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CrowdStrike shares tumble as revenue shows signs of slowing

George Kurtz, chief executive officer of CrowdStrike

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

CrowdStrike reported first-quarter earnings results for its fiscal 2024 year Wednesday, beating consensus estimates on the top and bottom lines but sending shares down more than 11% after hours on slowing revenue growth.

Here’s how the cybersecurity firm did versus Refinitiv consensus estimates for the quarter ending April 30:

  • Earnings per share: 57 cents, adjusted, vs. 51 cents expected.
  • Revenue: $692.6 million, vs. $676.4 million expected.

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The 42% year-over-year revenue increase was slower than the 61% growth it reported in the year-ago quarter. CrowdStrike swung to a profit of $500,000, or breakeven per share, compared with a loss of $31.5 million, or 14 cents a share, a year ago.

The company offered current quarter guidance of $717.2 million to $727.4 million, compared with a consensus range of $698 million to $742 million.

“We exceeded our guidance across both top- and bottom-line metrics,” CEO George Kurtz said on a call with investors, noting CrowdStrike was “reaching GAAP profitability so early into our life as a public company.” CrowdStrike first began trading on the Nasdaq in June 2019.

Chief Financial Officer Burt Podbere noted CrowdStrike’s slowed hiring contributed to the company’s profitability. He indicated it was unclear whether that profitability could be sustained as hiring picked up.

Similar to many other tech executives, Kurtz emphasized his company’s use of generative artificial intelligence models, calling it a “democratizing force in cybersecurity from both an adversarial” and a protective point of view.

Annual recurring revenue was $2.73 billion for the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 42%. Net new ARR was $174.2 million for the quarter, down from $190.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

CrowdStrike offers a portfolio of cloud-based cybersecurity solutions it advertises as a comprehensive package for everything from corporate servers to employee laptops to Internet of Things devices.

With cross-strait tensions mounting in recent months, cybersecurity concerns have begun to command increased attention from investors and the general public. Earlier this month, Microsoft cautioned China state-sponsored cyber attackers had infiltrated “critical” infrastructure in the continental U.S. and the U.S. territory of Guam.

The vulnerability exploited by those Chinese hackers “impacted” the U.S. Navy and a host of other organizations. CrowdStrike researchers helped assemble a National Security Agency bulletin on the attack. Senior government officials have emphasized healthy public-private partnerships are crucial to understanding and defending against cybersecurity threats.

Cyber concerns have also been a growing priority for the U.S. Department of Justice, which has been involved in several so-called “dark web” enforcement operations over the last few months.

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