Slack beat financial targets but didn't give an update to its daily user competition with Microsoft

REUTERS:Beck Diefenbach
  • Slack’s reported Q3 revenue of $US168.7 million, an increase of 66 per cent from a year prior on Wednesday.
  • But Slack did not provide an update on its active users, a closely watched metric.
  • The company also announced that Chamath Palihapitiya will be stepping down from its board of directors and will be replaced by Michael McNamara.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Slack beat Wall Street financial targets in its third quarter but did not provide an update on its number of daily users – a closely watched gauge of its competition with Microsoft – sending the company’s stock see-sawing in after hours trading as investors tried to assess its progress.

Shares of Slack fell as much as 6% in after hours trading, then rebounded and traded up nearly 4%.

The workplace collaboration company reported quarterly revenue of $US168.7 million, an increase of 66 per cent from a year prior, and above analyst estimates.

In its second earnings report since entering the public markets through a direct listing in June, Slack said Wednesday that it lost 2 cents per share, excluding certain items, in its fiscal third quarter – better than the 8 cents per share loss that analysts were expecting on an adjusted basis.

The company also announced that Chamath Palihapitiya will be stepping down from its board of directors and will be replaced by Michael McNamara.

But Slack did not provide updated daily active user numbers, something that has been a point of focus in its ongoing rivalry with Microsoft Teams.

Last month, Microsoft said it had 20 million daily active users putting it ahead of Slack. Microsoft bundles Teams in with its Office 365 productivity suite for business. Analysts have said this gives Microsoft a major advantage that could make it more difficult for Slack to compete.

Slack in October said it has 12 million daily active users. It highlighted user engagement metrics and hours spent on the platform to show how much users like the product. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has also previously said Microsoft’s behaviour is “surprisingly unsportsmanlike” as a business rival, and that the company uses the popularity of Office 365 to push its Teams product on customers.

“As we’ve said before, you can’t transform a workplace if people aren’t actually using your product,” a Slack spokesperson previously said in a statement.

Slack did provide updated paid user numbers on Wednesday, telling investors it now was 105,000 paid customers, an increase of 30 per cent from a year prior. It also said it now has 821 paid customers with greater than $US100,000 in annual recurring revenue, up 67 per cent from a year prior.

Slack forecasted revenue of $US172 million to $US174 million and an adjusted net loss per share of $US0.07 to $US0.06 for the fourth quarter, in line with analysts previous estimates. For the fiscal 2020 year, Slack is forecasting revenue of $US621 million to $US623 million and adjusted net loss per share of $US0.32 to $US0.31.

Here’s what Slack reported:

  • Revenue: $US168.7 million. Analysts were expecting $US156.23 million.
  • Net loss per share (adjusted): $US0.02. Wall Street was looking for a loss of $US0.08 loss per share.
  • Revenue (fourth quarter): Between $US172 million and $US174 million estimated. Analysts had predicted $US173.23 million.
  • Net loss per share (adjusted, fourth quarter): $US0.07 to $US0.06 estimated. Wall Street was forecasting $US0.07 loss per share.
  • Paid customers: 105,000 paid customers

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