C3.ai’s stock pops after earnings show growth accelerating

C3.ai Inc. shares were popping in extended trading Wednesday after the company, which makes enterprise artificial-intelligence software, showed that it lost less money than expected in the most recent quarter.

The company reported a fiscal third-quarter net loss of $73 million, or 60 cents a share, whereas it posted a loss of $63.2 million, or 57 cents a share, in the year-before period. On an adjusted basis, C3.ai
lost 13 cents a share, while analysts were modeling an adjusted loss of 28 cents a share.

C3.ai posted revenue of $78.4 million, up from $66.7 million a year before, whereas analysts were modeling $76.1 million. Growth accelerated to 18% from 17% in the fiscal second quarter.

“The enterprise market is on fire,” Chief Executive Tom Siebel said on the company’s earnings call. “We have been predicting for some years that the market for enterprise AI would be quite large,” and while “those predictions were subject to much speculation in the analyst community and media,” he thinks C3.ai has been proven correct.

The company is seeing “overwhelming demand,” he continued.

C3.ai said in its release that it “continues to diversify across industries,” with 29% of bookings from state and local governments in the latest quarter, along with 25% of bookings being from federal, defense and aerospace customers.

C3.ai said it closed 50 agreements, including 29 new pilots, in the most recent quarter.

At the same time, Siebel shared that the company’s switch six months back to a consumption-based pricing model has been “very effective” by “clearly and substantially [lowering] the price barrier for companies to engage with us.”

Shares were up 13% in Wednesday’s after-hours action.

For the fiscal fourth quarter, C3.ai models $82 million to $86 million in revenue, while the FactSet consensus was for $83.9 million.

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