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Splunk (SPLK) Slam Dunks in Third Quarter

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The third-quarter was a slam dunk for Splunk (SPLK - Get Report) after revenue came in 51% higher than a year ago. In response, investors piled into the stock, sending shares higher by 22.2% to $73.19.

The analytics software developer reported break-even net income, a penny over Thomson Reuters' expectations, and $78.6 million in revenue, $7.5 million higher than consensus.

The company managed to sign more than 450 new customers to its books, a 12.5% increase over customer additions in the second quarter, including corporate accounts with Tesla Motors (TSLA) and the Nasdaq, and government contracts with the U.S. Army and Air Force. By end of the third-quarter, Splunk had amassed a total 6,400 customers.

Splunk doesn't expect to slow growth over its fourth-quarter, with revenue forecasted to be between $88 million and $90 million, higher than the expected $86.1 million. Full-year revenue is slated to fall between $291 million to $293 million, higher than previous guidance of $275 million to $281 million.

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Investment firm JMP Securities remained impressed with Splunk's "record customers" and "accelerating growth", reiterating its "market outperform" rating and raising its price target to $70 from $59.

"We continue to like Splunk as it has a rapidly growing customer base, is leveraged to the big data trend, has a freemium business model, a unique licensing model, and attacks a large and underpenetrated market," wrote JMP Securities analyst Greg McDowell.

Likewise, Cantor Fitzgerald kept a "buy" rating and upwardly revised its price target to $77 from $70. "Despite a weak IT spending environment, Splunk delivered meaningful revenue upside, raised its FY: 14 sales outlook and called out strength in the Federal vertical (despite the government shutdown)," wrote analyst Brian White. "In our view, the Splunk story continues to become more intriguing by the day with new users, expanded use cases, a broader product portfolio, and entry into non-traditional markets."

TheStreet Ratings team rates Splunk Inc as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Splunk Inc (SPLK) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income and feeble growth in its earnings per share."

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