Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) just announced fiscal third-quarter 2015 results, and shares of the operational intelligence software specialist are up more than 6% in after-hours trading as a result.
Quarterly revenue jumped 48% year over year, to $116 million, including 41% growth in license revenue, to $71.8 million. That translated to adjusted earnings of $0.02 per share. Analysts, on average, were only expecting adjusted earnings of $0.01 per share on sales of $107.3 million.
Meanwhile, adjusted operating margin came in at 2.3%, while Splunk generated operating cash flow of $24.3 million, or just higher than its stated goal for 2014 operating cash flow margin of 20%. After accounting for property and equipment purchases of roughly $4 million, free cash flow came in at roughly $20.2 million.
It's all about the top line right now
It's also worth noting that, based on generally accepted accounting principles, Splunk technically achieved an operating loss of $48.3 million, and a GAAP net loss of $0.40 per share. For that, investors can thank the $39.5 million and $85.7 million that Splunk plowed into research and development, and sales and marketing, respectively, during the quarter.
However, that's also not entirely out of character, as Splunk regularly makes such investments in its business, eschewing bottom-line profits in the name of adding customers and growing its top line. Believe it or not, this a great thing for investors to see so early in the game, as Splunk works to extend its market leadership position in this burgeoning, high-tech niche.
Speaking to the progress of those investments, Splunk chairman and CEO Godfrey Sullivan elaborated, "This quarter we released new versions of all of our core products, offered new solutions for mobile, wire, mainframe and sensor data, and strengthened our market teams."
Consequently, Splunk saw growth in all of its core markets, and added another 500 new enterprise customers this quarter to bring its global customer base to more than 8,400. The more significant customers that are either new, or expanded their respective agreements in Q3, include AT&T, Cisco Systems, Comcast, and the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, Adobe significantly expanded its use of Splunk software shortly after the third quarter closed.
The future is bright
Splunk also expects current-quarter revenue in the range of $135 million to $137 million, with adjusted operating margin between 4% and 5%. In addition, Splunk raised its full fiscal year 2015 revenue guidance to a range of $438 million to $440 million -- compared to the old range of $423 million to $428 million -- with adjusted operating margin between 1% and 2% -- compared to 1% previously. By contrast, Wall Street's models were much less optimistic, calling for fourth-quarter earnings of $0.04 per share on sales of $133.26 million, and full fiscal year 2015 earnings of $0.03 per share on sales of $428 million.
Finally, Splunk offered its first peak at the coming year with initial guidance for fiscal year 2016 revenue of $575 million. Once again, that's higher than analysts' expectations for sales of $570.3 million, and represents year-over-year growth of roughly 31% from the midpoint of Splunk's new fiscal 2015 range.
All things considered, it appears Splunk has no intention of slowing down its quest to help customers understand the massive quantities of useful operational data that it's generating. This was an undoubtedly solid quarter, and I can't blame the market for bidding up shares of Splunk.