Snowflake: a very special IPO

The price of US technology company Snowflake, which floated last week, shot up by more than 150% at one point during the first day of trading.

The initial public offering of US technology company Snowflake last week was the equivalent of “yet more cases of champagne arriving at a party well after midnight when the guests are already several sheets to the wind”, says Robert Cyran on Breakingviews. The share price shot up by more than 150% at one point during the first day of trading. Even though shares subsequently fell back a bit, the company is now worth $63bn, compared with the valuation of just $12bn implied by a private funding round earlier this year.

It’s no surprise that investors – which include Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway – are enthusiastic about Snowflake, says Dan Gallagher in The Wall Street Journal. The firm’s cloud-based software “allows enterprises to rapidly analyse business information faster than traditional database software”. Revenue has “grown by an average of 141% on a year-over-year basis over the past four quarters”. Still, its “stratospheric valuation” will force Snowflake to keep up a “blistering pace” if it is not to disappoint. Even if the business continues to grow at the current rate over the next 12 months, it will still trade at “more than 70 times forward sales”.

The big question is whether Snowflake’s “nosebleed” valuation heralds a runaway shift in market sentiment, says Richard Waters in the Financial Times. It is “hard not to see at least some similarities with the dotcom era”, especially the obsession with “total addressable market” instead of sales or profitability. A new tech bubble might be good for Palantir, which uses similar technology to Snowflake. After years of “dithering about whether or not to go public”, Palantir’s shares will soon start trading in a direct listing.

Recommended

Short squeeze
Glossary

Short squeeze

When a large number of short sellers target the same stock, the price can rise in a self-perpetuating circle known as a 'short squeeze'.
6 Dec 2021
Cost/income ratio
Glossary

Cost/income ratio

The cost-to-income ratio is a key financial measure, particularly important in valuing banks...
6 Dec 2021
Has the “jam tomorrow” bubble popped already?
Stockmarkets

Has the “jam tomorrow” bubble popped already?

Fund managers have had a good year so far. John Stepek looks at what to expect from markets until year end.
6 Dec 2021
Three stocks that should profit from the dash for digital growth
Share tips

Three stocks that should profit from the dash for digital growth

Professional investor Christopher Versace of the Digital Infrastructure and Connectivity UCITS ETF picks three digital growth stocks to buy now.
6 Dec 2021

Most Popular

Bubbles grow in global property markets as house prices continue to rise
Property

Bubbles grow in global property markets as house prices continue to rise

House prices grew by 6% in the year to mid-2021 in 25 global cities, with the German property market in particular showing signs of overheating.
3 Dec 2021
Investing in time
Sponsored

Investing in time

SPONSORED CONTENT – Watch collecting can be addictive and expensive, but it can also be a very sound investment strategy
3 Dec 2021
Three safe bets on the growing online gambling sector
Share tips

Three safe bets on the growing online gambling sector

Professional investor Aaron Fischer, creator of the Fischer Sports Betting and iGaming ETF, picks three of his favourite online gambling stocks.
29 Nov 2021