Datadog (DDOG) Is a Winner, but the Stock Is Fairly Valued Here, Says 5-Star Analyst

Fate is a cruel mistress, the saying goes. But how about turning the phrase on its head? Might fate be a welcoming friend, too? That’s certainly the case during COVID-19. As some companies’ unfortunate line of business has dictated a struggle to make it through the pandemic, some are inherently well set up to benefit.

Cloud based services and data focused companies, for example. Or specifically, Datadog (DDOG). The SaaS data analytics specilaist’s performance has been impressive. Since the turn of year, DDOG shares have appreciated by 82%, whilst successfully navigating through the pandemic storm. And unlike many companies struggling with recent Q1 reports, DDOG just delivered the goods. So, where has it all gone right for DDOG?

As befits a data crunching platform, it’s all in the numbers. In the first quarter, the company reported revenue of $131.25 million, up by 87.4% year-over-year and easily beating the Street’s call for $117.7 million. Q1 Non-GAAP EPS of $0.06 came ahead of the estimates by $0.07, turning a profit against expectations.

Bucking the trend to shy away from guidance, in Q2, DDOG expects revenue to come in between $134 to $136 million (consensus calls for $126.31 million) and for FY20 , the company projects revenue in the range of $555 to $565 million, again ahead of consensus, which calls for $534.50 million.

Even though they’ve yet to encounter any pressure, anticipating COVID-19 headwinds, management is preparing for some 2Q/3Q retention rate pressure and deal slippage.

Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron expressed great satisfaction with the results and steady execution, and said, “Even with management budgeting for some 2Q/3Q COVID-19 pressure on retention rate/churn, they were still comfortable raising CY20 guidance given the robustness of the existing deal pipeline. Management’s also doubling down on aggressive investment, positioning for long-term gains.”

Despite the strong report, though, Kidron argues the upside is “fairly reflected in Datadog’s premium valuation.” However, the 5-star analyst believes “investors with longer investment horizons (+18 months) can buy into the story.”    

Accordingly, Kidron keeps his Perform (i.e. Hold) rating as is, though has not set a price target. Kidron is one of the top analysts on Wall Street covering technology. His picks average a 32% one-year return, and he’s ranked in the top 10 out of over 6,500 analysts, according to TipRanks database.

When evaluating DDOG’s prospects, the Street is almost split down the middle. 7 Buys and 6 Holds add up to a Moderate Buy consensus rating. However, the company’s on-going share appreciation means the current average price target of $61.50, implies downside of 11%.

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