MobileIron Spikes 5% After Reporting Better Than Expected FQ3 Revenue, Lower Than Expected Loss

MobileIron is having a strong after-hours session, after it reported its fiscal third quarter financial performance, including non-GAAP revenue of $33.7 million, GAAP losses per share of $0.20, and non-GAAP losses per share of a more modest $0.15.

The market had expected the mobile device management company to lose $0.25 per share. The company’s results were a beat on that metric.

Why cite non-GAAP revenue? An accounting quirk impacts the company’s GAAP revenue, leaving some revenue from products sold in 2013 on its docket, skewing things slightly. The company’s non-GAAP revenue — the number it wants you to look at — was up 54 percent from the year-ago quarter. GAAP revenue, which it would discount in importance due to the aforementioned top-line hangover, was up a more modest 32 percent year-over-year.

In its sequentially preceding quarter, MobileIron lost $0.66 on a GAAP basis, and $0.52 on a non-GAAP basis, making its third fiscal quarter a material improvement. The company remains a firm leap from profits, whichever way you calculate them, but improvement is enough today, it seems, for investors.

MobileIron had more than $150 million in cash following its recent IPO. At the end of its fiscal third, the company had $147 million and change in cash and equivalents.

The key metric, in my view, for MobileIron is its subscription revenue. The company spends heavily to attract corporate clients to whom it can vend thousands of seats on a recurring basis. So, the pulse of the firm is its ‘Subscription’ line item. It totaled $8.031 million in the quarter, up from $7.10 million in the sequentially preceding period. That’s slower growth than I expected. Support revenue more than doubled from the year-ago quarter.

The company’s net loss of $15.53 million is up around 29 percent from its 2013 fiscal third.

For the fourth quarter, MobileIron expects non-GAAP revenue of $34 to $35 million, and implied losses on a non-GAAP basis of between $8 and $10 million.

Update: I hollered with MobileIron CEO Bob Tinker on the talkie, and he seemed pretty happy with the quarter. That’s not surprising, given market reaction to it. He declined to predict what will  happen to his company’s fourth quarter GAAP EPS, citing the law, so that task will be up to us. All told the company remains focused on building its ARR, it seems. Tinker did note that the company’s more than 90 percent renewal rate is on a per-seat basis, and not on a dollar basis. That’s why Box has different churn figures, it seems.