MongoDB (NASDAQ:MDB) Posts Better-Than-Expected Sales In Q4, Stock Soars

Full Report / March 08, 2022
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Database software company MongoDB (MDB) reported results ahead of analyst expectations in the Q4 FY2022 quarter, with revenue up 55.8% year on year to $266.4 million. On top of that, guidance for next quarter's revenue was surprisingly good, being $265 million at the midpoint, 4.5% above what analysts were expecting. MongoDB made a GAAP loss of $84.4 million, down on its loss of $75.8 million, in the same quarter last year.

MongoDB (MDB) Q4 FY2022 Highlights:

  • Revenue: $266.4 million vs analyst estimates of $243.4 million (9.47% beat)
  • EPS (non-GAAP): -$0.09 vs analyst estimates of -$0.21
  • Revenue guidance for Q1 2023 is $265 million at the midpoint, above analyst estimates of $253.5 million
  • Management's revenue guidance for upcoming financial year 2023 is $1.16 billion at the midpoint, beating analyst estimates by 2.55% and predicting 33.4% growth (vs 47.3% in FY2022)
  • Free cash flow of $16.8 million, up from negative free cash flow of $9.2 million in previous quarter
  • Customers: 33,000, up from 31,000 in previous quarter
  • Gross Margin (GAAP): 71.5%, up from 70.1% 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.

Data is the lifeblood of the internet and software in general, and the amount of data created is growing at an accelerating pace. Likewise, the importance of storing the data in scalable and efficient formats continues to rise, especially as the diversity of the data and associated use cases expand from analyzing simple, structured data to high-scale processing of unstructured data, images, audio and video.

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).

Sales Growth

As you can see below, MongoDB's revenue growth has been impressive over the last year, growing from quarterly revenue of $170.9 million, to $266.4 million.

MongoDB Total Revenue

This was another standout quarter with the revenue up a splendid 55.8% year on year. On top of that, revenue increased $39.6 million quarter on quarter, a very strong improvement on the $28.1 million increase in Q3 2022, and a sign of re-acceleration of growth, which is very nice to see indeed.

Guidance for the next quarter indicates MongoDB is expecting revenue to grow 45.8% year on year to $265 million, improving on the 39.3% year-over-year increase in revenue the company had recorded in the same quarter last year. For the upcoming financial year management expects revenue to be $1.16 billion at the midpoint, growing 33.4% compared to 47.3% increase in FY2022.

Customer Growth

You can see below that MongoDB reported 33,000 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.

MongoDB Customers


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 71.5% in Q4.

MongoDB Gross Margin (GAAP)

That means that for every $1 in revenue the company had $0.71 left to spend on developing new products, marketing & sales and the general administrative overhead. Significantly up from the last quarter, this is around the lower average of what we typically see in SaaS businesses. Gross margin has a major impact on a company’s ability to invest in developing new products and sales & marketing, which may ultimately determine the winner in a competitive market so it is important to track.

Cash Is King

If you follow StockStory for a while, you know that we put an emphasis on cash flow. Why, you ask? We believe that in the end cash is king, as you can't use accounting profits to pay the bills. MongoDB's free cash flow came in at $16.8 million in Q4, turning positive year on year.

MongoDB Free Cash Flow

MongoDB has burned through $6.66 million in cash over the last twelve months, resulting in a negative 0.76% free cash flow margin. This below average FCF margin is a result of MongoDB's need to invest in the business to continue penetrating its market.

Key Takeaways from MongoDB's Q4 Results

With a market capitalization of $18.6 billion, more than $1.82 billion in cash and the fact it is operating close to free cash flow break-even, we're confident that MongoDB has the resources it needs to pursue a high growth business strategy.

We were impressed by the exceptional revenue growth MongoDB delivered this quarter. And we were also excited to see that it outperformed Wall St’s revenue expectations. On the other hand, revenue guidance for next year indicated the growth will be slowing down. Overall, we think this was a strong quarter, that should leave shareholders feeling very positive. The company is up 7.17% on the results and currently trades at $302.2 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 we have other favorites, we understand the arguments that MongoDB is not a bad business. We would expect growth rates to moderate from here, but its revenue growth has been exceptional, over the last two years. Unfortunately, its gross margins aren't as good as other tech businesses we look at.

The market is certainly expecting long term growth from MongoDB given its price to sales ratio based on the next twelve months is 16.5x. There are 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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