“If you don’t know your data, you don’t know your business”
Shares in machine data specialist Splunk soared 10 percent this week after the San Francisco-based multinational reported a 43 percent growth in software revenues – and said it had signed up an impressive 500 new clients in the second quarter, including the UK’s Ministry of Defence, Nordea and Worldpay.
The MoD contract gives the ministry “one method of access to real-time protected and performance monitoring as part of its enterprise, security and service management program”, Splunk’s CEO said on a conference call.
Among the quarterly wins for the company, founded in 2003, were a new collaboration with BAE Systems that uses machine learning to help secure US government cloud infrastructure. The company also announced a new integration with AWS that makes it easy for Splunk customers to scale Kubernetes on AWS.
CEO Douglas Merritt said on a conference call late Thursday: “I’m on the road visiting with customers on a regular basis and the questions they ask revolve around leveraging their data to improve their customer engagement, secure their enterprises, deliver IT and app dev resiliency, and drive business results. All of their questions highlight the fact that if you don’t know your data, you don’t know your business.”
The June acquisition of DevOps incident management specialist VictorOps has given the company the ability to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitoring event management and incident management data, further underpinning its growth.
Machine Data “Most Pervasive”
“Splunk was founded to pursue a disruptive new vision: make machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone. Machine data is one of the fastest growing and most pervasive segments of “big data”–generated by websites, applications, servers, networks, mobile devices and the like that organizations rely on every day.”
“By monitoring and analyzing everything from customer clickstreams and transactions to network activity and call records–and more, Splunk turns machine data into valuable insights no matter what business you’re in. It’s what we call operational intelligence,” the company says of its product suite.
The company reported total revenues of $388.3 million, up 39% year-over-year, for the quarter ended July 31, 2018.
Not everyone was impressed with the financial results.
Writing on Seeking Alpha, analyst Gary Alexandar said: “A quick valuation check – at Splunk’s current post-Q2 share price just above $118, the company carries a market cap of $17.1 billion. If we net out the company’s balance sheet cash of $901 million, that leaves us with an enterprise value of $16.2 billion. This represents a valuation of 9.6x EV/FY19 revenues – a very steep multiple for a company with a more or less “average” (at least relative to other high-growth SaaS companies) revenue growth rate.”
You can’t please everyone.