Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE), Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW) and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) were among the biggest decliners in the enterprise software space on Wednesday after Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) forecast for its Azure cloud unit gave investors anxiety.
Adobe (ADBE) fell 1.8% in mid-day trading, while Snowflake (SNOW) and Salesforce (CRM) fell 3.7% and 1%, respectively.
Other enterprise software stocks tied to the cloud also fell, including Datadog (DDOG), which dropped nearly 7%, while Oracle (ORCL) and IBM (IBM) saw more modest losses.
IBM (IBM) is slated to report fourth-quarter results after the close of trading on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Microsoft (MSFT) issued conservative guidance that prompted debate from several Wall Street analysts about the company’s cloud business outlook.
Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said demand for Azure, Microsoft’s (MSFT) cloud computing services is softening, with guidance for growth in the low 30% range for the March quarter seen as “conservative.” On the company’s conference call, Microsoft (MSFT) management noted the slowdown seen in December has continued to worsen, leaving Ives to ponder Microsoft’s (MSFT) near-term future.
“The question now in the Street’s mind is what does this Azure [deceleration] path look like over the coming quarters in a very uncertain macro [environment],” Ives wrote in a note to clients. Ives added that Microsoft (MSFT) has helped “clear the decks for its 2023 and 2024 fiscal years and has laid the groundwork for “hittable [or] beatable numbers over the coming quarters” with Azure growth stabilizing in the 30% range.
Jefferies analyst Brent Thill, who has a buy rating on Microsoft (MSFT) shares, noted the guidance implies the situation will get worse. Thill said that expectations of another 4 to 5 point “deceleration” in growth at constant currency rates, as the company gave a fiscal third-quarter revenue forecast of $50.5B to $51.5B. Wall Street analysts has earlier estimated Microsoft (MSFT) to post revenue of $52.42B for its third quarter.
BMO Capital Markets analyst Keith Bachman downgraded Microsoft (MSFT) to market perform from outperform following the report, citing the uncertainty around Azure.
“Until Azure growth stabilizes, we envision the stock being range bound,” Bachman wrote.
Microsoft’s (MSFT) Azure competitors Google (GOOG) (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) dropped 3.5% and 1.6%, respectively.
On Monday, Microsoft (MSFT) confirmed it had made a “multiyear, multibillion dollar” investment in ChatGPT developer OpenAI.