Something is going on inside Cloudera and we don't like it. Time to pull the plug and put capital to work in a company that can recover the ground we've lost a lot faster. We're not even waiting for a bounce.
Last night's numbers hit previous guidance. The problem came when guidance for the rest of the current year effectively rolled back the great things we heard earlier this year as the company's merger with rival Hortonworks became a reality. Cloudera reported first-quarter revenue of $187 million, which was about what was expected, but losses were much bigger than anyone thought - a loss of $103 million. The revenue shortfall was blamed on customer delays, and those customer postponements prompted Cloudera to drastically reduce its full-year guidance. Total revenue is now expected at $755 million, down from $845 million. Revenue growth is now expected of about 5% for the full year, a drastic reduction from the 20% the company itself had predicted. A big disappointment.
Management spent too much time fitting the technological operations together and left the sales teams to drift without a clear plan. That was a mistake. New bookings from existing customers slowed to a crawl. The big companies that actually spend a lot of money here decided to delay expansion plans and small ones hedged their bets by finding public Cloud Computing solutions.
Furthermore, the CEO and Chief Strategy Officer have taken the opportunity to quit, leaving neither side of the merger with entrenched leadership. (Top Hortonworks executives have already moved on.) They weren't always the most adroit at working with Wall Street, as anyone who had to track their haphazard quarterly filings and passionless conference calls can attest, but they knew the company and its road map to success better than anyone. Their absence will hit hard as the people left behind fight to figure out how to position Cloudera solutions in a competitive market.
We don't think Cloudera is going away any time soon. Intel remains a strategic investor and can absorb its affiliate to protect that investment. In the meantime the company is still sitting on more than $500 million in cash. Nonetheless, we don't see the company going anywhere great in the immediate future. A once-promising revenue curve has now hit a wall.
Maybe we'll come back when the sales team gets momentum. Until then, there's no compelling reason to stick around waiting unless you have a lot of patience and a lot of faith. We've had to cut a few stocks from active coverage over the years, so while we're far from happy with this, we recognize that it's part of the price we pay for remaining in the market. We don't bat 1.000.
That said, even locking in the downside on Cloudera leaves our exits so far this year in positive territory. BMR subscribers on the whole made money on those positions, balancing the losses against the wins. And the stocks left on our screen are as dynamic as ever. They're up 24% YTD, beating the S&P 500 by 10%. It's cold comfort here, but against these numbers, the occasional disappointment isn't much of a drag.