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Pure Storage Hits All-Time Intraday High After Posting Unexpected Second-Quarter Profit

Pure Storage Hits All-Time Intraday High After Posting Unexpected Second-Quarter Profit

23 Aug 14:00 by Lucy Cinder

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Pure Storage shares soared as much as 19 percent Wednesday after the data center hardware company reported an unexpected profit for its fiscal second quarter.

The stock rose as high as $26.30 in midday trading, hitting a new all-time intraday high before paring gains slightly. The stock closed at $25.15 — it's second-best closing price since going public. The stock has doubled in the last 12 months.

Here are the key numbers from the company's earnings report Tuesday:

  • Earnings: 1 cent per share, excluding certain items, vs. loss of 6 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • Revenue: $308.9 million, vs. $301 million as expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue climbed 37 from a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Executives are pleased with progress in the cloud, health care and financial services markets, president David Hatfield told analysts on a conference call.

It's the first time Pure Storage has reported a profitable second quarter, according to JMP Securities analysts.

"We believe the beat in gross margin was the primary driver behind the beat in operating margin," JMP said in a note. "We also think that customers are increasingly recognizing the unique value of Pure's offering, which allows the company to charge a premium price for its products."

Also on Tuesday, Pure said it acquired storage software vendor StorReduce. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Pure intends to extend StorReduce's partnership with cloud infrastructure providers, executives said on the call.

In terms of guidance, Pure said it expects a gross margin, excluding certain items, of 64.5 percent to 67.5 percent for the third quarter, on revenue of $361 to 369 million. Analysts project a gross margin of 65.8 percent, according to FactSet, and revenue of $363 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

Pure's gross margin guidance for the whole fiscal year came in at 65.5 percent to 67.5 percent, excluding certain items, above the 65.9 percent FactSet estimate. Meanwhile, revenue guidance for the full fiscal year was $1.35 billion to $1.38 billion, while analysts had been looking for $1.36 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company went public in 2015 and faces competition from companies including Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and NetApp.

"Dell, you know, I think has changed the culture a bit at EMC," Pure's vice president of strategy, Matt Kixmoeller, said. "We see a lot of those folks leaving, many of them are leaving to partners of ours. So they've got deep domain knowledge and they – you know they've been beat by us quite a bit."

Source: cnbc