And eventually, an analyst did ask Arista CEO Jayshree Ullal about Cisco’s assertion yesterday of now having 580 customers for the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), the keystone of the company’s Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI).
“It almost feels like we’re on two different planets. I haven’t seen any of the APIC customers, so they must be very Cisco-centric applications,” she said.
“We have to make a distinction between APICs bundled into customers and [being] deployed into production. According to analysts, there are very few deployed into production,” she added.
Another analyst correctly pointed out that APIC is currently used only with Cisco equipment, which means APIC customers would already have settled on Cisco gear. Those customers generally wouldn’t be talking to Arista, a point Ullal conceded.
“There’s a set of customers, especially our four verticals, that really demand open standards innovation and are not looking for lock-in,” she said. Arista’s four key vertical markets are cloud providers, service providers, Web 2.0 types, and the financial sector.
Running the Numbers
For its first quarter, which ended March 31, Arista reported revenues of $179 million and net income of $24.5 million, or 34 cents per share. For the same quarter a year ago, Arista reported revenues of $117 million and net income of $12.3 million, or 20 cents per share.
Non-GAAP earnings of 50 cents per share obliterated the analysts’ consensus of 37 cents, as tallied by Thomson Financial.
Arista is forecasting second-quarter revenues of $183 million to $191 million.
The analyst consensus for the second quarter was closer to $188 million, making Arista’s stated range a big disappointing. Ullal characterized the forecast as being conservative partly because the company is working with a relatively inexperienced CFO. As of last month, the job is being temporarily filled by Chairman and Chief Development Officer Andy Bechtolsheim.
“I would remind you we’re still growing at double digits on a fairly large base of revenue, so don’t knock that guidance too much,” Ullal said.
She also invoked double-digit growth when asked about Arista expanding into new markets. In discussing Arista’s spine switches, she noted that they often ship with routing features and that the company “will be looking to expand into routing adjacencies.” Pressed for details, though, she said Arista still has plenty of growth to mine from its original market of data-center switching market.
Arista shares were down $2.40 (3.5%) at $68.91 in after-hours trading.