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Fastly shifts into the fast lane toward profits

fastly logo displayed on smartphone on pink background

Edge cloud platform operator Fastly, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLY) is a content delivery network (CDN) provider enabling fast, secure and stable delivery of data and applications like live streaming and on-demand music and video. It is the world's fastest and most reliable serverless compute platform on the edge. Being on the network's edge enables 100X faster code execution on startup, provides superior observability and a secure sandbox environment with no cold starts or roundtrip delays. 

Fastly utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize content delivery. It lets companies bring AI workloads to the edge to enable best-in-class, next-generation user experience. This tailwind should become more material next year, with most benefits applying to its compute business. It's also rolling out edge observability products, oblivious HTTP relay as a third-party cookie tracking solution and cybersecurity products like a DDoS solution and bot protection service currently in beta.

Edge cloud

Fastly's Compute@Edge is a serverless platform enabling developers to run code at the network's edge to reduce latency and improve performance. Fastly doesn't compete against central core cloud providers like Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) AWS or Microsoft Co. (NYSE: MSFT) Azure. Instead, their customers utilize multi-cloud and leverage the edge close to engage in super low latency edge applications where the end-user requires speed, security and performance to bolster their experience.

Experiences like live and on-demand streaming video and music require robust edge cloud performance as major customers like A&E, Fox Co. (NASDAQ: FOXA), Spotify Technologies S.A. (NYSE: SPOT) and fuboTV Inc. (NYSE: FUBO) can attest to.

Improving metrics

On November 1, 2023, Fastly released its fiscal third-quarter fiscal 2023 results for the quarter ending September 2023. The Company reported an earnings-per-share (EPS) loss of six cents, excluding non-recurring items, versus consensus analyst estimates for a loss of 8 cents, beating estimates by two cents. Revenues grew 18% year-over-year (YoY) to $127.8 million versus $126.61 million consensus analyst estimates.

The trailing 12-month net retention rate fell to 114% from 116% in Q2 2023. The total customer count rose to 3,102. The average enterprise customer spend was $858,000, up 5% QoQ. Remaining performance obligations (RPO) rose 43% YoY to $248 million. Gross margins improved to 55.9%, increasing 230 bps YoY as operating expenses were lower at $84 million in the quarter. 

In-line guidance trimming loss estimates

Fastly issued Q4 2023 EPS guidance for a loss of five cents to one cent versus four cents consensus analyst estimates. Revenues are expected between $137 million to $141 million versus $140 million analyst estimates. Fastly expects a full-year 2023 EPS loss of 23 cents to 19 cents versus a loss of 23 cents. Full-year revenues are expected between $505 million to $509 million versus $506.27 million analyst estimates. Its CDN competition includes Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), Cloudflare Inc. (NYSE: NET) and Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL). Cloudflare shares rallied 11% on its weak guidance.

CEO Insights

Fastly CEO Todd Nightingale stated that the quarter produced record revenues driven by strong international traffic benefitting from vendor consolidation and strength in seasonal streaming activity. He noted they are seeing some budget tightening from customers, notably in cross-product expansion across the board. Their average enterprise customer spending rose 11% YoY to $858,000. This was mainly due to the focus on making customer cross-selling and onboarding as simple as a single click for existing customers. Mozilla adopted its oblivious HTTP relay, making Fastly's service one of the top four internet browsers worldwide.

Fastly analyst ratings and price targets are at MarketBeat. Fastly, peers and competitor stocks can be found with the MarketBeat stock screener.

fsly stock chart

Daily Bear Flag Recovery

The daily candlestick chart on FSLY had been in a bear flag breakdown pattern on October 3, 2023. The shares fell hard, resuming the downtrend and falling through its daily market structure low (MSL) trigger at $16.71 and the daily 200-period moving average (MA). FSLY finally bottomed at $13.64 on October 26, 2023, heading into Q3 2023 earnings. Shares gapped up through its daily 200-period MA at $16.24 but briefly fell until the MSL triggered to retest the 200-period MA. As the daily relative strength index (RSI) sprung up through the 40-band to the 60-band, FSLY coiled back above the daily MSL trigger at $16.71. Pullback support levels are $16.34 daily 200-period MA, $15.48, $14.59 and $13.48

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