Shares of Alteryx (NYSE:AYX) were climbing last month as the data analytics provider gained with a wave of software-as-a-service (SaaS) stocks as investor sentiment improved significantly during the month. According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Alteryx shares finished the month 19% higher.
The following chart shows the stock's performance compared with the broad-market S&P 500 index.
There was little company-specific news out on Alteryx during the month, but it was one of several high-priced cloud stocks to recoup its losses from March. These stocks had fallen sharply during the first weeks of the coronavirus sell-off as their high valuations made them targets, but after several moves by Congress and the Federal Reserve to shore up the economy and avert the worst possible outcomes of the crisis, Alteryx shares bounced off their recent lows.
Its best day of the month came on April 9 after the Federal Reserve unveiled a plan to spend up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy, which assured investors any of Alteryx's troubled customers would be able to stay in business. The stock rose 11% on the news. As a enterprise-focused software company, Alteryx has little exposure to the consumer economy, but it will need its customers to remain healthy and growing in order for it to continue to grow.
Not everyone was convinced about the stock's recovery potential however as JPMorgan Chase downgraded the stock from neutral to underweight on April 23, and analyst Mark Murphy lowered his price target to $88. He said that the company was vulnerable to a slowdown in new business and that most of its business was on-premise with little exposure to the cloud. The stock fell 3.6% on the news.
Alteryx will report first-quarter earnings after hours on May 6. Analysts expect revenue to grow 47.7% to $105.5 million, and for it to post a per-share loss of $0.09 compared to a profit of $0.04 a year ago. Considering the pandemic didn't start to affect the economy until March, the company's first-quarter results should be solid, but guidance and management commentary on what to expect for the rest of the year will be key. Don't be surprised to see a big post-earnings swing from this volatile stock as it faces significant uncertainty ahead.