I’m not a stock analyst, so don’t do anything stupid on my account
That said I see a lot to like in Isilon’s Q4 results.

Not that their loss widened to $10.4 million, or 72 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss of $4.08 million, or 78 cents a share.

Nor that analysts expected a fourth-quarter revenue of $21.5 million, according to Thomson Financial, while Isilon delivered only $20.7 million. Even $21.5 million is more than double the same quarter last year, but on Wall Street it isn’t how you do, it is how you do against expectations. So the CFO got a little lesson in expectation management.

Especially not that the stock dropped 4.5% on huge volume today. Ouch! I assume the common six month lockup is keeping folks on tenterhooks at Isilon. Don’t blame them. Could mean the difference between a Ferrari or a Porsche. w00t!

What I do like:

Their revenue more than doubled to $20.7 million from $8.7 million. That is about what EMC spends on light bulbs each quarter, but it is real money for a startup.

I also like that Isilon forecast first-quarter revenue of $21 million to $23 million and 2007 revenue of $115 million to $125 million. That is real money too.

Sadly, Wall Street expects first-quarter revenue of $23.6 million and 2007 revenue of $122.7 million. If they don’t meet those expectations the climb down could get ugly.

Isilon expects to reach break even on a net basis and profitability excluding items in the second half of 2007. That is very good news indeed, especially if you’ve bought some of their kit. On the other hand, they haven’t done it yet, and I’ve heard too many of those predictions to put much faith in them.

Best of all
Isilon is validating the storage cluster market. My hat is off to them.

Comments welcome, as always.