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Splunk tops Q3 earnings targets, CEO Godfrey Sullivan to retire

Doug Merritt, previously Splunk's SVP of Field Operations, will succeed Sullivan. The company also upped its revenue guidance for its fiscal year 2016.

Splunk reported third quarter earnings after the bell Thursday.

The machine data software provider reported a third quarter net loss just over $72.3 million, or 57 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 5 cents per share on a revenue of $174.4 million, up 50 percent year-over-year.

Wall Street was expecting an earnings of a penny per share on a revenue of $160.2 million.

Splunk also announced that Godfrey Sullivan, the company's president and CEO, will retire effective immediately. Doug Merritt, previously Splunk's SVP of Field Operations, will succeed Sullivan.

"With the outstanding financial results that we are reporting today and the outlook for the rest of the year and FY17, I have concluded that now is the right time for me to make the logical progression to non-executive chair," Sullivan said in prepared remarks. "I am pleased to pass the President and CEO baton to Doug, an enormously capable leader and executive."

The company also upped its revenue guidance for its fiscal year 2016, which ends in January. Total revenues are expected to be approximately $650 million, well above the range of $628 million to $632 million the company announced in August.

As for its fourth quarter outlook, Splunk expects revenue in the range of $200 million to $202 million.