SentinelOne was floated on the stock exchange two years ago, at the height of the speculative bubble and therefore at a wildly inflated valuation, but its market capitalization has since melted like snow in the sun.
However, investors are sometimes reminded of the company's fundamentals. Sales have increased tenfold in three years, but operating losses have also increased, quintupling over the same period.
Even if we were to "adjust" the accounts for the staggering 39% of sales in stock options last year, the operating loss would still be a loss.
Did SentinelOne reach a turning point in the third quarter? Not only has the meteoric pace of growth been maintained, with sales set to exceed $600 million this year, but stock option compensation has finally begun to fall.
The decline is relative, however, since it has fallen from 39% of sales at the same time last year to 33% at the end of the last three months. This is an improvement, but we're still operating at high levels of irrational exuberance.
Nevertheless, this development has enabled the company to reduce its operating loss, which remains substantial at half of sales. The market seems to be happy about this, and in pre-opening trading the stock jumped 15%.
With a billion euros in excess cash, SentinelOne can keep going at this rate for another two or three years. Shareholders would undoubtedly benefit from a buyout in the meantime. It is currently valued at six times its expected sales in 2025.
Even if it were to achieve a net margin of 10% - which would mean resolving the thorny question of remuneration - the current valuation represents a multiple of x63 the expected profit at maturity. In other words, you've got to love thrills.