Slack Technologies' (NYSE:WORK) stock plummeted in trading Friday after offering up lower-than-expected revenue targets for its current fiscal first quarter.
But there is one silver lining in the malaise: COVID-19 is creating a surge of demand as employees across the globe are forced to work from home.
"There's just a massive outpouring of interest on the customer side, and it's really all over the place," said Slack CEO Steward Butterfield on a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter results with Wall Street late Thursday.
"A lot of this is changing. The world looked a little different 24 hours ago and it looked different 24 hours before that and 24 hours before that. So a lot of this is unfolding near real-time... There's a great opportunity to help. We've been running a lot of webinars. Our customer success teams are activated." The executive expressed optimism that once the coronavirus is contained the move to have millions of employees work remotely should result in a permanent change in how companies approach work.
Since the start of this week Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google has called for all North American employees to work from home while Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) made it mandatory for their global workforces. That bodes well for the likes of Slack, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google, and Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) all of which offer digital collaboration and video conferencing tools.
For its current fiscal first quarter, which ends in April, Slack expects revenue of between $185 million and $188 million , which is slightly lower than the $188.4 million Wall Street is looking for. During the conference call, CFO Allen Shim said it's not clear how the influx in demand will translate to the bottom line. "I think we're just trying to reflect a bit more uncertainty that we're seeing in the macro environment," the CFO said of Slack's guidance.