Database software company MongoDB (MDB) beat analyst expectations in Q3 FY2022 quarter, with revenue up 50.4% year on year to $226.8 million. Guidance for next quarter's revenue was surprisingly good, being $240.5 million at the midpoint, 5.69% above what analysts were expecting. MongoDB made a GAAP loss of $81.2 million, down on its loss of $72.6 million, in the same quarter last year.
MongoDB (MDB) Q3 FY2022 Highlights:
- Revenue: $226.8 million vs analyst estimates of $205.1 million (10.5% beat)
- EPS (non-GAAP): -$0.11 vs analyst estimates of -$0.38
- Revenue guidance for Q4 2022 is $240.5 million at the midpoint, above analyst estimates of $227.5 million
- Free cash flow was negative $9.2 million, compared to negative free cash flow of $22.6 million in previous quarter
- Customers: 31,000, up from 29,000 in previous quarter
- Gross Margin (GAAP): 69.8%, up from 69% same quarter last year
Started in 2007 by the team behind Google’s ad platform DoubleClick, MongoDB offers database-as-a-service that helps companies store large volumes of semi-structured data.
The standard relational databases function like Excel on steroids, they store data in rows and columns across different tables. This works well if you need to store a lot of data that has a similar structure, but it can create potential inefficiencies if the structure of the data you are storing varies a lot. MongoDB instead stores data in records called documents, which, similarly to a patient’s documents in a doctor’s office, have all the data for one entity in one folder, even though what is in the folder can vary a lot between entities.
Similar to other businesses like Elastic (ESTC), MongoDB is built on a business model that combines free open source software with paid offerings. The paid product has features valuable for enterprise customers and offers a fully hosted service, but developers can also download and use the limited version of MongoDB for free, which makes it really easy to try and evaluate.
There are many types of databases and they each have their tradeoffs and can be useful for different purposes, but the overall need to store data has been growing consistently for many years.
Competitors include database providers such as IBM (NYSE:IBM), and Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) as well as cloud offerings provided by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
As you can see below, MongoDB's revenue growth has been impressive over the last year, growing from quarterly revenue of $150.7 million, to $226.8 million.
This was another standout quarter with the revenue up a splendid 50.4% year on year. On top of that, revenue increased $28.1 million quarter on quarter, a very strong improvement on the $17 million increase in Q2 2022, and a sign of re-acceleration of growth, which is very nice to see indeed.
Analysts covering the company are expecting the revenues to grow 28.3% over the next twelve months, although estimates are likely to change post earnings.
You can see below that MongoDB reported 31,000 customers at the end of the quarter, an increase of 2,000 on last quarter. That's in line with the customer growth we have seen over the last couple of quarters, suggesting that the company can maintain its current sales momentum.
What makes the software as a service business so attractive is that once the software is developed, it typically shouldn't cost much to provide it as an ongoing service to customers. MongoDB's gross profit margin, an important metric measuring how much money there is left after paying for servers, licenses, technical support and other necessary running expenses was at 69.8% in Q3.
That means that for every $1 in revenue the company had $0.69 left to spend on developing new products, marketing & sales and the general administrative overhead. This would be considered a low gross margin for a SaaS company and we would like to see it start improving.
Key Takeaways from MongoDB's Q3 Results
Since it has still been burning cash over the last twelve months it is worth keeping an eye on MongoDB’s balance sheet, but we note that with a market capitalization of $29.7 billion and more than $1.8 billion in cash, the company has the capacity to continue to prioritise growth over profitability.
We were impressed by how strongly MongoDB outperformed analysts’ revenue expectations this quarter. And we were also excited to see the really strong revenue growth. Zooming out, we think this was a fantastic quarter that should have shareholders cheering. The company is up 17% on the results and currently trades at $503.01 per share.
Is Now The Time?
MongoDB may have had a good quarter, but investors should also consider its valuation and business qualities, when assessing the investment opportunity. Although MongoDB is not a bad business, it probably wouldn't be one of our picks. Its revenue growth has been impressive, though we don't expect it to maintain historical growth rates. Unfortunately, its gross margins aren't as good as other tech businesses we look at, and its cash burn raises the question if it can sustainably maintain its growth.
MongoDB's price to sales ratio based on the next twelve months of 33.6x indicates that the market is definitely optimistic about its growth prospects. We can find things to like about MongoDB and there's no doubt it is a bit of a market darling, at least for some. But we are wondering whether there might be better opportunities elsewhere right now.
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