Snowflake shares tumble 14% after it reports slowing revenue growth

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A banner for Snowflake is displayed on its IPO day at the New York Stock Exchange on September 16, 2020. It was the largest software IPO in history and was one of eight CNBC 2020 Disruptor 50 companies to go public, and more Disruptor deals are coming soon.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Shares of Snowflake plunged as much as 14% in premarket trading on Thursday after the company reported earnings on Wednesday that showed the slowest revenue growth since at least 2019.

Fourth-quarter sales grew 101% year over year to $383.8 million, which was a slowdown from the previous quarter, when revenue growth reached 110%, according to the Wednesday report. Still, it beat analysts’ revenue expectations of $372.6 million.

Snowflake guided for product revenue growth between 79% to 81% in the fiscal first quarter, slightly above consensus estimates of 78% product revenue growth. In the fiscal fourth quarter, product revenue increased by 102%.

Product revenue makes up a significant share of Snowflake’s overall revenue. It reflects the use of its service for storing and running queries on a variety of data.

For the 2023 fiscal year, Snowflake called for 65% to 67% product revenue growth. Wall Street was expecting growth of 66%, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet.

The guidance reflects headwinds from upcoming platform improvements that “reduce customer query costs in the short-term but aim to stimulate broader consumption longer-term,” Piper Sandler analysts wrote in a note to clients on Thursday.

Credit Suisse analysts said the platform improvements will be a near-term headwind, but pointed to other upgrades on the horizon, like improved workload scheduling, that could be positive catalysts for the company.

“Although the upside to FQ4 and forward guidance was less than investors have come to expect
from Snowflake, we continue to view Snowflake as a true pioneer in cloud-native data analytics
and believe the company will play an increasingly important role across the entire data value
chain — with increased workload applicability due in part to the aforementioned platform
enhancements,” the analysts wrote.

— CNBC’s Jordan Novet contributed to this report.

WATCH: Snowflake down big after Q4 earnings report

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