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Okta Tumbles on Wider First-Quarter  Loss, CFO Sudden Departure

Okta's results are overshadowed by a lack of clarity about the Auth0 acquisition and the sudden departure of its chief financial officer, one analyst says.
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Okta  (OKTA)  was falling Thursday after posting a wider first-quarter loss and announcing the departure of its chief financial officer, but analysts were generally sticking with the identity-verification company.

Shares of the San Francisco company at last check were down 11% to $218.88.

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Okta posted an adjusted net loss of $13 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier adjusted net loss of $7 million, or 6 cents a share. Revenue rose 37% from a year earlier to $251 million. 

The FactSet consensus called an adjusted net loss of 20 cents a share on revenue of $239 million.

The company said CFO Mike Kourey is stepping down. Brett Tighe, Okta’s senior vice president of finance and treasurer, has been named interim CFO while the company conducts a search for a permanent successor.

Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron reiterated his outperform rating, saying, "Okta reported a strong first quarter of fiscal 2022, with revenue/earnings per share exceeding consensus estimates reflecting strong demand, especially in" customer identity access management solutions.

In March, Okta said it was acquiring rival Auth0 for $6.5 billion of stock.

Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss, who affirmed his equal weight rating and $275 price target, said the results were overshadowed by the CFO departure and a "lack of clarity from management on inorganic impact to revenue and margins from the recent Auth0 acquisition, which likely limits organic visibility ahead."

JP Morgan analyst Sterling Auty, who raised his price target to $245 from $235, said Kourey's departure after only five months is "a very unusual move."

Auty, who has a neutral rating on the stock, noted that Chief Executive Todd McKinnon stated on Founder Jim Cramer's Mad Money program Wednesday that  "I think we learned working together that was probably better for us to stay friends and have a mutual parting.”

JMP analyst Patrick Walravens maintained his market perform rating, saying, "Okta has an inspiring mission to provide safe, effortless identity on any device for customers and companies, a strong executive team led by CEO Todd McKinnon, and the leadership position in the Access Management market."

But now, the analyst added, "the company must show that it can integrate these businesses, retain the Auth0 team and know-how, and, most importantly, successfully execute two different go-to-market strategies with two different product platforms."

Last month, Okta projected sales growth of 30% over the next three years, fueled by the shift to remote work.