Has Tableau Software Become Invincible Against Valuations on Solid Earnings?

Tableau Software Inc. (NYSE: DATA) has reported its first-quarter earnings results, and this is one of those situations where very strong earnings is trumping the concerns over very high valuations. With a 75% gain in revenue to $130.1 million and with non-GAAP earnings of $0.08 per share, the company handily beat expectations of -$0.03 per share and $115.3 million in revenues.

While the company’s total revenue grew 75%, the license revenue grew 74% to $84.4 million. International revenue grew by 89% to $31.7 million. Tableau also said that it added more than 2,600 new customer accounts and that it closed 249 transactions that were greater than $100,000 each.

While guidance was not seen in this quarterly report, Tableau Software simultaneously announced that it has opened up its Tableau Public Premium features for all Tableau Public authors at no cost. This gives an increased storage limit of 10 GB for everyone so authors can create and store more information in Tableau Public, while having the ability to limit the downloading of files from Tableau Public to allow authors to keep their workbooks proprietary.

Christian Chabot, chief executive officer of Tableau Software, said:

Tableau’s first quarter 2015 results were strong and demonstrate that the demand for Tableau continues to grow. Tableau’s ability to help people achieve more with data is resulting in an ever growing customer base. During the quarter, we added more than 2,600 new customer accounts, bringing the total to more than 29,000 worldwide. We started the year gearing up for the launch of Tableau 9.0. During the quarter, momentum started to build as we kicked off product roadshows, giving hands-on experience to thousands of data enthusiasts. I am pleased to report that early last month we released Tableau 9.0, bringing big advances in analytics.

This is a high-beta name and then some. It trades at close to 400 times expected earnings for 2015 and close to 200 times expected 2016 earnings, or did before beating estimates. With a market cap of almost $7 billion, it was valued at 12 times expected 2015 sales and almost nine times expected 2016 sales.

Shares of Tableau closed Thursday up 0.7% at $97.43. Following the release of the earnings report, shares were up almost 7% at $104.00 in after-hours trading. Also, over 200,000 shares had traded in the after-hours session alone in the first hour since the 4:00 p.m. closing bell. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $110.07 and a 52-week trading range of $52.02 to $103.40.

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