Pure Storage (PSTG) Misses Q4 Earnings & Revenue Estimates

Pure Storage Inc. PSTG reported non-GAAP earnings of 14 cents per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 18 cents. The figure however increased on a year-over-year basis.

Although total revenues surged 24% from the year-ago quarter to $422.2 million, it lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $443 million. Revenues were also below the management's guidance of $438-$446 million.

Revenues were below expectations primarily due to "a process breakdown at a contract manufacturer prevented a number of orders from shipping in the quarter." Moreover, the second reason was the company "exceeded its expectations in selling the company's ES2 subscription offering, which ultimately drives positive long-term economics for Pure, but resulted in lower revenue recognized in the quarter."

Nonetheless, the year-over-year increase in revenues can be attributed to robust business fundamentals, strong FlashBlade implementation, higher adoption of new products and strong go-to-market strategies.

Notably, shares of Pure Storage have returned 27.2% on a year-to-date basis, substantially outperforming the industry 's rally of 20.5%.

Segmental Details

In the fourth quarter, Product revenues (representing 80.6% of total revenues) of $340.1 million increased 19.7% on a year-over-year basis, primarily on the back of existing customers and continued expansion of customer base.

Non-GAAP Product gross margin was 67.8%, up 130 basis points (bps) on a year-over-year basis due to FlashBlade's increased contribution to revenues.

The company's strong product portfolio, including the likes of FlashArray, FlashStack and FlashBlade business segments, drove year-over-year growth.

Pure Storage recently unveiled flash and cloud-based ObjectEngine solution. The latest backup and restore storage solution is designed to enable customers to modernize data protection strategy.

Additionally, ObjectEngine users can access the required data in real time through a faster, secure and cost-effective medium.

Further, the company launched DirectFlash Fabric for end-to-end NVMe and NVMe-oF support, helping customers to enhance performance of mission-critical applications and web-scale applications.

Pure Storage's first-ever buyout of StorReduce remains a notable development in the quarter under review. Management remains elated on gaining StorReduce's de-duplication technology. The company announced the availability of StorReduce to provide backup and speed up the analytics processes for data warehouses.

We believe that the company dominates the space, driven by its robust all-flash and NVMe portfolio, leaving companies like NetApp NTAP , Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise trailing.

Support subscription revenues (19.4%) of $82.1 million increased 47% on a year-over-year basis, driven by the company's ongoing support contracts.

Non-GAAP Support subscription gross margins were 66.8%, up 140 bps on a year-over-year basis.

During the reported quarter, Pure Storage added more than 400 customers, bringing the total base to more than 5,850 organizations. Management remains elated on strong growth witnessed in Global 2000, Fortune 500, big government organizations and healthcare companies as well as leading 1000 cloud vendors.

Geographically, the United States comprised 71% of total revenues while remaining 29% came from international markets.

Operating Details

Non-GAAP gross margin was at 67.6%, up 130 bps from the year-ago quarter. Strength in gross margin was primarily driven by better-than-expected growth in products, lower costs and benefits related to the launch of FlashArray//X product line.

Pure Stora ge report ed non-GAAP operating income of $31.1 million compared with the year-ago quarter figure of $24.9 million. Non-GAAP operating margins during the reported quarter were 7.4%, up 10 bps year over year. This year-over-year improvement was due to the company's sustained focus on improving operational efficiency and higher revenue base.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

Pure Storage exited the quarter ended Jan 31, 2018, with cash and cash equivalents, and marketable securities of $1.2 billion compared with $1.1 billion reported in the previous quarter.

Cash flow from operations during the reported quarter was at $80.8 million compared with $56.5 million in the previous quarter.

Non-GAAP free cash flow without the impact of employee stock purchase plan (ESPP) for the quarter ended Jan 31, 2018, was reported at $34.3 million.

Fiscal 2019 Highlights

Pure Storagereported total revenues of $1.36 billion in fiscal 2019, which surged 33% year over year.

In fiscal 2019, Product revenues (representing 79% of total revenues) of $1.075 billion increased 28.9% on a year-over-year basis. Support subscription revenues (21%) of $284.2 million increased 49.4% on a year-over-year basis.


Pure Storage expects revenues of $327-$339 million in first-quarter fiscal 2020. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $336 million. Non-GAAP gross margin is anticipated to be 65-68%.

For fiscal 2020, management anticipated revenues of $1.735-$1.805 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $1.74 billion.

Non-GAAP gross margin is projected to be 65-68%. Non-GAAP operating margin is anticipated to be 3-7%.

Other Key Picks

Pure Storage currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are Symantec Corporation SYMC and Fortinet, Inc. FTNT , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Symantec and Fortinet have long-term earnings growth rates of 7.9% and 16.8%, respectively.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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