SPLK - Splunk Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
+1.03 (+0.93%)
As of 10:13AM EDT. Market open.
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Previous Close111.13
Bid112.58 x 800
Ask112.72 x 900
Day's Range111.50 - 113.15
52 Week Range83.69 - 143.70
Avg. Volume1,956,421
Market Cap16.967B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.78
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-2.09
Earnings DateNov 27, 2019 - Dec 2, 2019
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est150.33
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
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  • Splunk Stock Actually Is Cheap, But Why Is That?

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    To many investors, the idea that Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) stock is cheap seems ludicrous. Splunk's guidance calls for negative operating cash flow this year. And Splunk stock trades at roughly eight times its sales (excluding its net cash) and 50 times analysts' average 2020 earnings per share estimate.Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com Splunk stock hardly seems like a value play. But it does look at least inexpensive compared with its peers. Its price-sales ratio is one of the lowest of any company whose revenues are growing at a 30%+ clip.In recent quarters, Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY) and Paycom Software (NYSE:PAYC) posted similar revenue increases as SPLK. WDAY trades at over 11 times its revenue, and PAYC's price-sales ratio is 17. Other software companies are growing at rates similar to SPLK and have higher valuations.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBut why is SPLK stock trading at a discount to some of its peers and why has that situation persisted? SPLK stock has gained roughly 20% over the past year, but that figure is skewed by timing. Splunk stock actually sits below where it was after its fiscal Q2 results which were released back in August 2018.There are interesting arguments for why the relatively low valuation of Splunk stock has created a buying opportunity. There are also interesting arguments as to why SPLK stock deserves the discount. Overall, I'd lean towards the bullish argument. But investors who are considering buying Splunk stock need to consider multiple points. * 7 Dividend Stocks to Buy (With Brands You Can Find In Your Kitchen) The Case for Splunk StockSplunk stock is not necessarily cheap. Its valuation is still higher than that of the average stock, and for good reason.Splunk's log-management offerings are a direct play on Big Data. And the company's growth has been impressive. Its revenue increased 41% in fiscal 2017 and jumped 38%+ in the following two years. Its sales are expected to increase roughly 28% in FY20.Meanwhile, as noted earlier, SPLK stock has stalled out, trading sideways for the last 13+ months. That performance, combined with the company's revenue and profit growth, has caused the multiples of Splunk stock to fall. And bulls would argue that some of the relative weakness has come from a misunderstanding surrounding the company's cash flow guidance.After all, Splunk stock fell after its Q2 results partly because of its cash flow guidance. Splunk's guidance went from $250 million to -$300 million, a seemingly huge change. But bulls would argue that the shift was caused by the company's transition to a subscription model. That transition creates uneven sales growth, meaning the guidance change indicates little, if any, alteration of Splunk's long-term cash flow.That guidance overshadowed a strong report, as SPLK's software revenue jumped 46% year-over-year. The bull case is that the company's growth outlook remains intact, while short-term concerns have moved SPLK stock to a lower and more attractive valuation.Wall Street analysts seem to agree; their average price target on SPLK stock is about 25% above its current price. Last month, Raymond James said the company's new pricing model could boost Splunk stock in the near-term. The Case Against SPLK StockThe bull case on SPLK is intriguing, and I wouldn't be surprised to see SPLK stock break out at some point. But the shares pose some risks as well.For one, SPLK might well be cheap on a relative basis, but that doesn't guarantee that the shares will rise. Eight times revenue, even with Splunk's attractive gross margins, still prices in quite a bit of growth. Moreover, Splunk stock lost about a third of its value during last year's Q4 stock-market selloff. If the stock market tumbles again, SPLK stock will fall further.The other considerable risk is on the competitive front. Splunk is the leader in log management, but it has some tough competitors. Elastic (NYSE:ESTC), for example, offers an open-source ELK Stack which allows customers to build their own log management systems, as opposed to buying them from Splunk.Datadog (NASDAQ:DDOG), which recently launched its IPO, is another competitor. Datadog offers a unified platform that includes log management, but also infrastructure, cloud, and application-performance monitoring. DDOG is trading at roughly 20 times its revenue, suggesting that investors are bullish on its outlook.Both Datadog and Elastic have posted stronger revenue growth than Splunk of late, although both are doing so from lower revenue bases than SPLK. Hope for a Better Entry Point?For software-as-a-service (SaaS) investors, then, SPLK probably is at the top of the list. Its valuation might be questionable, but it is quite attractive relative to what investors have been willing to pay for growth stocks in recent years.But I'm not sure Splunk stock quite gets to the point of being compelling for those investors who aren't focused on growth stocks.SPLK is facing risks. The shares probably can grow into their forward price-earnings multiple of 40+. But it only takes one earnings miss for competitive risks to move to the forefront of investors' minds.Given the performance of Splunk stock over the past 12+ months, it does seem worth staying on the sidelines and hoping for a better entry point. SPLK probably is cheap, but it's a little too cheap. And there are reasons why it could get even cheaper.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. 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    Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is fond of saying that technology is the oil of the new century. And part of that involves big data. Both a source of controversy and potential, tech firms have increasingly sought to economically harness our data. This progression drives the narrative for Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) and by deduction, Splunk stock.Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com While the company may not be a household name right now, it's certainly well on its way. Specializing in its "data-to-everything" platform, Splunk aims to radically transform how business operates in the digital age. As their especially helpful YouTube videos explain, Splunk essentially frees human operators from spending excessive time managing big data.Because of this main purpose, the company can potentially save its clients significant overhead costs, bolstering the bull case for SPLK stock.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBest of all, it's not just a great story: SPLK is actively helping world-renowned businesses improve their bottom line. For instance, airplane manufacturer Airbus (OTCMKTS:EADSY) counts itself among Splunk's high-visibility clients. Better yet, Airbus credits the upstart tech firm for improving operational efficiencies throughout their entire organization. You couldn't ask for a better advocacy for Splunk stock. * 7 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500 in 2019 At the same time, shares haven't exactly inspired investors following an early head-start to 2019. Since the end of February, SPLK stock has gyrated wildly in a slightly negatively tilting trend channel.Currently, Splunk stock finds itself just underneath the 50- and 200-day moving averages. Coincidentally, the 50 DMA is about to dip below the 200 DMA, a signal indicating technical weakness.Is this a case where the markets are dismissing the positive fundamentals, or is something else going on? Excessive Ambition May Trap Splunk StockPersonally, I'm excited about what this company can do and how it can progress the broader artificial intelligence narrative. As their video presentations explain, we live in a world of data. Moreover, as humans, we can only do so much with it. But with Splunk's advanced technologies, we can let computers perform most of the legwork.In that context, the longer-term picture for SPLK stock is very appealing. Who wouldn't want an AI platform to extract recurring patterns found within massive data sets and return them to you in seconds?In prior stories for InvestorPlace, I've performed probability forecasts based on "if this, then that" matrices. But the problem for me is time: I've got to collect all that data and create formulations to filter out patterns that I'm looking for. It's time intensive, and I also may miss patterns that I just wasn't seeking.Thus, if all businesses today operated on purely quantifiable metrics and functions, Splunk stock is an easy buy.But the problem is that not all business function that way. In areas that feature a mix of quantifiable data and qualitative information, SPLK stock may run into some challenges. For example, in marketing, you need to understand the human element and socio-economic dynamics that underline consumptive behaviors.Thus, while the company touts its data-to-everything platform, it should honestly be called data to some things. I say this because artificial intelligence isn't really that intelligent. In order for Splunk to truly achieve its data-to-everything goal, it would require artificial general intelligence: the ability for machines to replicate human reasoning.We are far away from achieving that, which limits SPLK's current practical effectiveness. And that might explain some of the present choppiness in Splunk stock. Wait for a Possible DiscountAs I mentioned earlier, I'm excited to see where Splunk can take their innovative platform. But in the meantime, we must separate the narrative from the investment profile.Over the last two years, SPLK stock has roughly doubled in value. Fundamentally, however, Splunk has started to slow. For instance, year-over-year revenue growth in the quarter ending July 31, 2019 was 33%. For the year-ago quarter, revenue growth hit nearly 39%.Naturally, some investors are worried that as SPLK ramps up their investments, the fiscal picture won't look as attractive. Given some of the choppiness that Splunk stock has exhibited, I think a cautionary approach is warranted. * 7 Stocks to Buy Under $10 That said, I'm curious where shares end up. Because of the transformative potential of the company, I'm interested in being a buyer. I just don't want to do it right now.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500 in 2019 * 7 Reasons to Own Intuit Stock -- The Unsung Hero of Fintech * Apple and 4 Other Tech Stocks on the Move The post Why You May Want to Hold Off on Buying Splunk Stock -- But Not Forever appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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