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Dave & Buster’s Stock Soars As KKR Boosts Stake Over 10%

DAVE & BUSTER'S EARNS

Topline: Private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) disclosed in a filing Friday that it now owns a 10.7% stake in U.S. restaurant chain Dave & Busters, and plans to continue discussions with management as it pushes for changes to the business.

  • Dave & Buster’s (PLAY) stock surged up to 16% on the news Friday, reaching almost $49, its highest level since June 2019. Shares are currently up 12% for the day while KKR stock increased 2.5%.
  • KKR, which has invested in businesses such as Lyft, Sonos and FanDuel, is one of the largest private equity firms in the world with over $200 billion in assets under management.
  • The firm took a rare activist step in disclosing its stake, saying that it has held discussions with Dave & Buster’s management and board as it pushes for changes, though its filing did not include any specific plans or proposals for the company.
  • KKR, which previously reported a 2.65% stake in Dave & Buster’s last September, also disclosed that it may discuss “any extraordinary corporate transaction” with management and shareholders, including a merger or a change in the board.
  • KKR reportedly has a “good relationship” with Dave & Buster’s management and the two sides have had a “constructive dialogue,” a source told Axios, while also confirming that KKR isn’t internally talking about attempting a hostile takeover.

Image result for amazon gif advertisements for businessCrucial statistics: Wall Street analysts are largely bullish on Dave & Buster’s: It has nine “buy” ratings, four “hold” ratings and zero “sell” ratings, according to Bloomberg data.

Key background: The Dallas-based company, which first opened in 1982, has over 110 locations. Shares of Dave & Buster’s fell 7.5% overall in 2019, while the S&P 500 rose 30%. The company suffered a one-day drop of 20% in June when it reported a surprising decline in quarterly sales that severely rattled investor confidence in the retailer. Facing headwinds like higher wage costs and restaurant oversupply in what is an increasingly competitive industry, Dave & Busters said earlier this week that its comparable store sales would decline between 2.5% to 3% for fiscal year 2019.

Crucial quote: “Based on our review of past engagements, we believe the KKR Fund may undertake a traditional activist campaign and seek to gain board representation if the firm is unable to make progress working directly with management to improve performance,” Stifel analyst Christopher O’Cull said in a note on Friday. He previously predicted that a leveraged buyout of Dave & Buster’s would be possible for around $50 per share, but that the company will be taken private at a significant premium.

Tangent: Raymond James analyst Brian Vaccaro also forecasts a possible leveraged buyout scenario, where KKR, which has steadily increased its stake in Dave & Buster’s since the third quarter of 2019, would pay a price of $55-per share for the company.

Further reading: Gentlemen At The Gate: With Trillions Pouring In, KKR And Its Peers Must Build Up Rather Than Break Up (Antoine Gara)

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Send me a secure tip.

I am a New York—based reporter for Forbes, covering breaking news—with a focus on financial topics. Previously, I’ve reported at Money Magazine, The Villager NYC, and The East Hampton Star. I graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2018, majoring in International Relations and Modern History. Follow me on Twitter @skleb1234 or email me at sklebnikov@forbes.com

Source: Dave & Buster’s Stock Soars As KKR Boosts Stake Over 10%

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These 4 Low P/E Stocks Trade Below Book And Pay Dividends

US dollar rolled up in macro shot

Despite the highest stock market prices in history and Presidential tweets proclaiming the wonder of the economy, it’s still possible to identify equities coming in at under book value and with price/earnings ratios actually somewhat close to earth.

Right now, the p/e of the S&P 500 stands at 24.13 and the Schiller p/e sits at 30.88. The price of the index is 3.6 times book value.

The price/earnings ratio of the NASDAQ Composite index is 34.16. The NASDAQ is trading at 3.3 times its book value.

What if — under these conditions of over valuation — you could find stocks trading with price/earnings ratios of below 15 and at less than their book value? You know, like Warren Buffett used to do it.

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Instead of falling in love with Tesla, now trading with a forward p/e of 75, at 12 times book and with more debt then equity, what if you could consider old-school valuation techniques and identify what they used to call “cheap.”

Are there still such things as actual value stocks?

Here are 4 possible candidates:

WestRock is a New York Stock Exchange-listed stock in the “packaging solutions” business with headquarters in Atlanta.

The stock trades with a price/earnings ratio of 12.65 and at a 7% discount to its book value. The record of earnings is quite good for this year and looks in the green over the past 5 years. Investors receive a fat 4.68% dividend. That long-term debt exceeds shareholder equity is a concern — however, the current ratio is positive.

Metlife is the brand name life insurance firm that’s been around for 145 years. Based in New York, the stock trades on the NYSE.

The price/earnings ratio of Metlife is an amazingly low 6.85. You can buy shares at the current price for 70% of the company’s book value. Shareholder equity is greater than long-term debt. The dividend payment comes to 3.43%. With an average daily volume of 5.3 million shares, no need to worry much about liquidity.

AXA Equitable Holdings is an NYSE-listed insurance brokerage founded in 1859 and headquartered in New York.

The p/e is 14.73 and it trades at an 18% discount to its book value. Long-term debt is less than total shareholder equity. Investors receive a dividend of 2.41%. Earnings this year are excellent and the 5-year track record of earnings is very good.

Amplify Energy is an independent oil and gas company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

This one requires closer inspection than those listed above. With a price/earnings ratio of 6.46 and trading at just half its book value, the stock is definitely “cheap.” One concern is that long-term debt exceeds shareholder equity. Also, it’s odd that the dividend yield is 11% — how likely can that high of a payout be sustained? Meantime, Amplify’s earnings this year are excellent and the 5-year record is good. Average daily volume is relatively low at just 248,000 shares.

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Stats courtesy of FinViz.com.

I do not hold positions in these investments. No recommendations are made one way or the other.  If you’re an investor, you’d want to look much deeper into each of these situations. You can lose money trading or investing in stocks and other instruments. Always do your own independent research, due diligence and seek professional advice from a licensed investment advisor.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

My Marketocracy work is profiled in The Warren Buffetts Next Door: The World’s Greatest Investors You’ve Never Heard Of by Forbes Investments Editor Matt Schifrin. I’m a 1972 graduate of the University of North Carolina

Source: These 4 Low P/E Stocks Trade Below Book And Pay Dividends

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20 Great Stock Ideas For 2020, From The Best Fund Managers

The stock market went on a tear in 2019. Major indexes hit numerous record highs in the second half of the year with the S&P 500 rising more than 29%. This puts it on track to be the best yearly return since at least 2013.

As stocks continued to rise, Wall Street put recession fears on the back burner: The market has been boosted by the fact that the U.S. economy’s moderate expansions holds steady. Solid consumer spending, a robust labor market and now an apparent recovery in the housing market have all allayed investor fears. There has been renewed trade optimism on Wall Street as well, thanks to the signing of several new trade agreements—a revised North American trade agreement and the long-awaited phase one trade deal with China—in the closing months of 2019. Going into 2020, the market is optimistic that economic growth can continue, especially with diminishing tariff pressures and a Federal Reserve on hold.

We queried Morningstar to identify some of the best performing fund managers, all of whom beat their benchmarks both in 2019 as well as on a longer-term basis over either a three-year, five-year or ten-year period. Below are the portfolio managers and their best ideas for the coming year.

Chris Retzler

Needham Small-Cap Growth Fund: A blend of growth and value small companies.

YTD: 53.5%, 5-year average annual return: 14.7%

Saxonburg, Pennsylvania-based II-VI is a global manufacturer of high-performance, high-tech specialty materials that go into a whole host of different industries and end markets, from consumer and communications to aerospace and defense. “It’s a broad economic play to the end markets that utilize their technologies,”  says Retzler, who highlights the “stellar management team” and its recent acquisition of optical communications manufacturer, Finisar.

While topline growth has been in the double-digits, that will accelerate thanks to cost savings and revenue synergies from integrating Finisar. While $1.4 billion revenue II-VI has exposure to trade relations with China, which weighed on the stock’s performance in the last few years, a thawing in those relations will brighten its outlook. Retzler expects growth to generate free cash that will ultimately “provide the opportunity to de-lever the balance sheet.”

Navigator Holdings (NVGS)

Reitzler calls $303 million (revenues) Navigator Holdings, an energy shipping business that delivers liquid propane gas (LPG), “a play on resurgence in global economic growth.” He expects it to be a beneficiary of thawing trade tensions and subsequent increased commodity sales: “If you see a recovery in emerging markets, which we think will begin to happen globally, LPG is key to energy usage in a great part of the world.” While Navigator Holdings has been under pressure for the last four years, investments the company has made in infrastructure and partnerships should begin to payout, Reitzler predicts, adding that the company has also expanded to new terminals that will allow it to export more products globally. Another catalyst is the “continued production of sizable energy byproducts within the U.S. that will need to be delivered to global markets.” As a heavy shipping company, there is debt on the business—but it’s manageable, says Reitzler.

Neal Rosenberg

Baron Growth Fund: Small-cap U.S. growth companies

YTD: 40.7%, 3-year average annual return: 19.8%

 

Vail Resorts (MTN)

This operator of  world-class mountain and ski resorts is divided into separate divisions for its resorts, hospitality and real estate. The company has seen continued growth in full season pass sales as well as early benefits from its mid-2019 acquisition of Peak Resorts, which helped integrate millions more people into its network. Rosenberg expects good earnings growth with robust free cash flow going forward. This could lead to opportunistic mergers, debt reduction and dividend growth. Vail, which had $2 billion in revenues in fiscal 2019, is very digitally focused and is increasing the number of skiers on season or day passes, using more data to do enhanced targeted marketing and increasing the skier experience to enable continued same store pricing increases.

CoStar Group (CSGP)

CoStar, is a $1.2 billion (revenues) provider of info analytics and online marketing services for commercial and multifamily real estate offices. Rosenberg expects organic revenue growth to accelerate toward 20% in 2020 and beyond, as the company continues to significantly expand its salesforce and enter new markets—selling to owners and investors rather than just brokers and property managers. Growth will also come from its Apartments.com division, which matches renters with landlords.  CoStar is also expanding internationally, moving beyond the U.S. and Canada to places like Western Europe. The company also has a pristine balance sheet and a huge amount of free cash flow.

Jeffrey James

Driehaus Small-Cap Growth Fund: Fast-growing small companies.

YTD: 40.4%, Average annual return since inception (2017): 26%

Everbridge (EVBG)

This cloud software company works with corporations, governments and their agencies to provide tools for mass notifications and population alerts. Its software helps alert employees or citizens of whatever is happening—from natural disasters to cyberattacks. According to James the $147 million (revs) company, which has yet to turn a profit, is growing at 30% per year, and is increasingly winning contracts with big companies and the Federal government. “It’s the next generation amber alert,” he describes. While Amber alerts, for example, are a homegrown custom government solution, Everbridge is far more sophisticated in its software, James says, since they are able to use various technologies—like location services—to notify people in a specific geographic area. He also highlights that the European Union’s mandate to select a mass notification system for all their member countries—where several have picked Everbridge thus far.

MyoKardia (MYOK)

This $3.5 billion market cap clinical-stage biotech company focuses on precision medicine targeting genetic cardiovascular disease—the number one cause of death in the world. “Virtually all drugs that treat this do so indirectly by lowering cholesterol or treating symptoms,” James describes, “but MyoKardia is one of the first to target the source of the disease—the underlying genetic defects of the cardiac function.” One disease it’s targeting, for instance, is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (widening of heart valves). Going into next year, James highlights a phase three study that is expected to read out well, as the previous phases have. “For a biotech company of this size and this pipeline, its balance sheet is quite strong,” he says (Myokardia has no revenues or profits yet). “That should be sufficient for the company to fund studies and develop its pipeline for the foreseeable future.”

Joe Dennison 

Zevenbergen Growth Fund: Large-cap consumer and tech companies.

YTD return: 38.4%, 3-year average annual return: 24.3%

Exact Sciences (EXAS)

Madison, Wisconsin’s Exact Science’s core product, Cologuard, has seen “strong organic growth” thanks to an 80% increase in revenue this year—and is expected to hit that again next year, according to Dennison. Cologuard allows for at-home stool screening as an alternative to getting a colonoscopy. Company’s partnership with Pfizer—a co-promotional sales agreement—has been beneficial, since it helps give Exact Sciences access to the pharma giant’s salespeople, marketing expertise and relationships. Exact Sciences has continued to grow its network of doctors, adding new primary care and GI specialists. Dennison says there’s much to look forward to next year: The company plans to test Cologuard 2.0—a more accurate and economical version of its signature product—and is reportedly planning on coming out with a diagnostic for liver cancer. “It’s making the right investments to drive growth for the next decade,” says Dennison. “The competitive chatter has been misunderstood and weighed on the stock, but we think that could clear up.”

Wayfair (W)

A market leader in online home furnishings, Wayfair has been popular among young consumers as they move out and buy homes. He emphasizes that the company has revenue growth in the mid-20% range, though losses are higher since its still in investment mode—but profitability is expected in the next five years.

Wayfair is further boosted by international investments, primarily in Western Europe, “where they’re following the same playbook that’s been successful domestically,” according to Dennison. Competition comes from brick-and-mortar players and larger players like Amazon, he says.

Stephen DeNichilo

Federated Kaufmann Large Cap Fund: Large-cap growth companies.

YTD: 37.7%, 10-year average annual return: 14.9%

Vulcan Materials (VMC)

DeNichilo likes this $4.8 billion (revenues) materials company, the largest producer of construction aggregates in the U.S., because it is entering “an exciting period of both increasing volume and pricing.” The business is growing thanks to a strong focus on infrastructure spending at the state level—driven by increased gas taxes, says DeNichilo. What’s more, “solid federal support” for infrastructure on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill will be an added boost going into next year.

Ingersoll-Rand (IR)

This 149-year old company is a leading producer of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment globally. It will spin off its more cyclical compressor business to Gardner Denver in the first quarter of 2020. That would leave $16 billion (revenues) Ingersoll-Rand as a “pure play HVAC company,” not to mention one with high market share, powerful recurring revenue—from installing, replacing and servicing parts, strong pricing power and “a balance sheet prepared to participate in further HVAC industry consolidation.”

Kimberly Scott

Ivy Mid-Cap Growth Fund: Fast-growing mid-cap companies.

YTD return: 37.6%, 3-year average annual return: 20.1%

National Vision Holdings (EYE)

This $1.7 billion (sales) optical retailer sells eyeglasses, contact lenses and other products, as well as offering comprehensive eye exams. The company has seen continued growth as it serves an important medical need at good value, according to Scott. “It’s a compelling story in that it has a unique position as a growth retailer outside of e-commerce,” she points out. As the company brings in more customers and gains market share, comparable store sales have increased.

Overall revenue is growing by just over 10%, and the company continues to deleverage, Scott says. While risks include tariff headwinds and concerns that Walmart may not renew a strategic partnership to operate its Vision Centers, she believes that these are priced into the stock. The company is also starting to leverage its new investments in areas like cybersecurity and lab research for making new eyewear.

CoStar Group (CSGP)

A leading provider of commercial real estate data and marketplace listing services, Washington, D.C.-based CoStar has “high-caliber growth and great cash flow,” according to Scott. She highlights the company’s founder-led management team and pristine balance sheet—with no debt. CoStar’s revenue has been growing at a 20% clip and Scott expects continued innovation in new areas including a recent acquisition of Smith Travel Research, which will allow CoStar to begin expanding into data and analytics for the hospitality sector. The market usually backs off from the stock when the company announces new investment cycles, as it just has, she points out, but while this hurts near-term margins it actually sets CoStar up for its next phase of growth. The company’s expectation is that the business will have $3 billion in revenue by the end of 2023.

Scott Klimo

Amana Growth Fund: Low-debt, high-growth large companies; Run according to Islamic principles.

YTD: 31.7%, 3-year average annual return: 19.9%

Sextant Growth Fund: Low-turnover portfolio of large growth companies.

YTD: 35.3%, 3-year average annual return: 17.9%

Lowe’s Companies (LOW)

Klimo calls Lowe’s “a compelling self-help story” that will benefit from a strong housing market next year, supported by low interest rates. Lowe’s new CEO Marvin Ellison has improved operating efficiencies and Klimo highlights new investments in tech, like migrating systems to the cloud and improving online experience, as another boost for the company. What’s more, while “nothing is bulletproof,” and recession and housing market risks are somewhat mitigated by the cost cutting and other internal improvements, which should protect margins,” according to Klimo.

Ally Financial (ALLY)

Financial service firm Ally dabbles in everything from car loans and online banking to mortgages and loans. It is a leader in auto lending, particularly in used car financing: “An area that takes some skill.” Klimo points out that “even if you think about potential disruptions like new car prices increasing, the secondhand market is still attractive.” Ally has good prospects for growth, he says, with the general consensus for the economy looking pretty good and the housing market expected to be solid. The stock has a low PE of under 8 time trailing 12 month earnings,  a 2.2% dividend yield and earnings are growing at 10% annually. Says Klimo, “What’s really remarkable is the valuation that its trading at, despite the fact that the stock is up 37% this year.”

Tom Slater

Baillie Gifford U.S. Equity Growth Fund: Concentrated portfolio of growth companies.

YTD Return: 29.4%, Average annual return since inception (2017): 20.7%

 

Yext (YEXT)

New York City’s Yext is a small-cap technology company that allows businesses to use its cloud-based network of search engines, maps and other software to boost awareness and build their brand. As more companies integrate digital components into their business strategies, Yext gives them the tools to do so, as well as share information with publishers in a way that becomes accessible to end users. Yext Answers, which is aimed at streamlining consumer questions about different companies or products.

“While Yext is still a loss making business—and path to profitability has become the buzzword in the aftermath of WeWork—we’re happy to tolerate that if we can see the trajectory of growth going forward,” according to Slater. “We see them having a really big addressable market in the long term.”

MarketAxess (MKTX)

This fintech company operates an electronic trading platform for institutional credit markets, bringing digital tools to bond trading. “What’s interesting here is that we’ve seen equity markets move to digital trading, but that’s been a much harder problem to solve for bonds—as they’re generally much less liquid,” Slater points out. Digitizing these markets is a big win for asset owners because it takes out the cost aspect of intermediation that’s associated with traditional bond trading. MarketAxess has topline growth of at least 15% going into next year, accompanied by very high margins of around 50%, both of which are likely to grow in the future, Slater forecasts.

Chase Sheridan and Greg Steinmetz

Sequoia Fund: Run by RCG investment committee since 2016; Focus on undervalued companies.

YTD return: 29.3%, 10-year average annual return: 11.5%

Credit Acceptance (CACC)

Credit Acceptance Corp. is a subprime auto loan lender that the Sequoia fund likes to think of as “the best house in a tough neighborhood.” The company is countercyclical, as it doubled its profits during the financial crisis according to Sheridan and Steinmetz. They emphasize that Credit Acceptance doesn’t face the same set of risks as a typical subprime lender, thanks to a “portfolio program” with its dealers where it shares both the costs and payouts of loan underwriting. That means that in a downturn, Credit Acceptance will suffer less than its peers, and it can use those periods of stress to gain more market share. The company has been growing—earnings were up 22% in 2019—and it has room to continue to do so without M&A. While some bad actors in the car loan industry prey on the working poor, “Credit Acceptance Corp plays by the rules and plays fairly,” Sheridan and Steinmetz describe. “They have excellent computer systems that keep their collection agents within the bounds of what the government allows them to do.”

Alphabet (GOOGL)

“Sometimes a good idea is right in front of your nose,” says Sheridan and Steinmetz. “Alphabet’s balance sheet ( with $130 billion in cash) is like Fort Knox, and the resilience and quality of the business is extraordinary.”The company has averaged near 20% growth, and its “search revenue is driven by mobile and Youtube in terms of its fastest growing segments.” With $25 billion spent on research and development per year—second in the world behind Amazon—”that’s basically Dell Labs and Xerox Park on steroids,” according to Sheridan and Steinmetz. “Google’s competitive strengths are nearly insurmountable in its core business of advertising,” they point out. The tech giant also has ambitions to move up the ladder in the burgeoning business of cloud computing, where it currently ranks behind Amazon and Microsoft.

Chris Mack

Harding Loevner Global Equity Fund: High-quality growth companies.

YTD: 28.5%, 5-year average annual return: 10.2%

PayPal (PYPL)

PayPal is a “household name,” but the general opportunity here is the “under penetration of digital transformation in financial services,” according to Mack. It’s a “long tail opportunity,” especially given that some 85% of the world’s transactions are still settled in cash. What’s different, he points out, is that PayPal is crucially partnering with more financial institutions and increasing its number of merchant accounts.

Partnerships with Bank of America and HSBC, for example, have started to pay off as they make PayPal an option in their digital wallet offerings. Mack emphasizes that PayPal’s large user base and the scale of transactions its processes, which are both growing near 20%, is another positive. While the company is up against some other big tech players, like Apple, “there’s room for more than one winner here,” Mack says.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX)

Vertex is a $56 billion market cap biotech company focused on drugs to treat cystic fibrosis. Mack sees it as an overlooked growth opportunity, “it’s overlooked because of its small addressable population—of 100,000 our so globally—in the scheme of things.” But when thinking about pharmaceuticals and drug pricing, “this is a company that is delivering value,” he says. It has taken an existing set of approved drugs on the market and added a new one: While they can reach about 56% of existing cystic fibrosis, Vertex’s new “triple combination” drug combination to treat the disease will see that number rise to around 90%, according to Mack. Although the drug is expensive and patients are on them for life, a rising life expectancy and number of treatable cases bode well for Vertex. The company is profitable, with good margins and is growing by over 25%.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Send me a secure tip.

I am a New York—based reporter for Forbes, covering breaking news—with a focus on financial topics. Previously, I’ve reported at Money Magazine, The Villager NYC, and The East Hampton Star. I graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2018, majoring in International Relations and Modern History. Follow me on Twitter @skleb1234 or email me at sklebnikov@forbes.com

Source: 20 Great Stock Ideas For 2020, From The Best Fund Managers

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To get our 5 top stocks for 2019, head to http://www.Fool.com/YT 2019 has been a pretty darn good year for the stock market. The S&P 500 is up over 25% year-to-date, and I bet you noticed the bump in your retirement and brokerage accounts. While those returns are good, investors that scooped up shares of some of the year’s hottest stocks did even better. Maybe you were one of the folks who saw their portfolios soar thanks to: – Docusign (up 80% YTD) – MercadoLibre (up 95% YTD) – The Trade Desk (up 115% YTD) These stocks are some of the best performers in the market this year, they’re also stocks our analysts recommended in one of our premium services before 2019. Our team is happy to see their picks do well, but they also have some new companies they think could break out in 2020. In this video they’re going to break down: – How the stock market did in 2019 – The major stories investors need to know about 2020 – The best stocks to buy for 2020 ———————————————————————— Subscribe to The Motley Fool’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheMotleyFool Join our Facebook community: https://www.facebook.com/themotleyfool Follow The Motley Fool on Twitter: https://twitter.com/themotleyfool

Datadog Stock Surges 39%: Its CEO Recounts When The Company Was An Underdog In New York

Shares of New York-based Datadog rose 39% to close at $37.55 after opening at $40.35 in the cloud company’s market debut Thursday. The successful IPO cements Datadog’s position as an East Coast counterweight to Silicon Valley’s dominance of the enterprise software realm.

“Initially when we started fundraising for Datadog, it was really not that easy,” CEO Olivier Pomel told Forbes after the market closed Thursday. “We were not based where most of the companies were based, so it was hard to get trust from investors on the West Coast. And the investors in New York were not really specialized in the type of company we were building.”

Pomel said this underdog tale worked to the advantage of Datadog. By relying on small checks and angel investors at first, the company was forced to build an efficient business, he said. That’s become a huge asset to the nine-year-old company as it ballooned to a $10.9 billion valuation at the end of Thursday. It reported a net loss of $10.8 million, after posting a $2.6 million loss the year prior—good numbers for a fast-growing company of its stature.

Higher net losses usually accompany recent enterprise tech IPOs with comparable revenue figures, such as with Medallia ($82 million), Dynatrace ($116 million) and Crowdstrike ($140 million). “One thing investors reacted to was the fact that we run a healthy business from a profitability perspective,” Pomel said.

Today In: Innovation

“What helped the most by being in New York was that we’re a little bit closer to customers—there’s more of them here. And, you’re out of the echo chamber in the Silicon Valley so here you can get ahead on what the customers think,” he said. One early investment came from Index Ventures, which has backed Datadog beginning with the Series A funding round. Shardul Shah, a partner at the firm who also sits on Datadog’s board, says he bought in because of Pomel’s “relentless focus on delivering customer value from the very beginning.”

The successes of MongoDB and now Datadog could spur the growth of an enterprise ecosystem in New York. Prior to its market debut, Datadog had raised $147.9 million on what Pitchbook estimates as a $640 million valuation. The IPO is New York’s largest venture capital-backed tech IPO in two decades, according to Renaissance Capital.

Now trading on Nasdaq under the “DDOG” ticker, the company priced 24 million shares at $27 on Wednesday. That’s higher than the $24-to-$26 estimated IPO price listed in its latest filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was already a huge boost from the $19-to-$22 range the company originally set. At its IPO price, Datadog raised $648 million to bring its valuation to $7.8 billion. Pomel said the added cash on hand will offer the company the flexibility to continue making acquisitions. He said he’s happy with Datadog’s acquisitions so far, including application tester Madumbo.

At Datadog’s opening stock price, CEO Olivier Pomel was on the cusp of billionaire status. Forbes calculates that the stock would need to surpass about $43 per share for Pomel’s net worth to cross the $1 billion mark—at the stock’s high point of $41.44, Pomel was $35 million short. After the stock price declined slightly over the course of Thursday, Pomel’s net worth settled at $874 million at the time of market close, but that doesn’t seem to bother him: “The stock, it’s up a good amount, but not too much. I think that’s what we were looking for.”

Datadog offers a cloud analytics platform that also provides log management and monitors infrastructure and application performance. Its software is primarily used by IT and developer teams and cuts across industries—it boasts customers including Samsung, 21st Century Fox, the University of Pennsylvania and the Washington Post. In its S-1, the company identified IT operations management as its primary opportunity market. Research firm Gartner predicts the market will be worth $37 billion by 2023.

The IPO reflects continued investor demand for cloud analytics and monitoring. In August alone, application performance management company Dynatrace’s stock jumped 49% in its public debut, while cloud monitoring vendor SignalFx was acquired by Splunk for more than $1 billion. In its S-1 filing, Datadog lists both Dynatrace and Splunk as direct competitors. The company also counts IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, New Relic and Amazon as rivals across fields such as infrastructure monitoring, application performance management and cloud monitoring.

Datadog jumped to No. 5 on this year’s Forbes Cloud 100 list, which was released last week, up from the No. 19 spot in 2018. As of last Wednesday, half of last year’s top 20 sold or went public, with eight taking the latter route amid a busy couple of months for cloud IPOs. Although most of these stocks—such as Zoom, Slack and Crowdstrike—had strong public debuts, some including Slack and Eventbrite have failed to maintain this momentum. Stripe, the No. 1 company in 2018 and 2019, announced a new funding round Thursday that brings its valuation up to $35 billion.

Datadog filed with the SEC in anticipation of its IPO at the end of August. Revenue increased 97% to $198 million in 2018, according to its S-1 filing. The cloud company reportedly rejected an eleventh-hour acquisition offer from Cisco at a figure “significantly higher” than $7 billion, according to Bloomberg. The move would have paralleled Cisco’s 2017 acquisition of AppDynamics for $3.7 billion, just two nights prior to the application performance management company’s IPO.

This article was updated to include the closing stock price, additional context on finances and comments from Pomel and Shah.

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I am a San Francisco-based assistant editor for technology and innovation. As my beat, I cover Juul Labs. I also write other general tech news. Previously, I made stops at The Ringer and the Raleigh News & Observer. I graduated in 2019 from Duke University, where I spent time as news editor for The Chronicle, the university’s independent news organization.

Source: Datadog Stock Surges 39%: Its CEO Recounts When The Company Was An Underdog In New York

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The Watch List: Jonathan Lehr came on The Watch List to discuss what the Datadog IPO means for NYC’s enterprise tech ecosystem.

Stocks To Buy While They’re Down Intel U.S. Steel State Street And Vipshop

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Many investors won’t buy a stock unless it shows “relative strength,” in other words, has been rising more than its peers lately. They are missing some great buying opportunities. Sometimes, I believe, the best time to buy a stock is when it is down. That’s why each quarter I compile a “Casualty List” of stocks that have been wounded and that I think have excellent recovery potential. This is the 62nd Casualty List I’ve prepared, beginning in 2000. The average 12-month gain on the past lists (which can be calculated for 58 columns) has been 18.5%. That compares with 10.2% for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index……..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johndorfman/2018/10/02/stocks-to-buy-while-theyre-down-intel-u-s-steel-state-street-and-vipshop/#209d458c3ed1

 

 

 

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