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Stock traders are delighted with the progress of storage hardware vendor Nimble Storage.

In its first earnings release since going public in December, Nimble disclosed $41.7 million in revenue for the quarter ending Jan. 31. That’s a 107 percent boost compared with the same period a year ago.

The company has been signing up more and more enterprises and even cloud providers for its hybrid storage boxes that contain both hard disks and fast flash.

Never mind that the GAAP net loss for the quarter came in at $13.2 million, 28 percent higher than the year-ago quarter’s net loss. The non-GAAP earnings per share of negative 14 cents beat the average of analysts’ estimates, which was negative 16 cents. And Nimble also came out ahead of analysts’ revenue expectations of $38 million.

After markets closed, Nimble stock was up more than 7 percent over the closing price of $53.

Net losses are nothing new for the company, but the addition of 500 customers could be the sort of news investors wanted to hear.

Even if the company looks to be going in a positive direction, competitors loom. Hybrid storage provider Tintri just raised $75 million.

And Nutanix, which brings together flash, disks, and servers into each box, announced a supersized $101 million round last month.

Competition could even come from Pure Storage, which makes storage gear purely stuffed with flash, if it can persuade companies of the advantages of going flash-only. Pure Storage has apparently reached a large enough size to do an initial public offering.

Then again, Pure Storage has got to be thinking about how to avoid the missteps of flash storage manufacturer Violin Memory, which has replaced its chief executive and cut staffers since it went public in September.

Nimble received more than $176 million as a result of its IPO, according to today’s earnings release. That could have strengthened the company’s financial stead. If nothing else, such success is the sort of development that could stick in the minds of IT buyers — and venture capitalists who are willing to back storage startups that incorporate flash.


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