Splunk rises after raising guidance again amid better than expected performance
Shares of Splunk (SPLK) rose in afternoon trading after the big data software company reported better than expected results for the third quarter and raised its revenue guidance for fiscal 2017. WHAT'S NEW: After the market close yesterday, Splunk reported Q3 adjusted earnings per share of 12c on revenue of $245M, beating analysts' estimates of 8c and $230.36M, respectively. License revenues rose 34% year-over-year to $140M, the company said. During the quarter, Splunk said it signed nearly 500 new enterprise customers. Looking ahead, Splunk said it expects fourth quarter revenue in the range of $286M-$288M and adjusted operating margin of 8%-9%. Analysts expect the company to report Q4 revenue of $285.09M. In addition, the company raised its fiscal 2017 revenue guidance view to $930M-$932M from $910M-$914M. Analysts expect the company report FY17 revenue of $914.41M. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Splunk has raised its revenue outlook for FY17 in every quarterly report since it first provided revenue guidance for the year in November 2015. At the time, the company said it expected to report FY17 revenue of $850M. STREET RESEARCH: In a note to clients, Morgan Stanley analyst Melissa Gorham maintained an Overweight rating and $74 price target on Splunk, saying that the Q3 results highlighted "solid" fundamentals. Gorham added that Splunk remains one of the "most compelling" growth to value names in the firm's universe. In addition, Oppenheimer analyst Shaul Eyal kept an Outperform rating and $80 price target on the stock, saying that the company continues to generate "strong momentum." Splunk is in the early stages of its growth trajectory should be able to sustain high revenue growth rates for several quarters to come, the analyst said. The analyst added that Splunk's profitability ratios reflect the company's "tilt toward growth," and Eyal expects improved profitability measures as Splunk matures and profitability takes a greater role in the company's strategic plan. Wedbush analyst Steve Koenig also maintained an Outperform rating on Splunk and raised his price target on the shares to $75 from $72, saying that the company is seeing "solid" momentum despite "some lumpiness." The analyst said his channel checks support the idea that Splunk's market opportunity and strong competitive position will translate to sustainable long-term growth and operating leverage. Koenig added that he is "a little frustrated" by the lack of metrics for gauging the state of Splunk's model transition, but still expects greater transparency will be forthcoming at the company's January 12 investor day. In addition, William Blair analyst Bhavan Suri also kept an Outperform rating on the stock, saying that the company delivered an "exceptional performance" that was "nothing short of impressive." PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, Splunk is up nearly 4% to $59.61.