Zuora (ZUO) cut its guidance for the full year as the software company undertakes a sales reorganization, prompting Morgan Stanley to cut its price target on the stock even after fiscal first-quarter revenue was in line with Wall Street’s expectations and its loss narrowed year on year.
Late Thursday, the company said it sees fiscal 2020 subscription revenue of $200 million to $206 million, down from $209 million to $211.5 million projected in March. Total revenue is now pegged in a range from $268 million to $278 million compared with $289 million to $293.5 million guided earlier.
The loss per share projection was unchanged at $0.44 to $0.40. Zuora’s shares were sinking 30% in early trading on Friday morning.
“Based on what I saw in Q1, we need to improve our sales execution,” said Chief Executive Tien Tzuo, according to a transcript of a call with analysts. The company faced issues integrating its two flagship products, Billing and RevPro, and the delays led to lower professional services and subscription revenue in the first quarter “as well as tempered expectations going forward.”
He said the company’s strategic accounts organization was realigned and newer sales representatives are being moved under more experienced managers. Zuora is also revamping its pipeline process to a more focused approach and the sales leadership is changing with company President Marc Diouane shifting to an advisor role as the company looks for his replacement.
“Although it’s near-term pain, given the potential market opportunity being pursued, we think it’s better to tackle these challenges head on early, rather than addressing them when the company is potentially at much larger scale or performance has slowly deteriorated, driving away even the most fervent investor bulls,” Morgan Stanley equity analysts Stan Zlotsky and Keith Weiss said in a note Friday.
They lowered their price target on Zuora to $16 from $22 previously while maintaining an equal-weight rating.
Also Thursday, Zuora said total revenue rose 22% year-on-year to $64.1 million, in line with the consensus on Capital IQ. The non-GAAP loss per share was $0.11 from $0.29 a year before, while analysts were expecting a loss of $0.13 a share.
“Zuora has been able to reach their current revenue scale through strength of product and secular tailwinds, but as business size increases, predictable execution has to follow,” Zlotsky and Weiss said.
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