UPDATED 20:02 EDT / JULY 29 2021

CLOUD

Atlassian’s cloud pivot pays off as profit, revenue and customer base all jump

Collaboration and development software vendor Atlassian Corp. Plc. is flying high today after posting fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that topped estimates and issuing a strong forecast for the next fiscal year.

The Australian firm reported profit before certain costs of 24 cents per share on revenue of $559.5 million, up 30% from a year ago. That easily beat Wall Street’s model of 18 cents per share in earnings on revenue of $524 million.

The company did, however, announce a net loss of $213.1 million for the quarter, which it said was related to exchangeable senior notes and related capital calls.

Atlassian also posted full-year results, showing total earnings of $1.40 per share on revenue of $2.1 billion, up 29% from the year prior.

Atlassian co-founder and co-Chief Executive Mike Cannon-Brookes (pictured) said the company’s fourth-quarter performance was a “ripper,” with 23,000 new customers added in the period.

“We are incredibly proud of our resilience and execution during fiscal 2021,” he said. “We continued to innovate with five new products built on top of our cloud platform, surpassed 200,000 customers and $2 billion in revenue, and added over 1,500 new Atlassians to the team.”

Atlassian is the developer of the popular Jira family of work management tools, which are used by teams in areas such as software development to coordinate their activities. The company also sells Trello, another best-selling project management application, and a selection of other software products.

The last year has been a fairly transformational one for the company, as it made the risky decision to begin phasing out sales of on-premises software in favor of cloud services only. The idea is to grow subscription revenue and rely less on traditional licensing fees. It followed up that decision with the launch of a new Cloud Enterprise offering that allows large organizations to use its software with more flexible licensing terms, also providing access to more advanced administration features.

The move seems to be working well. During the quarter just gone, Atlassian reported that its subscription revenue was up 50% from a year ago, to $385.5 million.

Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller said Atlassian was riding the wave of demand for collaboration and work tools in a post-pandemic world to hit an impressive milestone of $2 billion in revenue. “Of concern, though, is Atlassian also managed to double its loss compared to the previous full year,” he said. “While the company was impacted by restructuring charges, it’s still clear it needs to find a path to future growth.”

That growth could come pretty soon though if Atlassian can keep its word. The company forecast bullish fiscal 2022 first quarter earnings of 38 to 39 cents per share on revenue of $575 million to $590 million. That’s well ahead of Wall Street’s call for earnings of 31 cents per share on revenue of $541 million.

No surprise, then, Atlassian’s stock exploded, rising more than 12% in the after-hours session.

“Looking ahead to fiscal 2022 and beyond, the opportunities in front of Atlassian have never been greater,” said Atlassian’s other co-CEO, Scott Farquhar.

Photo: TEDxSydney/Flickr

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