A number of Wall Street analysts are out with negative commentary ahead of Snowflake's (SNOW 1.43%) second-quarter report. Investors don't like what they are hearing, sending shares of the cloud-based data specialist down more than 5% in Tuesday trading.
Snowflake doesn't release earnings until Aug. 24, but Wall Street is already tamping down expectations about what the company will report.
On Tuesday morning, the stock was downgraded to neutral from buy at UBS. Analyst Karl Keirstead wrote that based on discussions with Snowflake partners and customers, he detected "a tone downtick" in spending. With the stock up nearly 50% since mid-June, Keirstead thinks it is a good time to move to the sidelines. UBS did raise its price target to $175 from $165, however.
Elsewhere, Citi's Tyler Radke moved Snowflake onto the negative catalyst watch ahead of earnings. Radke says he remains a believer in the company as a long-term growth story, but is "tactically cautious" ahead of earnings.
Not all the noise from Wall Street is negative. Barclays raised its price target on Snowflake to $210 from $158, with analyst Raimo Lenschow expecting "another quarter of elevated volatility post earnings."
We've seen enough from this earnings season to know that there were shocks to the system during the second quarter as the Federal Reserve moved aggressively to raise interest rates and fight inflation. Corporate customers definitely curtailed some spending as a result, though the full extent of the slowdown is still not known and could end up being temporary. Growth stocks like Snowflake have gotten hit harder than the markets in general, so there is reason to be concerned about what the next few weeks will bring.
We won't know for sure how all of this affected Snowflake until the company reports later this month, but for long-term investors, the quarterly results shouldn't matter. Snowflake is in the early stages of its growth push, with a product that helps clients make sense of the massive amounts of data they have collected. No matter what turbulence lies ahead as earnings approach, investors should remain focused on that substantial long-term opportunity.