Pure Storage, NetApp results top expectations helped by cloud-based storage services

Pure and NetApp both emphasized how well their services of running storage in the cloud performed in the quarter.
Written by Tiernan Ray, Senior Contributing Writer

It's a big afternoon for data storage technology, especially data storage in the cloud. 

Distributed storage startup this afternoon reported fiscal Q4 revenue and profit that topped analysts' expectations, and an outlook for this quarter's revenue that was higher as well. 

The report sent Pure shares up by 6% in late trading. 

Also this afternoon, storage networking pioneer NetApp reported fiscal Q3 revenue and profit that topped expectations, and an outlook for this quarter higher as well. 

The report sent NetApp shares down about 2% in late trading. 

Pure's CEO, Charles Giancarlo, remarked that the company had closed out the year with "great strength and growth, setting new revenue and sales records for the quarter and for the full fiscal year," 

Added Giancarlo, "I am confident in our opportunity, our long-term strategy, and our ability to accelerate growth. 

"Our Q4 results are a leading indicator of that acceleration. We saw broad based growth year over year, including in our subscription services, our enterprise and cloud segments, our new product lines, and in every theater," said Giancarlo.

Revenue in the three months ended in January rose to $502.7 million, yielding a profit of 13 cents a share.

Analysts had been modeling $480 million and 9 cents per share.

Pure emphasized its Kubernetes-based cloud service, Portworx, noting that "In Q4, we saw significant growth of in-cloud deployments of Portworx and traction through the IBM partnership both in-cloud and on-prem via our best-in-class support for Red Hat OpenShift."

Pure said it had a record number of deals for over $10 million, eight in total, in the quarter. Among other business achievements, the company's annual subscription revenue rose 33% to half a billion. And the company said it had record sales for its FlashBlade and newer FlashArray/C products. 

For the current quarter, the company sees revenue of $405 million, higher than consensus for $394 million.

For the full year, the company sees revenue rising by 14% to 15%, which would be roughly in line with consensus of 15% growth. 

As for NetApp, it's CEO, George Kurian, called the quarter "strong," citing "revenues at the top of our guidance range and operating margin and EPS above the high end of our expectations."

Kurian said the company had "sharpened our execution and Q3 fiscal year 2021 marks our third consecutive quarter of revenue and billings growth."

Added Kurian, 

Looking ahead, we are uniquely positioned to address customers' requirements for digital transformations as they deploy workloads in the cloud, as well as maintain and modernize on premises. We are confident in the strength of our position as customers continue to turn to NetApp to help them solve the challenge of managing data in the hybrid cloud as the recovery unfolds.

Revenue in the three months ended in January rose 5%, year over year, to $1.47 billion, yielding profit of $1.10 a share.

Analysts had been modeling $1.43 billion and $1.01 per share.

Among business highlights, the company noted its billings had risen 6%, year over year, to $1.6 billion. In addition, the company's public cloud service's annualized revenue came in at $237 million, nearly triple the year-earlier rate. 

For the current quarter, the company sees revenue of $1.44 billion to $1.54 billion, and EPS in a range of $1.06  to $1.14. That compares to consensus for $1.47 billion and  $1.09 per share.

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