Splunk: Making Big Money With Big Data

by Tom Taulli | August 30, 2013 2:12 pm

Big Data is popular buzzword in Silicon Valley, but it looks there is a real business behind the technology.

Just look at Splunk (SPLK[1]), which blew past expectations in its latest earnings report. So far in today’s trading, the shares are up 13% to put the company at an all-time high around $55. The stock has gained almost 90% so far in 2013.

In the quarter, SPLK’s revenues soared by 50% to $66.9 million, which beat the Wall Street forecast of $63 million. The company added 400 customers, bringing the total to more than 6,000.

While the adjusted net loss was 1 cent per share, it was still better than the analysts’ expected 3-cent loss. Besides, investors are mostly focused on the growth rate, which looks like it will continue to ramp for some time. SPLK increased its full-year revenue forecast to $275 million to $281 million, up from the prior guidance of $266 million to $274 million.

The company is also having success moving into new categories. Keep in mind that SPLK’s core business has been on Big Data to help companies deal with software crashes or security breaches. But now customers are using the technology for broader applications, like deploying SPLK to analyze customer trends from e-commerce sites.

This is the kind of stuff that really capitalizes on the opportunities for Big Data.

More importantly, SPLK continues to invest heavily in its technology, which has helped stave off tough rivals like IBM (IBM[2]), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ[3]) and a spate of startup operators. One crucial strategy has been to leverage existing ecosystems, such as that of VMware (VMW[4]).

But SPLK has also been testing a cloud product, which appears to be getting nice traction. And Splunk Enterprise is expected to hit the market soon. In other words, the company is in the midst of a major product cycle, which should increase its already-popular offerings.

If it keeps up this kind of performance, SPLK won’t have much of a problem making Wall Street happy.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook[5]. He is also the author of High-Profit IPO Strategies[6]All About Commodities[7] and All About Short Selling[8]. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli[9]. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Endnotes:
  1. SPLK: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=SPLK
  2. IBM: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=IBM
  3. HPQ: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=HPQ
  4. VMW: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=VMW
  5. IPO Playbook: http://investorplace.com/ipo-playbook/
  6. High-Profit IPO Strategies: http://goo.gl/TXQsz
  7. All About Commodities: http://goo.gl/FfP8R
  8. All About Short Selling: http://goo.gl/t5Jzb
  9. @ttaulli: https://twitter.com/ttaulli

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