Okta beats Q4 expectations with accelerated customer growth

The identity and device management firm is getting more customers and larger deals.

Okta published its fourth quarter fiscal 2018 financial results on Wednesday, beating market expectations.

The identity and device management firm posted a non-GAAP loss of 10 cents per share, compared to 66 cents in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. Revenue came to $77.8 million, up 59 percent year-over-year.

Wall Street was looking for a loss of 15 cents per share on revenue of $73.9 million.

The bulk of Okta's revenue comes from subscription services, which brought in $72 million in Q4, an increase of 64 percent year-over-year. The company posted a non-GAAP operating loss of $10.8 million, or 13.9 percent of total revenue.


For the full fiscal year 2018, Okta reported a non-GAAP net loss per share of 77 cents, compared to $3.48 for fiscal year 2017. Revenues came to $260 million, an increase of 62 percent year-over-year. 2018 subscription revenue was $239.2 million, an increase of 67 percent year-over-year.

In a statement, CEO Todd McKinnon highlighted the acceleration in new Okta customer growth in Q4.

"The strength in our business was driven by more customers and larger deals as well as increased investments from our existing customers," he said. "As every organization modernizes its business, and has to do so more securely, we continue to gain traction. Identity is becoming a foundational technology, and organizations in every major industry are turning to Okta for our leadership. Looking forward, we are focused on increasing our share of IT security spend, taking early leadership in the customer identity market, and expanding our leverage with the Okta Integration Network."

Enterprise identity isn't a new concept, but it's become "foundational" technology as companies move away from homogeneous technology environments, Frederic Kerrest, COO and co-founder of Okta, told ZDNet.

Fifteen or 20 years ago, "if you were a big company, you were known as an 'Oracle shop' or an 'IBM shop,'" Kerrest said. "The big thing happening now, and that we see accelerating, is the breadth of heterogeneous technology environments. People are using applications from Oracle but also from Salesforce and Microsoft and Workday."

Okta, he said, has established itself as a "neutral, independent third party vendor that helps [companies] take advantage of legacy infrastructure investments they've made but also new technology they're buying."

For Q1 2019, Okta expects to post a non-GAAP net loss per share between 16 cents and 15 cents on revenue of $78 million to $79 million. For the full fiscal year 2019, Okta expects a non-GAAP net loss per share of 67 cents to 62 cents revenue of $343 to $348 million.