Why FireEye Earnings Are So Great

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When FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) reported its first-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Tuesday, the company posted a net loss of $0.09 per share and $173.7 million in revenue. Consensus estimates had called for a net loss of $0.26 per share and revenue of $163.67 million. In the same period of last year, FireEye posted a net loss of $0.47 per share and $167.97 million in revenue.

During this quarter, the company said that it had a gross margin of 73%, compared to 70% in the first quarter of 2016 and above the guidance of approximately 70%.

In terms of guidance for the second quarter, the company expects to see a net loss in the range of $0.10 to $0.14 and revenues in the range of $173 million to $179 million. The consensus forecast is a net loss of $0.14 per share and $173.31 million in revenue.

Kevin Mandia, FireEye’s CEO, commented:

We made continued progress on our path to profitability in the first quarter, improving operational efficiency while managing transitions on multiple fronts. We met or exceeded our guidance ranges on all financial metrics, and achieved significant milestones on our product roadmap, including the general availability of the FireEye Helix platform and a new release of our next generation HX endpoint solution.

Cash flow from operations of negative $17.0 million, compared to cash flow from operations of negative $22.5 million in the first quarter of 2016 and better than the guidance range of negative $30 million to negative $40 million. On the books, FireEye’a cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $875.0 million, compared with $935.73 million at 2016 year end.

Frank Verdecanna, FireEye’s chief financial officer, added:

We demonstrated significant improvement in efficiency in the first quarter by reducing our non-GAAP operating loss by $60 million, compared to the first quarter of 2016. Our first quarter results give us confidence in our ability to achieve non-GAAP operating income in the fourth quarter of 2017 and positive operating cash flow for the year.

Shares of FireEye closed Tuesday down about 2% at $12.21, with a consensus analyst price target of $13.91 and a 52-week trading range of $10.35 to $18.42. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was up 15.5% at $14.10 in early trading indications Wednesday.