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Happier times on Wall Street for Tableau as execs celebrate their May 2013 IPO
Happier times on Wall Street for Tableau as execs celebrate their May 2013 IPO

Shares of Tableau Software continued to fall on Monday morning following a devastating fourth quarter financial report in which executives claimed “softness” in customer spending. Tableau lost $41 million during the quarter, despite adding a record 3,600 customer accounts.

The Seattle-based maker of data visualization software plummeted nearly 50 percent last week, and shares continued to sink on Monday as the company saw another five percent lopped off its stock.

Tableau was trading at about $38.50 per share, and the stock is down about 58 percent so far this year.

Tableau went public at $31 per share in May 2013, and finished its first day of trading with a market value of more than $2 billion.

Tableau Software CEO Christian Chabot at the Tableau Conference. (Courtesy Tableau Software.)
Tableau Software CEO Christian Chabot. (Courtesy Tableau Software.)

Wall Street analysts are now cutting their outlooks for Tableau, with Morgan Stanley’s Keith Weiss downgrading the stock on Monday. That sent more investors scurrying, with Weiss writing that the company’s growth profile was “far less durable than we expected.”

The Morgan Stanley downgrade follows a number of prominent cuts by Wall Street analysts, including price reductions at Baird, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and others.

In a conference call with analysts last week, Tableau CEO Christian Chabot said that competition has gotten “thicker and thicker” over the years, but that competition is having little do to with the slowness it is seeing.

The company said it will continue to invest to boost its presence in the market.

“We have seen a lot of competitors get attracted to the overall market space, and so it is very, very important for us to recognize … what a rich opportunity it is and how much beyond (business intelligence) it is, and so we want to continue to go and be the leader there. And we think the best way to do that is through investing,” said CFO Tom Walker.

Even so, if the blood bath on Wall Street continues, an opportunistic and deep-pocketed competitor may decide it is worth taking a shot at acquiring Tableau. Microsoft launched its PowerBI data analytics tool last summer, creating a new competitive threat for Tableau.

Chabot told GeekWire two months ago that it plans to hire another 1,000 employees this year, a move that comes as Tableau looks to move into a new headquarters building in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood later this year.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Chabot said of the hiring plans in December. “You’re only able to do this if the business is flourishing, but if it is flourishing, then you’re able to bring in the next generation of talent.”

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A look at Tableau’s stock over the past 5 days. Click for interactive chart.
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