Know what you own. Be ready for a buying opportunity.
Overused terms? Too simplistic? Too textbook and unemotional?
I don't know. If you consider the period from Feb. 2 to Feb. 8, it isn't.
And don't I know it. On Feb. 2, we started our week in San Francisco -- something we are going to make a regular enterprise -- and I marvel at what occurred.
That week we interviewed Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe (ADBE), Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com (CRM) and Aneel Bhusri the CEO of Workday (WDAY). If you listened to the interviews, even though the companies were not able to reveal numbers, you heard stories of acceleration in revenues, rapid adoption of products, robust total addressable markets and war stories of conquest.
Benioff was his usual boisterous self. He had just won over some major customers to his cloud-based platform, including Accenture, with deals so big that my eyes popped out. These deals allowed companies to move from hidebound desktop, big iron server operations to palm-of-hand power, with cloud data at your fingertips.
Bushri talked about some wins, particularly against Oracle (ORCL) -- more on that in a moment -- that spanned from their core of human capital management to the financial vertical.
But few were as bullish as Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe, who was talking about an acceleration in revenue from cloud subscription products designed to address marketing and creativity that I was blown away by. My team had done a deep download of all of the new Adobe products that was a quarter old, and it was clear from Shantanu that things has rapidly advanced since then. With rising average revenue per unit and adoption and migration toward the cloud, Adobe might have had the most momentum of all.
He talked about getting to more than 50 trillion pieces of customer data using his products. That movies were being made in abundance on his creative cloud. That the document cloud had become the standard for pretty much all who even saw it. That the company was at the heart of the digital transformation, and that the growth in the market for many of his products would be more than 30%.
You could see why his stock had gone from $72 to $89 over the last year.
Then Tableau Software (DATA) and LinkedIn (LNKD) struck, the two cloud companies that were most analogous to the three companies I spoke to. Or at least I heard they were.
Four days after I spoke to Shantanu, his stock had given up all of its gains for the year. Not as bad as Tableau, which went from $81 to $41 in one session -- the same session in which LinkedIn went from $193 to $108.
But it was breathtaking, as was the $67 to $53 that Salesforce and $64 to $48 that Workday went to over the same period.
Salesforce reported a couple of weeks ago and Benioff delivered a stunning quarter, which showed genuine acceleration and client adoption. Workday's business accelerated, and there were a number of blue chip client wins.
But Adobe's last night was the most stunning of all and I don't think it is over, not with the March 22 Adobe Summit, where I expect these numbers will be fleshed out. It has new products too, like the one creative cloud product that is growing at 44%, has 798,000 new clients during the quarter, the one that 175 directors used to make movies that were shown at the Sundance Festival this year.
Perhaps the 23 million apps created since the product began not long ago will have grown by another couple hundred thousand by then. It's entirely possible.
So, we look back and think about the original precepts: know what you own and be waiting for a buying opportunity. If you knew what you owned with these three companies, even if you listened to the eight-minute interviews, you would have understood that the similarities between Tableau Software and LinkedIn and these three companies were nil. At least LinkedIn was in the cloud. I have no explanation for the pin action of analytics company Tableau Software.
Yep, you got your chance, a buying opportunity which, as you see Adobe shoot to its all time high, 23 points above the four days after I interviewed Shantanu, serves as a reminder about the power of homework and the power of price.
If you do, the opportunities are in abundance; you just need to be ready with knowledge of what they really do, and wait for them.