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Qlik Technologies, Inc. Earnings: Strong Results, Soft Guidance, Shares Jump

By Anders Bylund – Oct 23, 2014 at 5:55PM

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Business intelligence specialist Qlik Technologies crushed third-quarter targets, but set the bar low for the next period. Investors focused on the good news.

Image source: Qlik Technologies.

Business intelligence software maker Qlik Technologies (QLIK) just reported results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2014. Qlik exceeded analyst expectations on both the top and bottom lines, and shares traded 6% higher in after-hours action.

By the numbers
Qlik's sales rose 26% year over year, stopping at $131 million. Analysts would have settled for $124 million. On the bottom line, adjusted earnings per share fell from $0.05 to $0.01, just above Wall Street's break-even target.

On a constant currency basis, revenues increased by 27% in the Americas and 21% in Europe. The catch-all "rest of the world" segment, which covers all other geographies, saw sales surging 50% higher. This fast-growing division now accounts for 12% of Qlik's total sales, up from 10% in the year-ago period.

From a product category point of view, Qlik's professional services are growing much faster than license sales and maintenance agreements. Once again, the fastest-growing portion of Qlik's overall sales is also the smallest, as professional services still only account for 9.2% of the company's total revenues.

Digging deeper
In a prepared statement, Qlik CEO Lars Bjork explained the forces behind these strong results. He said:

We delivered strong revenue growth of 26% driven by the positive reception of our two product strategy and meaningful market demand for next-generation BI solutions. With the official introduction of Qlik Sense, we are well positioned to meet the needs of the expanded market we see for both guided analytics and governed self-service visualization.

The two-product strategy Bjork mentioned refers to the rapid data visualization tool Qlik Sense, next to the more powerful QlikView analysis suite. These tools attack the business data analysis market from different angles: QlikView offers a more complete feature set, but a steeper learning curve, while Sense delivers results in a simpler, but less powerful, package.

Sense is a brand-new product, released in September. This product chases a larger-volume market than QlikView ever addressed. Of course, the license fees are smaller for the simpler tool, but Qlik is explicitly looking for a larger market share in the business intelligence field right now.

What's next?
Looking ahead, Qlik expects revenues of roughly $178 million, and adjusted earnings near $0.28 per diluted share. Both of these figures are below Wall Street's fourth-quarter targets at $184 million and $0.34 per share, respectively.

Investors did not see this report as a harbinger of larger industry trends. Head-to-head business intelligence rivals Tibco Software (TIBX.DL) and Splunk (SPLK -2.26%) traded flat in after-hours action, while Tableau (DATA) rose a modest 0.8%.

Tableau's earnings report is less than two weeks away, while Splunk and Tibco will report in late November and mid-December, respectively. Tibco is also in the midst of going private in a leveraged buyout, making the stock less likely to move, even on substantial industry news.

Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Qlik Technologies, Splunk, and Tibco Software.

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