Penguin Computing CEO and all around good guy Charlie Wuischpard (yes, I can pronounce his last name, thank you very much) wanted to allay my depression after reporting on quarterly results for Cray and SGI yesterday
Not to trumpet our results here (ok, maybe a little) but after reading the Cray and SGI results yesterday, it might be worth noting that Penguin increased revenues over 300% from Q1 2009 and 35% over Q4 (our prior record quarter over the 11 year history of the company). And profitable! Though in fairness, we are smaller than these fellows and take less risk while the industry is still brutal when it comes to terms and conditions, pricing, and the level of expertise required to win.
Charlie also offered a metric to help when assessing the health of companies in our industry
One metric you may want to measure within the normal range of margin is that companies in our industry need to try for the magic $1M revenue/employee per year. $500K at good margin is absolutely a requirement and even a lot of the normal players don’t achieve this.
So I took her out for a test drive using the past two quarters for Cray and SGI . Cray’s revenue per employee* was $33,000 and $101,000 for the quarters ending Mar ’10 and Dec ’09, respectively, while SGI’s was $83,000 and $72,000. Those numbers annualize (multiply by four) to $130k and $404k for Cray, and $332k and $290k for SGI. They are all a looooong way from Charlie’s magic numbers.
*Note that for Cray I determined the number of employees for the end of 2009 (872) from the annual report and held it constant through the first quarter of this year. For SGI I used 1,300 based on the text of this quarter’s filing and carried it back to the end of 2009.