I skipped my Feb month-end write-up because I was on holiday. But here goes for March!
2022 YTD RESULTS PER MONTH
Jan -27.1% Feb -23.9% Mar -33.8%
FEB AND MARCH REVIEW
I sold Amplitude and Zoominfo after their respective results.
Amplitude was an easy decision for me as it simply didn’t meet my expectations. Revenue growth slowed, current RPO growth slowed, and operating margins went the wrong way, from -5% to -10% sequentially. I sold even after the precipitous decline which followed the results.
Zoominfo was a tougher decision for me as I still really like the company and believe it to be misunderstood.
Revenue growth came in strong, at 13% qoq vs 12% qoq days-adjusted for the prior 3 qoarters (which is their preferred metric) - so a marginal acceleration. Also RPO growth came in strong, with both current and total RPO growing 55% yoy. FCF decelerated but still came in at a super healthy 38%, with gross and operating margins holding steady at 88% and 39% respectively.
And, as I predicted in many posts in the past, NRR did indeed improve quite a bit, going from 108% last year to 116% this year.
Their initial guide for 2022 was for revenue to grow to just over $1bn or 36% yoy growth and unlevered FCF of $425m, so more 42% FCF margin.
So, really great results all round. Then why did I sell? Maybe it was a mistake, as Saul said of his decision to sell. But then, if it is really a mistake then one should buy it back, no? And I’m not doing that. I still think it’s a great company, and it will remain on my watch list, but other companies presented better prospects at the time.
Specifically, the one addition to my portfolio, Bill.com. Bill.com had a fantastic, blowout quarter and I just had to take notice. Before earnings I was worried that this might be another Lightspeed: lots of payment transaction revenues and a couple of acquisitions. The results were fantastic, though, so I entered after results.
I also added to Cloudflare and Zscaler.
Below is the composition of my portfolio end March, with the percentage end Jan in brackets. I’m now down to seven positions.
**Datadog 21.1% (20.0%)** **Monday 16.3% (21.6%)** **Zscaler 15.9% (9.3%)** **SentinelOne 13.9% (13.6%)** **Cloudflare 13.0% (5.2%)** **[Bill.com](http://Bill.com) 13.0% (-)** **Upstart 7.0% (10.2%)** **Zoominfo - (15.0%)** **Amplitude - (4.9%)**
REVIEW OF POSITIONS
Datadog had a monster quarter and was quite thoroughly covered on the board, I thought.
GP margins came in at 80%, up 2%pts sequentially and yoy. Operating leverage continued to 22% operating margin, up 12% pts yoy and 6%pts sequentially.
RPO and Billings were blow-outs, up 128% yoy!! and 98% yoy. The fastest growth in my dataset going back to 2018.
FCF popped to 32.7% and customer adoption in the form of multi-module adoption and new customers added - both total and large - showed no indications of slowing.
Like with ZScaler, but with an even higher confidence level (R2 number for the regression) I believe that both trailing 4 quarter RPO and trailing 4 quarter Billings - independently - give a very good indication of upcoming Q1 revenue.
I’m not putting that number out there because that would seem a bit outlandish, but suffice to say that both Billings and RPO were sufficiently strong the past 4 quarters - and especially this last quarter - that the upcoming Q1 revenue number could be a further acceleration from the 83% yoy they just delivered. Perhaps markedly so. And vs the prior year’s relatively paltry 58% the optics of the yoy growth at scale could be exceptionally rosy to say the least.
This is by far my highest conviction stock at the moment, and upon reflection I intend to increase my position in the coming weeks.
Monday reported really good results, pretty much in line with what I was expecting ($96m in Revenue and growth to 160k customers) - at first review.
I liked all of the metrics: Revenue up 91% to $95.5m, NRR increased by 5%pts sequentially and 15%pts yoy, to 120%, with NRR from customers with 10+ seats up even more: up 5%pts sequentially and 16%pts yoy, to 135%.
Gross margin was phenomenal at 90%, and operating margin improved 37%pts from -47% last year to -10% this year Q4. FCF generation gained a lot of steam, coming in at 10.6% vs -24% in Q4 last year.
Total customers grew by 34% yoy, to 152k customers, and customers with >$50k ARR grew by 200% yoy and 180 in absolute numbers, vs 231% and 143 in the prior quarter, and 247% and 79 a year ago.
So, what was not to like? Three things: relatively flat absolute $ added for the third consecutive quarter, bad guidance and a lack of visibility into some key forward-looking metrics…
They guided for 45% yoy growth, which is just silly coming from a company which has just grown by more than 91% for this financial year. I can stop right there, because with such a bs guide, should we even listen to what they are guiding for ito margins? I think not. Still, they guided for margins deteriorating markedly.
So, let’s agree we can safely ignore guidance. Where will growth end up landing? And here is where a bit of concern started creeping in for me.
Incremental $ Revenue added in the last 8 quarters look like this:
2020 5.3 4.6 6.1 7.5 2021 8.8 **12 12 12.5**
Spot the flatlining absolute $ added above for the last 3 quarters?
If that $12m incremental dollars added per quarter is pulled forward, then their revenue growth would decline rapidly. If it would continue for three more quarters at $12m added each quarter, then revenue growth yoy will drop - to 83% yoy, then 68% and then 58%. Now I’m not saying that will happen, but I’m really trying to understand what will cause that not to happen.
NRR? That accelerated by similar percentages the last 3 quarters. Customer growth? That grew even faster than this last quarter in the prior quarters.
So why did the absolute $ amount of revenue added in the last 3 quarters stagnate despite rapidly growing customers and NRR? And what will cause it to accelerate in the next 3 quarters so that the revenue growth rate does not fall precipitously?
For that we would need to look at other metrics - billings, RPO, ARR.
And Monday don’t disclose those. I also couldn’t find them in the 20-F which they published on Mar 16: https://ir.monday.com/sec-filings/sec-filing/20-f/0001178913…
So I emailed Monday’s investor relations about this yesterday and will post the response once received.
But with the information I currently have I’m feeling a bit exposed and will be reducing my position in the weeks ahead to add to Datadog.
Zscaler in March announced three new pieces of their Security Service Edge offering. And they also helpfully explain what SSE is here: https://www.zscaler.com/resources/security-terms-glossary/wh…. I must admit to finding the drawn out discussions around the distinctions between SASE, SSE and other frameworks as well as the tedious naming for Zscaler’s products fatiguing to say the least. Anyhow, they touted three innovations to delivering on the promise of a next-gen ZTNA offering, as part of a key pillar of SSE, which is itself a subset of SASE. And these three new innovations are available to customers as part of ZPA. Seriously. I’ll put that into my mental box of “they made one of their products better” and leave it at that.
They guided to $242m revenue for Q2 and came in right on the money ito my expectations, at $255.6m. That further underlines the momentum they are generating, with yoy revenue growth in the last several quarters looking like this:
2020 49% 36% 40% 46% 2021 52% 55% 60% 57% 2022 **62% 63%**
And I’m fully expecting a further 1%pt uptick in revenue growth Q3.
RPO came in strongly at $1950m, or up 14% qoq and 90% yoy, with billings a mild disappointment at up 58% yoy vs 71% in the prior quarter and 72% in the prior year. Still, billings can be lumpy so I’m not getting too hung up about that, and the CFO explained it well by saying the reason for the slight deceleration was that government business was slow due to budget constraints and will pick up again as budget gets made available in the upcoming quarters.
NRR was strong at 125% and gross, operating and FCF margin steady at 80%, 9% and 12% respectively. And customer adds were strong, albeit not accelerating.
Add to this one that I feel their revenue is remarkably predictable ( https://discussion.fool.com/zscaler8217s-remarkable-predictabili…) , and I’m very happy to hang onto this one for the foreseeable future.
SentinelOne just kept on powering on, following roughly the same trajectory as Crowdstrike did a couple of years back.
I really liked the Q4 results which fish summarised here: https://discussion.fool.com/sentinelone-q4-2022-35074454.aspx (they came in above my expectations on the top line fwiw: I was expecting around $61m and they came in at $65.5m)
They showed improving cash generation (cash burn of only $7m in the quarter, very close to cash break-even), NRR held steady at 129% and gross and operating margins improved to 66% (vs 54% a year earlier) and -66% (vs -103% a year earlier).
And as to the recurring theme questioning whether they are actually any good, compared to say, Crowdstrike, the answer keeps on being yes. To that end it’s useful to dig a bit deeper into the MITRE press release that was discussed on the board. In the release they state the following Key MITRE evaluation results:
* 100% Prevention Across Operating Systems: Security teams demand technology that matches the rapid pace at which adversaries operate. SentinelOne Singularity XDR determines the precise moment when malicious activity occurs and takes autonomous action to stop and remediate threats, all without human intervention.
* High-Quality Analytic Detections Create Context: There aren’t enough skilled cybersecurity professionals to combat the attack landscape alert by alert. SentinelOne Singularity XDR provides real-time correlation and context to minimize alert fatigue, empowering security analysts to turn data into stories, and stories into context.
* Full Visibility with Zero Detection Delays: With a comprehensive view of the entire enterprise, SentinelOne Singularity XDR outperformed without any delayed detections, minimizing dwell time through automation.
* Stand Out Simplicity: SentinelOne Singularity XDR summarized two days of testing into nine campaign level console alerts, showcasing the platform’s ability to correlate, contextualize, and alleviate SOC burdens with machine speed.
More info: https://www.sentinelone.com/lp/mitre/
So SentinelOne caught all the bad things, automated a lot of what was needed to remediate, and is very simple.
Oh, and grew revenue 119% yoy in Q4 2022 vs 95% a year earlier. Sounds good to me.
I thought that stocknovice masterfully summarised the many announcements made by Cloudflare in March: https://discussion.fool.com/stocknovice39s-march-portfolio-revie…
Hence I’m only going to add why I really liked Cloudflare’s Q4 results:
The fastest annual and Q4 yoy growth in revenue of the last 4 years.
2017 - 18 : 43% full-year yoy | 43% Q4 yoy
2018 - 19 : 49% full-year yoy | 51% Q4 yoy
2019 - 20 : 50% full-year yoy | 50% Q4 yoy
2020 - 21 : 52% full-year yoy | 54% Q4 yoy
The first quarterly free cash flow positive result in the company’s history: $8.6m
Very strong, and improved margins with gross margin coming in at 79%, operating margin at 1% for the second quarter in a row - essentially planned to be around break-even - and net income positive. They are following the Amazon playbook.
Strong RPO growth and exceptional current RPO growth
- RPO came in at $624m, which is up 14% qoq and 63% yoy
- cRPO was $480m, up 17% qoq and 67% yoy which is an acceleration vs prior quarters and represents the highest proportion of run-rate revenue of the last 3 years, at 62% vs 57% in 2020 and 53% in 2019.
This is pretty significant as it’s essentially revenue already in the bag. So Cloudflare’s revenue in the bag is the highest it’s ever been as a % of what they did in the last quarter.
NRR the highest it’s ever been, at 125%, up 1%pt vs prior q and 6%pts vs a year ago.
Good customer growth and excellent large customer growth
Total customers grew 26% yoy to 140k, and ARPU was up 22% yoy continuing a steady multi-quarter upward march indicative of larger customer success.
Further proof comes from large customer numbers that they’ve broken out for the first time. Customers with ARR >$100k was up 70% yoy (to 1416), >$500k up 70% (to 121), and $1m up 75% (to 56).
Great traction with new products addressing adjacent, TAM-expanding markets
Zero trust, R2, email security all highlighted as having good customer traction with concrete numbers quoted: zero trust actual large customer wins highlighted, 200k domains signed up for email security, 9000 sign-ups for R2 beta.
Strong guidance for next year with room to beat and raise indicating a confident team executing very well.
They guided for $931m revenue for 2022, up 42% yoy which means they will in all likelihood breach $1bn in revenue next year, still growing at >50%. And they indicated that they will return to FCF positive territory in the second half of the year, after spending a bit more in the first half of the year.
Massive secular tailwinds and well positioned to capitalise on them: digital transformation, security, government. I think we all know these issues; no need to spell them out again. But suffice to say Cloudflare and the trust they seem to engender is exceptionally well placed to capitalise on these multi-year tailwinds.
Strong, founder-led team
Matthew Prince again impressed. The word that keeps on popping into my head is “headboy”. And I loved another description I read on SA calling him a master “humble-bragger”. Gotta love that. He’s good and knows how to market - to his customers, his employees and his investors, among others probably.
All in all therefore a consistent and steadily accelerating hyper-grower with an ever increasing TAM who has now reached the point of not burning any more cash. A great position to be in when you have $1.8bn of cash on hand for tuck-in acquisitions.
It was a great quarter by any measure, and the only regret I had was that I didn’t enter earlier and hence missed the 30%+ pop after earnings!
I also think it was discussed at length by people who saw the company’s merits way before me, so I won’t add my thoughts around the numbers. Suffice to say I thought they were exceptional.
I always try to take a measure of the CEO’s leading the companies I invest in by watching videos and listening to them in earnings calls, and Rene Lacerte passes with flying colours. Probably what would constitute “Level 5” Leadership: humility and fierce resolve.
I suggest watching this revealing video interview for investors: https://www.forbes.com/video/6195372602001/
I remain very bullish on Upstart and will continue to hold it until the story changes. This past set of results changed the story for me all right - for the better. Here are the highlights
Revenue grew by 264% yoy and 33% qoq going from $87m in Q4 a year ago to $305m this quarter. Just look at that! They did more revenue in Q4 of this year than they did in the whole of last year!
Customers - bank partners - are up 180%!! yoy, from 15 to 42, and up 35% qoq from 31 to 42. They added 11 partners in one quarter more than they had IN TOTAL just 5 quarters ago. Bank parter traction is incredible.
Contribution and operating margins have been increasing at a good clip. Contribution margin up from 46% in Q3 and 48% in Q4 2020 to 52%. Operating margin went from 12% a year ago and 13% a quarter ago, to 20% in this quarter.
Net income of $87m in this Q is MORE THAN THE REVENUE of Q4 a year ago!
Market share in personal loans increased from approximately 9% a quarter ago to just north of 12% of value in Q4.
They are successfully expanding their TAM exponentially as they announced that they have successfully moved into a much bigger adjacent market namely auto loans (7x bigger than personal loans) and have started down the path to business loans (6-7x the TAM of personal loans) and mortgage loans (50x the TAM of personal loans).
They are rapidly gaining very deep trust from their banking partners given that 7 banks vs 4 just a quarter ago (up 75% QoQ) have completely let go of FICO and therefore trusts Upstart absolutely to underwrite risk.
They are GUIDING for 65% revenue growth for next year even at this scale That is amazing. Datadog, my top holding, guided for 49%…
In the last months they also added Sandbox Banking, Red Rocks Credit Union and Bellwether Community Credit Union as customers for personal lending.
And their auto momentum kept on building, with a mobile-first platform launch and Volkswagen and Subaru signing up as customers.
This is a juggernaut of a category crusher in the making.
I’m feeling quite hammered after the last couple of months - I’m still down roughly 47% from my ATH of October 2021, but hey, that’s life. I’m still up more than 3x from where I started in 2020 - so I’m choosing to look at that bright side.
Good luck, all.
Dec 2021 full-year: https://discussion.fool.com/wsm8217s-year-end-portfolio-dec-2022…
Nov 2021: https://discussion.fool.com/wsm39s-portfolio-review-end-november…
Oct 2021: https://discussion.fool.com/wsm8217s-portfolio-review-end-octobe…
Sept 2021: https://discussion.fool.com/wsm8217s-portfolio-review-end-septem…
Aug 2021: https://discussion.fool.com/wsm8217s-portfolio-review-end-of-aug…
July 2021: https://discussion.fool.com/wsm8217s-portfolio-review-end-of-jul…
June 2021: https://discussion.fool.com/wsm8217s-portfolio-review-end-of-jun…
May 2021: https://discussion.fool.com/wsm8217s-portfolio-end-of-may-2021-3…
April 2021: https://discussion.fool.com/wsm8217s-portfolio-review-end-of-apr…
March 2021 Q1 ytd: https://discussion.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=34791940
Dec 2020 full year: https://discussion.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=34710356