Super Micro Sales and Profit Top Analysts’ Average Estimates

(Bloomberg) -- Super Micro Computer Inc., a maker of servers and hardware components, reported fiscal first-quarter sales and profit that exceeded analysts’ average estimates.

Preliminary profit excluding some items was 66 cents to 70 cents a share on revenue of $952 million to $962 million, the San Jose, California-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts projected 49 cents a share on sales of $822 million in the period that ended Sept. 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Charles Liang has sought to transform Super Micro into a major competitor in the server market, targeting Dell Technologies Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. Still, long-running accounting issues have dimmed investor enthusiasm for the company, although sales have doubled over the last four years. The hardware maker has benefited from corporate clients spending more on its products to build cloud computing centers, but mixed signals from Western Digital Corp. and Intel Corp.’s recent earnings reports have fueled questions about the future of the cloud market.

Super Micro expects sales in the current period that ends Dec. 31 may reach $830 million to $890 million. Analysts had expected $934 million. The company released preliminary figures because of an internal audit of its finances, which it recently concluded. The company hasn’t filed an annual report for fiscal 2017 after finding revenue recognition issues that required it to go back and review previous periods. Nasdaq suspended trading of the stock from its exchange on Aug. 23 after the company missed key reporting deadlines.

Chinese hackers implanted chips on Super Micro motherboards that found their way into the U.S. supply chain, Bloomberg Businessweek reported last month. Super Micro denied the allegations, but said it would conduct a formal review of the claims.

Some of the hardware maker’s customers distanced themselves from Super Micro in the wake of the story, company executives said Thursday during a conference call. In the time since, Super Micro has seen customers migrating back, though it cautioned it wouldn’t know the full effect until the end of the current quarter.

Super Micro shares closed at $12.42 on Thursday in over-the-counter trading. The stock has fallen more than 40 percent this year.

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