth of companies selling subscription-based services.

Nutanix's deferred revenue grew faster than actual revenue -- good news for investors as this indicates the growing demand for its software solutions. The company should continue reporting strong deferred revenue growth as it lands more subscription customers thanks to the recently deployed sales initiatives.

In all, Nutanix is doing what's needed to ride the hyper-converged cloud infrastructure growth wave. The company's customer count is increasing at a terrific rate, it is striking bigger deals with clients, and it is focusing on margin improvement by shifting to a software-based sales strategy. Anyone looking for a fast-growing cloud computing stock should definitely take a closer look at Nutanix.

 

Harsh Chauhan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.