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Pure Storage Announces First Quarter Fiscal 2019 Financial Results

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Pure Storage Announces First Quarter Fiscal 2019 Financial Results

Pure Storage (NYSE: PSTG), the all-flash storage platform that helps innovators build a better world with data, today announced financial results for its first quarter ended April 30, 2018.

Key quarterly financial highlights include:

  • Revenue: $255.9 million, up 40% Y/Y, exceeding the high end of our guidance;
  • Operating margin: -24.2% GAAP; -6.0% non-GAAP, up 7.7 ppts and 7.9 ppts Y/Y, respectively;
  • Operating cash flow: $18.6 million, free cash flow without ESPP impact: $8.6 million.

“Pure has delivered another strong quarter as we lead the industry in delivering new data-centric architectures that enable enterprises to succeed both today and tomorrow,” said Pure Storage CEO Charles Giancarlo. “The combination of our innovative business model, first-to-market technology innovations, and focus on customer success drove continued momentum in Q1.”

Approximately 300 new customers joined Pure Storage in the quarter, increasing the total to more than 4,800 organizations. New customer wins in the quarter include: ALDI International, Barnes & Noble Education, Inc., U.S. Department of Energy, Paige.AI, and Panasonic Taiwan.

“Q1 marked a great start to fiscal 2019, growing 40% year-over-year in revenue and exceeding our operating margin goal,” said Tim Riitters, CFO of Pure Storage. “We are focused on driving industry-leading growth and profitability in our business.”

New Revenue Accounting Standard

Pure Storage adopted ASC 606, the new standard related to revenue recognition effective February 1, 2018. Prior period financial information in this press release has been adjusted to reflect the adoption of this new standard. Please also refer to our earnings presentation on investor.purestorage.com for further information.

First Quarter Fiscal 2019 Financial Highlights

The following tables summarize our consolidated financial results for the fiscal quarters ended April 30, 2018 and 2017 (in millions except percentages, per share amounts and headcount, unaudited):

GAAP Quarterly Financial Information
Three Months Ended
April 30, 2018
Three Months Ended
April 30, 2017
Y/Y Change
Revenue $255.9 $182.6 40%
Gross Margin 65.0% 65.2% -0.2 ppts
Product Gross Margin 66.0% 67.3% -1.3 ppts
Support Subscription Gross Margin 61.6% 57.5% 4.1 ppts
Operating Loss -$61.9 -$58.2 -$3.7
Operating Margin -24.2% -31.9% 7.7 ppts
Net Loss -$64.3 -$57.2 -$7.1
Net Loss per Share (Basic and Diluted) -$0.29 -$0.28 -$0.01
Weighted-Average Shares 223.8 205.8 18.0
Headcount >2,300 >1,800 ~500
Non-GAAP Quarterly Financial Information
Three Months Ended
April 30, 2018
Three Months
Ended April 30, 2017
Y/Y Change
Gross Margin 66.3% 66.4% -0.1 ppts
Product Gross Margin 66.3% 67.6% -1.3 ppts
Support Subscription Gross Margin 66.3% 62.1% 4.2 ppts
Operating Loss -$15.3 -$25.3 $10.0
Operating Margin -6.0% -13.9% 7.9 ppts
Net Loss -$16.2 -$24.3 $8.1
Net Loss per Share -$0.07 -$0.12 $0.05
Weighted-Average Shares 223.8 205.8 18.0

A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP information is provided at the end of this release.

Financial Outlook

Pure Storage’s second quarter fiscal 2019 guidance is as follows:

  • Revenue in the range of $296 million to $304 million
  • Non-GAAP gross margin in the range of 63.5% to 66.5%
  • Non-GAAP operating margin in the range of -7.0% to -3.0%

Pure Storage’s full year fiscal 2019 guidance is as follows:

  • Revenue in the range of $1.320 billion to $1.370 billion
  • Non-GAAP gross margin in the range of 63.5% to 66.5%
  • Non-GAAP operating margin in the range of 0% to 4%

All forward-looking non-GAAP financial measures contained in this section titled “Financial Outlook” exclude stock-based compensation expense, payroll tax expense related to stock-based activities, amortization of debt discount and debt issuance costs and any applicable anti-dilutive share count impact of the convertible debt hedge agreements and, as applicable, other special items. We have not reconciled guidance for non-GAAP gross margin and non-GAAP operating margin to their most directly comparable GAAP measures because such items that impact these measures are not within our control and/or cannot be reasonably predicted. Accordingly, a reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measure guidance to the corresponding GAAP measures is not available without unreasonable effort.

Conference Call Information

Pure Storage will host a teleconference to discuss the first quarter fiscal 2019 results at 2:00 p.m. (PT) on May 21, 2018. Pure Storage will post its supplemental earnings presentation to the investor relations website at investor.purestorage.com following the conference call.

Teleconference details are as follows:

  • To Listen via Telephone: (877) 201-0168 or (647) 788-4901 (for international callers).
  • To Listen via the Internet: A live and replay audio broadcast of the conference call with corresponding slides will be available at investor.purestorage.com.
  • Replay: A telephone playback of this conference call is scheduled to be available two hours after the call ends on Monday, May 21, 2018, through June 4, 2018. The replay will be accessible by calling (800) 585-8367 or (416) 621-4642 (for international callers), with conference ID 9572519. The call runs 24 hours per day, including weekends.

2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders

Pure Storage will hold its 2018 annual meeting of stockholders on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. (PT). The meeting will be held virtually, via live webcast at www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/PSTG2018. The record date for the meeting was April 25, 2018, and only stockholders of record on that date are eligible to participate in the meeting. Other interested persons may listen to the live webcast of the meeting and can view the 2018 proxy statement and Annual Report on Form 10-K at investor.purestorage.com.

Upcoming Events

Pure Storage will host an investor session at its annual conference, Pure//Accelerate 2018, on May 23, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. (PT). The event will be a live webcast on the investor relations website at investor.purestorage.com. Pure Storage will also be participating in financial conferences on June 6th,7th, and 12th of 2018.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding our products, business and operations, including our growth prospects and expectations regarding technology differentiation, and our outlook for the second quarter and full year fiscal 2019, and statements regarding our products, business, operations and results. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on potentially inaccurate assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected or implied by the forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from the results predicted include, among others, those risks and uncertainties included under the captions “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in our filings and reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including, which are available on our investor relations website at investor.purestorage.com and on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Additional information is also available in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 31, 2018. All information provided in this release and in the attachments is as of May 21, 2018,and we undertake no duty to update this information unless required by law.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures
To supplement our condensed consolidated financial statements, which are prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP, we use the following non-GAAP financial measures: non-GAAP gross profit, non-GAAP gross margin, non-GAAP operating loss, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net loss, non-GAAP net loss per share, free cash flow, free cash flow as a percentage of revenue, free cash flow without ESPP impact, and free cash flow without ESPP impact as a percentage of revenue. The presentation of this financial information is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for, or superior to, the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP.

We use these non-GAAP financial measures for financial and operational decision-making and as a means to evaluate period-to-period comparisons. Our management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures provide meaningful supplemental information regarding our performance and liquidity by excluding certain expenses and expenditures such as stock-based compensation expense and amortization of debt discount and debt issuance costs that may not be indicative of our ongoing core business operating results. We believe that both management and investors benefit from referring to these non-GAAP financial measures in assessing our performance and when analyzing historical performance and liquidity and planning, forecasting, and analyzing future periods. The presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures is not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for our financial results prepared in accordance with GAAP, and our non-GAAP measures may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies.

For a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP measures, please see the tables captioned “Reconciliations of non-GAAP results of operations to the nearest comparable GAAP measures” and “Reconciliation from net cash provided by (used in) operating activities to free cash flow and free cash flow without ESPP impact,” included at the end of this release.

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Pandemic risks eclipse treasury priorities as businesses diversify investments to mitigate impact

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Pandemic risks eclipse treasury priorities as businesses diversify investments to mitigate impact 1

The Covid-19 pandemic has shunted aside existing challenges to sit atop treasurers’ priority lists, according to “The resilient treasury: Optimising strategy in the face of covid-19”, a survey run by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Deutsche Bank.

The results show that treasurers are looking to diversify their investments in a bid to mitigate the pandemic impacts, including heightened liquidity, foreign-exchange and interest-rate risk. As many as 55% plan to increase investments in long-term instruments, with 48% increasing investments in bank deposits, another 48% in local investment products, and 47% in money-market funds.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically altered business plans in 2020. It has placed a certain level of strain on treasury processes, but the challenge it presents has been managed by traditional treasury skills. It is clear that pandemic risk will be on the treasury checklist for years to come, but it is one of many risks the department faces and will continue to manage,” says Melanie Noronha, the EIU editor of the report.

Despite Covid-19 looming large, other challenges wait in the wings. Notably, the replacement of the London Interbank Offered Rate was identified by 38% of respondents as the main challenge of their function.

Technology, meanwhile, continues to be a pressing issue, with treasury teams becoming increasingly reliant on IT solutions. Here, data quality is rising up the list of concerns. Already highlighted as very or somewhat concerning in 2019 by 69% of respondents, the figure rose to 78% in 2020. Acquiring the necessary skill sets to realise the full benefits of this data and technology is also a continuing priority – with some progress registered from last year. In 2020, 30% of respondents say they have all the skills they need to manage technological change, up from 22% in 2018.

“Treasury’s focus on technology is not only helping teams operate more efficiently in a remote-working environment, it has long played – and continues to play – a key role in realising their long-term priorities,” notes Ole Matthiessen, Head of Cash Management, Corporate Bank, Deutsche Bank. The survey shows that

Release 1 | 2  managing relationships with banks and suppliers (highlighted by 32% of respondents) and collaborating with other functions of the business (also 32%) remain top of the agenda – and seamless digital systems will help give treasurers the bandwidth and insight to be more effective partners for both internal and external stakeholders.

Based on a global survey of 300 treasury executives, conducted between April and May, the survey explores stakeholders’ attitudes among corporate treasurers towards the drivers of strategic change in the treasury function – from the pandemic through to regulation and technology – and their priorities for the next five years.

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Digital collaboration: Shaping the Future of Finance

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Digital collaboration: Shaping the Future of Finance 2

By Ryan Lester, Senior Director of Customer Experience Technologies at LogMeIn

With heightened economic uncertainty and increased customer expectation becoming the norm in the banking industry, it is understandable that the sector is struggling to keep afloat. Due to its precarious nature, banking institutions are trying their best to ensure they remain relevant in the competitive landscape and guarantee that their customers continue to be a priority.

When it comes to the first half of this year, the pandemic has shown how easy it is for industries to fail. Customers and companies alike had to get used to the new normal, as physical locations started to close. The banking industry felt this first hand, as banks were made to restructure how their business ran, with restricted opening hours and a wider push to motivate people to use online banking.

While some had already embraced digital options prior to the pandemic, this proved to be a stark contrast to the elderly population, who frequently visited branches to access their finances. Moving forward, banks have to adopt new methods to ensure customers get the most out of our their accounts, without their experience suffering.

Heightened Customer Expectations

When the pandemic reached its peak, people were encouraged to use online banking, as telephone contact was under strain with long waiting times and pressure mounting on contact centre agents. According to Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), which works with 50 of the world’s largest banks, there was a 200% jump in new mobile banking registrations in early April, while mobile banking traffic rose 85%.

With branches remaining closed, customers were continuously being urged to limit the amount of calls they made to the most urgent cases and consider whether they could solve their answers through mobile online banking or checking the company website. Although already being adopted in pockets of the industry, this was a real catalyst that spurred banks to up their game on digital channels and with self-service tools.

Banks are challenged with precariously balancing customer needs with the cost of personalised support. With the demographic of customers changing over the last few years, customers are becoming increasingly younger and more comfortable with technology. Influenced by the “Amazon Effect”, their expectations have raised to an all-time high, placing record strain on the sector

Customer experience isn’t just about support anymore, it’s about serving your customer at every point in the journey. Companies have an opportunity to elevate the experience they provide by moving beyond one-and-done interactions to create continuous engagements with their customers. It is starting to become a primary competitive differentiator in the market and one that doesn’t have a lot of variation. Deploying AI chatbot technology will be able to strategically help banks improve customer experience and raise the level of support that agents provide.

Digital collaboration: Working around the Clock

The benefits of adopting digital channels and self-service tools are second to none. By implementing chatbots, fuelled by conversational AI, banks will be able to help serve a wide range of customer queries and ensure they are protected from fraud and scams.

Ryan Lester

Ryan Lester

Conversational AI is exactly what it sounds like: a computer programme that engages in a conversation with a human. When it comes to service delivery, conversational AI can be deployed across multiple channels to engage with customers in ways that effectively address evolving customer needs. At a time defined by COVID-19, self-service tools such a conversational chatbots can work around the clock to solve customer queries in a concise and timely way. Of course, self-service tools won’t completely replace human agents in the banking industry, but they will help companies re-distribute customer traffic and workflows in ways that enhance customer experience. Self-service tools fuelled by conversational AI can also improve employee experience because service employees can handle fewer, but higher-level service tasks that chatbots might escalate to them.

Adopting new tools to help facilitate consistent and concise answers and help maintain customer experience is on the forefront of many industry minds. Banks such as the Natwest Group have seen this first-hand and are testament to the benefits that a good digital experience can provide. Simon Johnson, Capability Consultant, Digital at NatWest Group highlights NatWest’s use of digital tools during lockdown, “Over the last few months, we’ve learnt how to use digital tools to help our employees remotely. From a banking perspective, there have been a lot of changes including base rates, waive fees and the best ways of contacting our vulnerable customers, ensuring we keep them protected from frauds and scams.

“By introducing our Bold360 chatbot interface, Ella, we’ve been able to get relevant information out quickly, apply the best practice and ensure that our customer journeys are being developed correctly. Due to the volume of questions, some of our customers were finding themselves waiting longer than usual. So digital channels become essential to helping reduce the wait time. Using Bold360, we were able to mitigate issues and answer questions in a more timely way through our chatbot.

“Moving forward, as we open more digital services, we are analysing our data to see if customer will return back to their usual way of banking, now that they’ve seen what a good digital experience can provide. Either way, with Ella, we are ready.”

Chatbots and Humans: The Best Option for Customer Service

Over the last year, banking institutions have recognised the power that digital collaboration can have to their success. Delivering exceptional customer service and support is key for any business wanting to stay competitive in today’s market and banks are especially challenged with precariously balancing customer needs with the cost of personalised support. Leveraging the right technology, such as AI-powered chatbots, will enable the banking industry to provide better support and a more robust customer experience in the long term. Other institutions must follow suit, or risk becoming obsolete.

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A sleeping digital giant wakes? 4 key trends accelerating payments transformation in the US

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A sleeping digital giant wakes? 4 key trends accelerating payments transformation in the US 3

By Lauren Jones, International Payments Ambassador, Icon Solutions

The US payments industry is undoubtedly ripe for change. Before the unprecedented shock of COVID-19, digitization and payments transformation initiatives had been organic, piecemeal and predominately the preserve of the largest banks.

Now, increasing pressure means that financial institutions of all sizes are working to define a digital strategy to unlock new opportunities, drive business value, and stay competitive. But beyond the immediate impact of COVID, what underlying trends are accelerating digitization in the US?

  1. Real-time payments – the stimulus for change  

Real-time payments have been met with a degree of caution by US financial institutions. Risking traditional profit generators in return for potential revenues down the line is a gamble many have not been willing to take. But immediate payments are coming to the US whether banks like it or not.

Major payments infrastructure providers, including NACHA and The Clearing House (TCH), have moved to encourage immediate payment adoption in recent years. But the Fed, frustrated with a slow rate of progress, has announced that it is pressing ahead with the implementation of its FedNow system (despite significant industry objection). Although the Fed’s true intentions are open to interpretation and this may just be a play to accelerate private initiatives, it is a clear signal that they mean business.

This means holdouts risk their own ‘Kodak’ moment if they miss the huge opportunities in front of them by fixating on traditional revenue streams. Banks are in a position to support innovation across entire industries such as healthcare, which could be released from the constraints of paper-based bureaucracy and slow, expensive transactions.

Another opportunity that can be unlocked via instant payments is ISO 20022 (used in the TCH RTP system). It is the future of payments messaging standards and can greatly enhance various payments processes through increased data-carrying capabilities. More importantly given the current climate, citizens reliant on federal or state support can benefit from RTPs combined with additional data to immediately access emergency funds.

  1. The kids are growing up

The US is getting older. Consumers who were 10 when the iPhone first launched are now 23. This means we are seeing a ramp-up of digitally native Gen Z consumers (roughly those born between 1995 and 2010) accessing banking services.

Demographics are an inexact science and not perfect predictors (there are technophobe college students and 100-year-old Instagram influencers), but we can detect noticeable trends.

Younger customers don’t usually choose a bank because there is an ATM in their neighbourhood, a slightly better interest rate or an advert in the newspaper. Rather, a strong digital presence, personalised tools, rewards and experiences, and the trusted recommendations of friends and family, will have a more significant impact on customer acquisition.

Banks must look at the effect this will have on their longer-term digitalization strategy and be able to segment what this emerging customer base might want and how they will interact in years to come.

  1. Checkmate? Evolving corporate requirements

    Lauren Jones

    Lauren Jones

Corporate treasurers are people and their experience of seamless, immediate payments in their personal lives shapes expectations in the workplace. Although check usage for business-to-business (B2B) transactions is still the norm in the US and barriers remain, corporates are increasingly demanding the ability to transact in a real-time, omnichannel environment, 24×7.

The benefits are clear. Corporate treasurers stand to enjoy enhanced liquidity management and transparency, greater control over payments and enhanced data for reconciliation purposes. And for consumers, alternative digital payment options such as buy now pay later promote choice and flexibility.

  1. Increasing competition

A significant consequence of emerging consumer and business demand for digital offerings is the increase in competition from fintechs, technology giants and other third-parties. Traditionally, incumbent banks have enjoyed the advantage of consumer trust to offset more limited innovation. But as consumers become more comfortable entrusting their financial transactions to non-banks, banks must differentiate and digitize to remain competitive.

Data is where the technology giants excel, and their ability to personalise experiences and emotionally connect with their users is unprecedented. Banks need to learn from the positive aspects of this model to better understand their users and deliver meaningful, useful products and services.

For data to become the cornerstone of a banks’ customer relationship and take services to the next level, breaking the channel silos and extracting value from a comprehensive dataset will be decisive. But with only 18% of banks reporting that they are in the process of shifting from a transactional revenue model to a data-driven revenue model, this work has some way to go.

Taking customer propositions to the next level

Customers now expect services that work for them, not their banks. All banks, no matter the footprint, need to move quickly to offer a broad digital service platform that adds value to both the customer and the bank.

By defining a robust payments transformation strategy, banks of all sizes can remain fiercely competitive by rapidly lowering costs, unlocking revenues and promoting innovation

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