CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. shares surged in the extended session Wednesday after the cybersecurity company’s forecast for the year came in well ahead of what Wall Street was expecting.
shares rallied more than 15% after hours, adding to a 8.3% rally in the regular session to close at $169.79.
The company expects adjusted fiscal first-quarter earnings of 22 cents to 24 cents a share on revenue of $458.9 million to $465.4 million, while analysts forecast earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $440.3 million, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet.
For the year, the company forecast an earnings range of $1.03 to $1.13 a share on revenue of $2.13 billion to $2.16 billion. Wall Street expects 90 cents a share on revenue of $2 billion. On a conference call with analysts, CrowdStrike Chief Financial Officer Burt Podbere said the strong outlook reflects the company’s intention to aggressively pursue the rising demand for cybersecurity.
“We think there is a tremendous amount of demand,” Podbere told analysts. “There is tremendous opportunity, and we’re going forward, so I think that when we guide, we took all of that into consideration.”
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The company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $42 million, or 18 cents a share, compared with a loss of $19 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted net income, which excludes stock-based compensation and other items, was 30 cents a share, compared with 13 cents a share in the year-ago period.
Revenue rose to $431 million from $264.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Annual recurring revenue, or ARR, a software-as-a-service metric that shows how much revenue the company can expect based on subscriptions, grew 65% to $1.73 billion from the year-ago quarter.
Analysts expected CrowdStrike to report earnings of 20 cents a share on revenue of $411 million, based on the company’s outlook of 19 cents to 21 cents a share on revenue of $406.5 million to $412.3 million.
On the call with analysts, George Kurtz, CrowdStrike’s co-founder and chief executive, singled out Amazon.com Inc.’s
AWS public cloud service as a growth driver for the company.
“As you can see from our outstanding results, our growth engine is executing on all cylinders, which includes our driving, thriving partner ecosystem: One partner I would like to highlight is AWS,” Kurtz said. “In fiscal 2022, ARR transacted through the AWS marketplace grew more that 100% year-over-year.”
“Furthermore, CrowdStrike ended the year as one of the top ISP partners by transaction volume on the AWS marketplace, with partner source deals growing strongly throughout the year,” Kurtz said.
As of Wednesday’s close, the stock is down 14.7% over the past 12 months, versus a 10.4% rise by the S&P 500 index
a 1.4% gain for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index
and a less than 1% loss by the ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF