By Wallace Witkowski, MarketWatch
CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. shares skyrocketed in the extended session Thursday after the cybersecurity company’s results and outlook topped Wall Street estimates and coronavirus fears raise the need for more protective measures as millions of people work from home.
CrowdStrike /zigman2/quotes/212513426/composite CRWD -1.54% shares soared more than 20% after hours, following an 8.1% rise in the regular session to close at $41.74.
The company expects an adjusted loss of 7 cents to 6 cents a share on revenue of $164.3 million to $167.6 million for the first quarter, and a loss of 14 cents to 10 cents a share on revenue of $723.3 million to $733.5 million for the year. Analysts had forecast a loss of 8 cents a share on revenue of $148.9 million for the first quarter, and a loss of 18 cents a share on revenue of $678.5 million for the year, according to FactSet.
“Looking into fiscal 2021 and beyond, the powerful combination of our cloud-native platform and frictionless go-to-market positions us well as the fundamental endpoint platform for the future,” CrowdStrike co-founder and Chief Executive George Kurtz said in a statement.
In a conference call, Kurtz said there has been no company impact from COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. In fact, as millions of employees work from home, Kurtz said, the need for cybersecurity has become even more pressing and that the threat landscape has grown exponentially.
“Cybersecurity has and will remain essential and mission critical to organizations as it provides business resiliency and meets compliance requirements,” Kurtz said. “In times of crisis, adversaries will try to exploit the situation to prey on the public’s fear and escalate new attacks.”
Kurtz also noted that CrowdStrike’s cloud-based platform has benefited from Broadcom Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/200646538/composite AVGO -0.19% recent acquisition of Symantec’s enterprise security business, and that it scored a major win with getting data-analytics company Splunk Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203060494/composite SPLK -0.09% to consolidate its security on CrowdStrike’s platform.
“While our competitors are distracted trying to integrate acquire technologies rationalizing their workforce or retooling their on-prem offerings CrowdStrike’s mission platform and brand are clearly resonating with customers and partners,” Kurtz said. “Furthermore, as Broadcom began integrating Symantec we saw an increase in inquiries among both customers and partners.”
The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $28.4 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with $31.2 million, or 67 cents a share, in the year-ago period. After adjusting for stock-based compensation and the amortization of acquired intangible assets, the adjusted loss was 2 cents a share.
Revenue rose to $152.1 million from $80.5 million in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast an adjusted loss of 8 cents a share on revenue of $137.8 million, while CrowdStrike had forecast an adjusted loss of 9 cents to 8 cents a share on revenue of $135.9 million to $138.6 million in the fourth quarter.
Annual recurring revenue, a Software-as-a-Service metric that shows how much revenue the company can expect based on subscriptions, surged 92% to $600.5 million for the quarter, while the Street expected $559 million.
Of the 21 analysts who cover CrowdStrike, 16 have overweight or buy ratings, four have hold ratings, and one has a sell rating, with an average price target of $72.35, according to FactSet data.
The ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF /zigman2/quotes/207892345/composite HACK -0.67% closed up 4.1% Thursday, the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.24% rose 0.5%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.03% rallied to finish up 2.3% for the session.