Tableau’s steeper loss tempered by subscription deals

August 3, 2016

Tableau reported another less-than-spectacular quarter Tuesday, but investors were apparently mollified by news that more of its revenue is coming from subscription deals.

The Seattle business intelligence software company’s stock initially fell more than 6 percent Tuesday when, after the market close, it reported second-quarter earnings that missed analyst expectations.

But after the company’s earnings call with analysts, the stock rose and settled around $56 per share, or less than 1 percent down from its closing price.

Tableau executives emphasized on the call that revenue from its cloud-based product, which companies pay for on a subscription basis, grew more than 100 percent from the same period a year ago.
In general, more customers are asking for a subscription-based model rather than licensing the software, Tableau said.

The subscription model is expanding across the tech industry, said Brent Thill, an analyst with UBS. Tableau is even a bit late to the party. Investors like to see the subscription approach, he said, because it means more revenue is coming in consistently at regular periods, rather than in sporadic chunks as companies pay for licenses.

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