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Compellent basks in Wall Street's love

Enterprise here we come, as share price soars

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Shunned by Wall Street since making less profit than the street gods had been led to believe it would, Compellent roared back into favour yesterday after announcing it had made a boatload of money in its latest quarter.

Compellent makes Storage Center disk and solid state drive arrays for small and medium enterprises. The arrays have the ability to automatically move blocks of data between different performance tiers of storage: Compellent's so-called Fluid Data architecture.

The global storage system provider reported revenues of $42.1m for the third quarter, 31 per cent higher than a year ago and 15 per cent higher than the second quarter. There was a profit of $3.3m, contrasting nicely with the $2.56m earned a year ago.

CEO Phil Soran mentioned new products are due to launch by the end of the year, saying the coming version of Storage Center will be "the largest, most comprehensive hardware and software release in our company history ... a major hardware and software launch."

There will be further product announcements in 2011 that expand upon Compellent's Fluid Data architecture and scale beyond its existing platform. It's going into the enterprise in other words.

Soran said: "We already have more than 200 customers with installations over 100TB of Compellent storage and several in the petabyte-plus range. Going forward we will push our innovations in highly-scalable features deeper into enterprise to a wider range of customers.

"For us, scaling in enterprise is more than scaling our product; we're also scaling our business around the world. Our marketing will further emphasise our product for both mid-range and large enterprises and our sales channel will likewise evolve as we invest in more sales professionals and business partners to expand our addressable market."

There was a hint that primary storage deduplication could be a feature of the coming product launch.

During the earnings call, Soran refused to comment on an analyst question about Compellent recruiting bankers - rumoured to be Qatalyst, the firm used by 3PAR - for a company sale.

If Compellent does introduce an enterprise-class product, it will become a juicier acquisition target for companies such as Dell - which needs an enterprise-class technology, as evidenced by its failed attempt to buy 3PAR.

Wall Street showed its appreciation of all this by marking the shares up to $26.06 from $17.77 the day before the results came out. ®

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