Clouded Judgement 4.22.22
Every week I’ll provide updates on the latest trends in cloud software companies. Follow along to stay up to date!
Q1 Earnings Season Kicks Off
It feels like we just got out of Q4 earnings season, and yet we’re already at the start of Q1 earnings season. There’s two things I’m looking out for:
Microsoft Earnings on Tuesday 4/26. Microsoft is always one of first few software companies to report. And over the last few quarters Azure’s performance has been a great leading indicator for what’s to come from other infrastructure software companies. Infrastructure software has been in favor recently, as it’s generally viewed as more of an index on cloud adoption, and generally viewed as stickier (than application software)
Forward Guidance. Cloud software has been crushed in 2022 as multiples have normalized. Despite the stock price performances, business fundamentals (for the most part) have been incredibly strong. With a potential recession looming, we may start to see cracks in business fundamentals. Despite the fact that software should preform (relatively) well compared to other IT categories, if companies broadly tighten their belts it’s hard to argue guidance won’t come out more conservative. Most likely a recession would really separate the wheat from the chaff, as buyers look to consolidate spend amongst the necessary.
Quarterly Reports Summary
Top 10 EV / NTM Revenue Multiples
Top 10 Weekly Share Price Movement
Update on Multiples
SaaS businesses are valued on a multiple of their revenue - in most cases the projected revenue for the next 12 months. Multiples shown below are calculated by taking the Enterprise Value (market cap + debt - cash) / NTM revenue.
Overall Median: 8.3x
Top 5 Median: 24.8x
3 Month Trailing Average: 9.4x
1 Year Trailing Average: 13.5x
Bucketed by Growth. In the buckets below I consider high growth >30% projected NTM growth, mid growth 15%-30% and low growth <15%
High Growth Median: 10.6x
Mid Growth Median: 8.2x
Low Growth Median: 3.8x
Scatter Plot of EV / NTM Rev Multiple vs NTM Rev Growth
How correlated is growth to valuation multiple?
Growth Adjusted EV / NTM Rev
The below chart shows the EV / NTM revenue multiple divided by NTM consensus growth expectations. The goal of this graph is to show how relatively cheap / expensive each stock is relative to their growth expectations
Median NTM growth rate: 26%
Median LTM growth rate: 34%
Median Gross Margin: 74%
Median Operating Margin (23%)
Median FCF Margin: 3%
Median Net Retention: 120%
Median CAC Payback: 23 months
Median S&M % Revenue: 45%
Median R&D % Revenue: 26%
Median G&A % Revenue: 20%
Rule of 40 shows LTM growth rate + LTM FCF Margin. FCF calculated as Cash Flow from Operations - Capital Expenditures
GM Adjusted Payback is calculated as: (Previous Q S&M) / (Net New ARR in Q x Gross Margin) x 12 . It shows the number of months it takes for a SaaS business to payback their fully burdened CAC on a gross profit basis. Most public companies don’t report net new ARR, so I’m taking an implied ARR metric (quarterly subscription revenue x 4). Net new ARR is simply the ARR of the current quarter, minus the ARR of the previous quarter. Companies that do not disclose subscription rev have been left out of the analysis and are listed as NA.
This post and the information presented are intended for informational purposes only. The views expressed herein are the author’s alone and do not constitute an offer to sell, or a recommendation to purchase, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any security, nor a recommendation for any investment product or service. While certain information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, neither the author nor any of his employers or their affiliates have independently verified this information, and its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Accordingly, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, the fairness, accuracy, timeliness or completeness of this information. The author and all employers and their affiliated persons assume no liability for this information and no obligation to update the information or analysis contained herein in the future.