Categories Analysis, Technology

GitLab (GTLB) aims for AI-powered growth. What future holds?

The company recently partnered with Google Cloud to leverage the latter’s customizable foundation models and open generative AI infrastructure

Coding platform GitLab Inc. (NASDAQ: GTLB) impressed the market this week by reporting positive first-quarter results and issuing strong full-year guidance, which triggered a stock rally. The management’s decision to expand AI-assisted capabilities added to the positive sentiment.

Shares of the San Francisco-headquartered tech firm, an open-source end-to-end software development platform, gained about 25% soon after the announcement, marking the biggest single-day gain in recent times. GTLB’s performance has been mediocre since hitting an all-time high in November 2021, a few months after the company went public. Investors moved to safer and more stable assets, concerned about the market downturn. Currently, the valuation is in line with the long-term average.

Mixed Outlook

As a public company, GitLab has reported sales growth every quarter and improved its bottom-line performance, but it is yet to become profitable. Meanwhile, longer-than-usual sales cycles and the general slowdown in enterprise spending could be a drag on the company’s near-term performance. Earlier this year, the company announced a 7% reduction in its workforce, citing economic uncertainties.

GitLab’s revenues jumped 45% annually to $126.9 million in the April quarter from $87.4 million last year. As a result, the adjusted loss narrowed sharply to $0.06 per share in Q1 from $0.18 per share in the first quarter of 2023. Both numbers beat Wall Street’s projections. Margins benefitted from the recent increase in subscription prices. On a reported basis, net loss was $52.5 million or $0.35 per share, compared to a loss of $26.1 million or $0.18 per share last year.

AI Push

As part of its strategy to better align the business with emerging market trends and provide secure AI offerings to customers, the company recently entered into a partnership with Google Cloud. The association will help it leverage the latter’s customizable foundation models and open generative AI infrastructure and provide customers with AI-assisted features directly within the enterprise DevSecOps platform.

“We continue to focus on incorporating AI throughout our DevSecOps platform. We are innovating at a fast pace. In 1Q we delivered 5 new AI features. And, in the first half of May alone, we delivered 5 additional features. All of these are available to customers now. We continued to iterate on Code Suggestions. This feature allows developers to write code more efficiently by receiving code suggestions as they type. Code Suggestions is available on GitLab.com for all users while in beta. We expect Code Suggestions will be generally available later this year,” said GitLab’s CEO Sid Sijbrandij at the earnings call.

Guidance

Considering the new opportunities and uptick in annual recurring revenues, the GitLab leadership expects full-year adjusted loss to decline year-over-year and came in the range of $0.18 per share to $0.14 per share. Revenues are expected to be between $541 million and $543 million in fiscal 2024. The forecast is better than analysts’ consensus estimates.

GTLB maintained the post-earnings strength in the following sessions but traded slightly lower on Thursday. Currently, the stock is trading close to where it was six months ago.

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