Snowflake (SNOW) is a relatively new issue (public for 14 months) with a massive valuation ($101 billion market cap equals 50 times next year’s revenue estimates) that’s had a big run since May, asserts Mike Cintolo, editor of Cabot Growth Investor.
Growth (and especially technology) stocks had been a hot mess toward year-end, and thus, you’d think this stock would be circling the drain — but it’s not. Instead, it is holding up relatively well thanks to what appears to be a one-of-a-kind story: The firm has what looks to be a breakthrough when it comes to data storage, sharing and usage across big organizations.
Right now, so much of a firm’s ever-growing amount of data is split up and hard for some to access, and that’s doubly true when using data from vendors or partners, with data having to be extracted, “cleaned” and then loaded — creating these “data pipelines” is hard, costly and even if they work, are inefficient.
But Snowflake makes it all seamless, with an architecture and access controls that allows the right people, departments and clients to see the data they need when they want; data is live and can be queried at any time, with no need for scrubbing, security or uploading. (There’s even a database marketplace within the platform, with more than 100 data sets able to be accessed by Snowflake customers.)
To me, the big idea here is that Snowflake has created something that’s not just a better mousetrap, but has extremely powerful network effects (the more that use it, the more valuable the platform will be) — and when you throw in the firm’s consumption-based business model (the more data you store/share/use, the more you pay), it means growth should be rapid for many, many years as multi-national firms sign up and expand their usage.
Indeed, the numbers here are hard to beat: Snowflake has had many quarters in a row of triple-digit revenue growth (one of the best stock picking criteria in our system), while remaining performance obligations (all the money under contract due to eventually be received) were up 94% in Q3, while total customer (5,416, up 52%) and seven-figure customer (148, up 128%) growth has been great.
The stock approached its old post-IPO highs before getting dented with the market, but my bet is that its latest correction will result in a fresh new launching pad; SNOW has all the makings of a stock that institutional investors will pine after.