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Why Tableau Software Shares Got Crushed (Again)

By Evan Niu, CFA – Feb 8, 2016 at 4:00PM

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Adding insult to injury, Tableau gets an analyst downgrade following its earnings-related plunge last week.

What: Following Friday's tech bloodbath, shares of data analytics and visualization specialist Tableau Software (DATA) have gotten crushed yet again, down by 10% as of 3:30 p.m. ET after Morgan Stanley downgraded its rating on the stock.

So what: The company reduced its full-year outlook to well below Street expectations, while also missing on other important metrics like licensing revenue. As a result, Morgan Stanley has downgraded its rating from overweight to equal weight, while dropping its price target from $125 to $55. The reduced guidance suggests that Tableau is being unsuccessful at upselling existing customers, according to analyst Keith Weiss.

Now what: Additionally, Tableau continues to invest heavily in its business and those spending plans are unchanged for 2016. The challenge, though, is that with revenue growth decelerating quickly, this potentially puts tremendous pressure on free cash flow. Considering the near-term headwinds, Weiss suggests that Tableau reconsider its emphasis on growth instead of profitability. The analyst has reduced his earnings estimates and free cash flow estimates in coming years as a result.

Evan Niu, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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