Snowflake fiscal Q3 revenue beats expectations, forecast misses, shares drop

It was the first report by the database maker since its IPO in September.
Written by Tiernan Ray, Senior Contributing Writer

Snowflake, the cloud-based database vendor that aims to best Oracle in data warehousing, this afternoon reported fiscal Q3 revenue that beat Wall Street's expectations, while missing on the bottom line by quite a wide margin, and offered a forecast for product revenue this quarter that fell short of consensus, driving its shares lower in late trading.

It was the company's first report since it went public September 16th

CEO Frank Slootman said the company was "pleased with our performance this first quarter as a public company." 

Added Slootman, "The period was marked by continued strong revenue growth coupled with improving unit economics, cash flow, and operating efficiencies."

"Our vision of the Snowflake Data Cloud mobilizing the world's data is clearly resonating across our customer base," said Slootman.

For the three months ended in October, Snowflake's revenue more than doubled, year over year, to $159.6 million, yielding a net loss per share of $1.01.

That compares to the average Street estimate for $147.7 million in revenue a net loss of 26 cents a share. 

Snowflake said its remaining performance obligation, a standard Wall Street measure for cloud companies' future revenue potential, rose by 240% in the quarter to reach $927.9 million.   

Additional details are available in an investor deck of slides posted on Snowflake's Web site

For the current quarter, Snowflake projects $162 million to $167 million in product revenue, which is below the average estimate for $166 million. The balance of Snowflake's revenue each quarter consists of professional services. 

Snowflake shares are down about 6% in late trading. The shares are up about 15% since the close of the first day of trading, and up 143% from the IPO offer price of $120.

Snowflake's software can be used to make a data warehouse that runs irrespective of where a client uses computing. The company pays fees to all three top public cloud vendors, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, to be able to run workloads in their data centers. 

The company is atypical in the cloud computing software market given that its software is paid for on a usage basis, rather than via a fixed subscription. "We are not a SaaS model," says Snowflake in its materials. 

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