'Tough Pill To Swallow': Analysts React To Slack's Q2 Earnings

Slack Technologies Inc WORK shares plummeted 16% on Wednesday morning after the company reported 50% revenue growth in the second quarter and failed to generate the same COVID-19 growth spike that other work-from-home stocks have reported.

On Tuesday afternoon, Slack reported breakeven second-quarter EPS on $215.9 million in revenue. Both numbers beat consensus analyst estimates of a 3 cent loss and $209.1 million in revenue.

Revenue growth of 50% was in-line with Slack’s previous two quarters, but it was well short of the 355% second-quarter growth spike competitor Zoom Video Communications Inc ZM reported due to the shelter-in-place environment.

Range-Bound Stock? Wells Fargo analyst Michael Turrin said billings headwinds offset product tailwinds for Slack in the second quarter.

“With key metrics suggesting top-line growth still has room to slide, we expect shares will remain range-bound over the near-term, but note WORK shares are now trading at pre-covid levels with a better market environment and product cycle ahead, which we think can provide valuation support for shares at current levels (trading at 10x CY21e EV/S AH vs. median of 17x for 40+% growers in software),” Turrin wrote in a note.

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said Slack’s billings miss is “a tough pill to swallow” for Wall Street given the current market conditions.

“With Slack being one of the poster childs for the WFH trend and the stock reflecting that optimism, last night's results/guidance will be viewed as disappointing to those investors expecting a blowout quarter,” Ives wrote.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Alex Zukin said Slack shares will likely remain range-bound until the company can improve its execution.

“Slack reported a mixed F2Q that saw a likely peak in contract contraction and churn coupled with a trough in large deal activity, counterbalanced by strong new paid customer growth,” Zukin wrote.

Zoom Comparisons: Piper Sandler analyst Brent Bracelin said Slack’s flexible pricing model and a large number of corporate layoffs were responsible for the weak billings numbers.

“The two primary drags on billings this quarter were tied to 1) additional customer concessions in heavily impacted industries, and 2) Slack's flexible pricing model tied to 'active user' count that declined within the installed base because of layoffs and/or cost containment measures,” Bracelin wrote.

DA Davidson analyst Rishi Jaluria said the negative market reaction is likely due to disappointment that Slack didn’t report a blowout quarter like Zoom did.

“We see this bifurcation in work-from-home names where on one hand you have Zoom putting up a historic quarter, you have Docusign seeing a big acceleration, and then on the other hand Slack is I think still a work-from-home beneficiary but Sack is more of a dimmer versus a lightswitch. It’s not an immediate impact like you’re seeing with Zoom,” Jaluria said.

WORK Ratings And Price Targets:

  • Wells Fargo has an Overweight rating and $33 target.
  • Wedbush has an Underperform rating and $20 target.
  • RBC Capital Markets has an Outperform rating and $30 target.
  • Piper Sandler has an Overweight rating and $36 target.
  • DA Davidson has a Neutral rating and $32 target.

Slack's stock traded around $25.28 at time of publication.

Related Links:

'Caution But Not Bearishness': Analysts Respond To Tech Stock Plunge

'Tech Driven Growth Story': Analysts Initiate Coverage Of Rocket Companies Following Quiet Period

Posted In: Brent BracelinCoronavirusDA DavidsonDaniel IvesMichael TurrinPiper SandlerRishi JaluriaWedbushWells Fargowork from homeAnalyst ColorEarningsNewsGuidancePrice TargetTop StoriesAnalyst RatingsTech