By Jeremy C. Owens
Snowflake Inc. sales more than doubled again in the fall, and executives Wednesday raised their expectations for the full year while projecting product revenue could double again in the final quarter of the year, sending shares spiking higher in late trading.
Snowflake /zigman2/quotes/220991541/composite SNOW +3.60% on Wednesday reported third-quarter losses of $154.86 million, or 51 cents a share, after reporting losses of 28 cents a share a year ago, according to FactSet. Revenue grew to $334.4 million from $160 million a year ago, with product accounting for $312.5 million and the rest attributed to professional services.
Analysts on average expected losses of 6 cents a share on sales of $306 million, with $284 million in product sales, according to FactSet. Shares jumped more than 13% in after-hours trading immediately following the release of the results, after closing with an 8.6% decline at $311.
Because Snowflake is a young software company, investors tend to focus on other metrics besides profitability, including net revenue-retention rate, which measures how much existing customers are spending on the volume-priced offering, and remaining performance obligations, which measures the amount of spending that has been agreed to under contracts but not yet recognized.
Snowflake reported a net revenue-retention rate of 173% as of the end of the quarter on Oct. 31, and a remaining performance obligation of $1.8 billion, up 94% from last year and roughly in line with the average analyst estimate of $1.82 billion. Snowflake also reported that the number of customers rose to 5,416 from 3,554 a year ago, and 148 of those customers have spent more than $1 million with the company in the past 12 months.
For the fourth quarter, Snowflake executives expect product revenue of $345 million to $350 million, while analysts on average were projecting $316 million. For the full year, Snowflake management now projects roughly $1.13 billion in sales, after previously stating $1.06 billion to $1.07 billion.
Snowflake became one of the most highly valued public tech companies after its 2020 initial public offering because of its potential to battle Oracle Corp. /zigman2/quotes/202180826/composite ORCL +0.88% with database software that is native to the cloud. The company — previously based in San Francisco but which now claims not to have a headquarters as employees work remotely — attracted big-name investors including Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208872451/composite BRK.A +1.88% /zigman2/quotes/200060694/composite BRK.B +1.70% , and investment analysts continue to praise the company’s opportunity.
See also: Five things to know about Snowflake and its record IPO
“As data plays an increasingly essential role to enterprises in all industries and geographies, we believe Snowflake will see durable growth with enhanced visibility due to their irreplaceable role in the IT stack,” Truist Securities analysts wrote in November, while maintaining a buy rating and $350 price target but mentioning the likelihood of updating their model after Wednesday’s report.
Snowflake stock surged higher than prices realized in the heady early days after its IPO in mid-November, closing higher than $400 for the first and, so far, only time on Nov. 16. Shares have crumbled since, however, including a 14.7% decline in the past two sessions amid a market rout that leaves the stock up 10.5% so far this year, while the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +2.43% has gained 21.6%.