May 21, 2020 / 10:23 PM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-Splunk expects higher cloud services demand on remote working boost

(Rewrites throughout, adds CEO comment, updates shares)

May 21 (Reuters) - Data analytics software maker Splunk Inc said on Thursday it expects higher demand for its cloud services as people globally shift to working from home because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The company’s cloud services revenue jumped 81% to $112.2 million in the first quarter, lifting total revenue by 2.2%.

“As we continue our aggressive shift to the cloud, we are doubling down on investments in this area,” Chief Executive Officer Douglas Merritt said on a conference call with analysts.

Shares were 3.4% higher at $169 in extended trading, after falling 5% earlier on a lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue forecast.

The company predicted quarterly revenue of about $520 million for the second quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $548.5 million, as customers refrained from placing long-term orders because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Splunk also said it expects adjusted operating margin to fall between 10% and 15% in the period.

Its net loss widened to $305.6 million, or $1.94 per share, in quarter ended April 30, from a loss of $155.4 million, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company reported a loss of 56 cents per share, compared with expectations of a loss of 57 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Aditya Soni)

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