Identity management software maker Okta (OKTA) beat analyst expectations in Q4 FY2023 quarter, with revenue up 33.2% year on year to $510 million. The company expects that next quarter's revenue would be around $510 million, which is the midpoint of the guidance range. That was roughly in line with analyst expectations. Okta made a GAAP loss of $153 million, improving on its loss of $241.2 million, in the same quarter last year.
Okta (OKTA) Q4 FY2023 Highlights:
- Revenue: $510 million vs analyst estimates of $489.6 million (4.17% beat)
- EPS (non-GAAP): $0.30 vs analyst estimates of $0.09 ($0.21 beat)
- Revenue guidance for Q1 2024 is $510 million at the midpoint, above analyst estimates of $498.3 million
- Management's revenue guidance for upcoming financial year 2024 is $2.16 billion at the midpoint, missing analyst estimates by 0.29% and predicting 16.4% growth (vs 44.7% in FY2023)
- Free cash flow of $72 million, up from $5.72 million in previous quarter
- Gross Margin (GAAP): 72.7%, up from 68.9% same quarter last year
Founded during the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009, Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) is a cloud-based software as a service platform that helps companies manage identity for their employees and customers.
The founders Todd McKinnon and Frederic Kerrest were working at Salesforce at that time and saw how cloud was changing the world of enterprise software but also how companies struggled to keep track of all the logins for the new services they just subscribed to.
Instead of having to manage separate login details for each of the many software tools that an employee uses, Okta provides them with a single account (Single Sign-On) which employees then use to login into any service. That makes it a lot easier for companies to then, through a centralized system, manage who has access to what, set up automated rules to make sure that when employees leave access is withdrawn, and enforce policies around passwords and account security. Okta also provides companies with software that, in similar fashion, handles authentication and account details storage of their customers.
As software penetrates corporate life, employees are using more apps every day, on more devices, in more locations. This drives the need for identity and access management software that help companies efficiently manage who has access to what, and ensure that access privileges are secure from cyber criminals.
Okta has built a robust integration network with most of the popular software apps. This makes is a competitive player in a market which includes Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), and Ping Identity.
As you can see below, Okta's revenue growth has been impressive over the last two years, growing from quarterly revenue of $234.7 million in Q4 FY2021, to $510 million.
And unsurprisingly, this was another great quarter for Okta with revenue up 33.2% year on year. Quarter on quarter the revenue increased by $29 million in Q4, which was in line with Q3 2023. This steady quarter-on-quarter growth shows the company is able to maintain a strong growth trajectory.
Guidance for the next quarter indicates Okta is expecting revenue to grow 22.9% year on year to $510 million, slowing down from the 65.3% 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 $2.16 billion at the midpoint, growing 16.4% compared to 42.9% increase in FY2023.
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. Okta'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 72.7% in Q4.
That means that for every $1 in revenue the company had $0.73 left to spend on developing new products, marketing & sales and the general administrative overhead. Significantly up from the last quarter, this is around the 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 have followed 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. Okta's free cash flow came in at $72 million in Q4, up 1.33 thousand% year on year.
Okta has generated $64.6 million in free cash flow over the last twelve months, 3.48% of revenues. This FCF margin is a result of Okta asset lite business model, and provides it with at least some cash to invest in the business without depending on capital markets.
Key Takeaways from Okta's Q4 Results
With a market capitalization of $11.4 billion, more than $2.58 billion in cash and with free cash flow over the last twelve months being positive, the company is in a very strong position to invest in growth.
It was good to see Okta deliver strong revenue growth this quarter. And we were also excited to see that it outperformed Wall St’s revenue expectations for both revenue and billings. Free cash flow in the quarter was also strong and outperformed expectations, a signal of leverage on expenses. On the other hand, the revenue guidance for the full year slightly missed expectations. Despite that, we think this was still a good quarter, showing the company is staying on target. The company is up 11% on the results and currently trades at $79.37 per share.
Is Now The Time?
When considering Okta, investors should take into account its valuation and business qualities, as well as what happened in the latest quarter. We cheer for everyone who is making the lives of others easier through technology, but in case of Okta we will be cheering from the sidelines. Its revenue growth has been exceptional, 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.
Given its price to sales ratio based on the next twelve months is 5.3x, Okta is priced with expectations of a long-term growth, and there's no doubt it is a bit of a market darling, at least for some. While we have no doubt one can find things to like about the company, and the price is not completely unreasonable, we think that at the moment there might be better opportunities in the market.
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