Pure Storage: A Strong Play On The Cloud (NYSE:PSTG)

One of many extra attention-grabbing cloud-oriented firms lately has been Pure Storage (PSTG). With a market cap of simply $5 billion, the enterprise continues to be pretty small and it has a variety of upside. Although income development has slowed this yr, the corporate’s historical past of growth is undeniably enticing and its capacity to generate optimistic money circulate is encouraging even because the agency’s web losses proceed. On the entire, Pure Storage isn’t a worth play. Removed from it. But it surely does seem like a gorgeous development prospect that’s buying and selling at an inexpensive value for long-term traders to think about.

Pure Storage is a development machine

The worldwide cloud trade represents traders with a big and rising alternative over the following few years. This yr, as an illustration, the market was estimated to be value about $371.4 billion. The expectation is for it to proceed rising at a charge of 17.5% each year via not less than 2025. By that time, the market ought to greater than double in measurement of $832.1 billion. For the companies that may latch on to this chance, the long run ought to look very brilliant certainly.

One such agency hoping to capitalize on this rising pattern is Pure Storage. At its core, Pure Storage focuses on a few working segments. The primary and largest is its Cloud Information Infrastructure unit. This contains each {hardware} and software program options for cloud suppliers, enterprises, and different associated events. Subscription Companies are additionally integral to the corporate’s operations. This space of the agency focuses largely on IT and information wants. This largely consists of the enterprise’ Evergreen Storage and Cloud Block Storage choices.

Over the past several years, Pure Storage has confirmed itself to be a real development machine. A technique to take a look at that is via the lens of shoppers added. Between the second quarter of the enterprise’ 2020 fiscal yr and the second quarter of its 2021 fiscal yr (the newest quarter for which information is accessible), its buyer rely expanded from 6,600 to eight,150. That’s a rise of 23.5% yr over yr.

Whereas buyer account information is essential, there are different methods to evaluate the corporate’s growth. Again in 2016, Pure Storage generated income of $440.33 million. This has almost quadrupled via 2020, with income surging 273.2%, or 39% yearly, to $1.64 billion. Development is slowing some, although, with income having elevated a extra modest 20.9% from 2019 to 2020. For the primary two quarters of the corporate’s 2021 fiscal yr, income was $770.84 million. That is up simply 6.6% in comparison with the $723.03 million seen the identical time final yr, however that shouldn’t be stunning given the financial slowdown the US and the world noticed earlier within the yr.

One factor that I want I might report on as an enchancment however can’t is Pure Storage’s backside line. This has been in all places, enhancing from -$213.75 million in 2016 to -$159.88 million in 2018. Nonetheless, in each 2019 and 2020, the underside line worsened. For its 2020 fiscal yr, Pure Storage noticed a web lack of $200.99 million. To this point for 2021, the outcomes are little modified, with the agency’s web lack of $155.56 million coming in simply marginally higher than the $166.35 million seen within the first two quarters of its 2020 fiscal yr.

At first look right here, you could be tempted to run for the hills. However what issues greater than web earnings is money circulate. If we study this, and the way it has modified over time, the scenario will get far more enticing for traders. Again in 2016, Pure Storage generated a web money outflow (working money circulate) of $7.86 million. By 2018, this had changed into a web influx of $72.76 million, and by 2020 it was $189.57 million.

To this point, 2021 is proving to be an much more sturdy yr for the enterprise on this regard. Working money circulate within the first half of the yr got here out to $85.81 million. This can be a whopping 54.7% enhance over the $55.46 million the corporate reported the identical interval a yr earlier. If this sort of development continues for 2021 as an entire, the corporate ought to go on to generate about $293.33 million in working money circulate for the yr. In fact, there’s at all times uncertainty right here, so let’s assume that would be the excessive finish, with the low finish being about $200 million.

Taking these money circulate measures, we will get some thought as to the worth of the enterprise at the moment. As an illustration, utilizing the low-end estimate of $200 million for working money circulate, the corporate’s buying and selling a number of is precisely 25. Utilizing the projected $293.33 million, this falls significantly to 17. On the mid-point of this vary, we’re taking a look at a a number of of 20.3. As I discussed beforehand, none of those value factors are low cost, however for a enterprise with sturdy prime line and money circulate development, it’s not a nasty play to think about. For example, if we assume that money circulate will proceed rising at a charge of 20% each year for the following 5 years from the mid-point of our vary, this might take its buying and selling a number of down to simply 8.1 right now. If the agency warrants a long-term value/working money circulate a number of of, say, 15, that may indicate 84% upside for shareholders over this window. That works out to about 13% each year, which is a stable return.


Based mostly on the information offered, it appears fairly clear that Pure Storage is a gorgeous, growth-oriented play with a powerful market alternative. In the end, solely the long run will decide what occurs, but when development can proceed at an inexpensive tempo then the upside for shareholders can’t be understated. As with every development prospect, this comes at a particular threat of underperformance ought to development not match analysts’ and traders’ expectations, however that’s a threat traders who determine to purchase into the agency should be content material with.

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Disclosure: I/we’ve got no positions in any shares talked about, and no plans to provoke any positions throughout the subsequent 72 hours. I wrote this text myself, and it expresses my very own opinions. I’m not receiving compensation for it (apart from from In search of Alpha). I’ve no enterprise relationship with any firm whose inventory is talked about on this article.

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