March 3, 2024
Good news, startups: Q3 software results are changing the tech narrative


Earlier this week, public cybersecurity companies’ quarterly results left us scratching our heads as to why there isn’t more venture capital investment piling into security startups. In an environment where revenue is tough to drive, stand-out tech sectors should surely be sailing with the wind if there is lots of proven demand?


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This morning, I want to broaden our perspective and use a grip of new quarterly results from a more varied group of companies to state that things aren’t actually that bad for tech companies. New data from Salesforce, Zuora, Okta, Nutanix and Snowflake makes it plain that several tech sectors are doing better than a lot of people expected.

Understandably, that’s driven up share prices for some key startup comparables and resulted in better vibes for tech valuations in general. Let’s talk turkey:

Salesforce

Salesforce reported revenue of $8.72 billion in the third quarter of its fiscal 2024, in line with analysts’ expectations. That worked out to an 11% gain at the SaaS giant, which is not an astounding figure, especially as the company expects to generate revenue of $9.18 billion to $9.23 billion in the current quarter, which works out to an increase of about 10%.

So why is Salesforce’s stock up more than 9% this morning? It beat profit expectations for Q3, forecast Q4 revenue largely in line with estimates, and boosted its profitability forecast for its full fiscal year.

Salesforce may no longer be the growth juggernaut that it was, but it’s a cash-generating machine that is pouring its excess capital into buying back its stock, and investors dig its improving profitability.

Zuora



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