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These 2 Tech Stocks Are Plunging in Wednesday's Premarket

The Motley Fool logo The Motley Fool 11/24/2021 Dan Caplinger
These 2 Tech Stocks Are Plunging in Wednesday's Premarket © Provided by The Motley Fool These 2 Tech Stocks Are Plunging in Wednesday's Premarket

The stock market has seen some volatility pop back up after a strong rally throughout much of October and early November, and after moving to record levels, market benchmarks have started to pull back. That trend continued in premarket trading on Wednesday morning. At 8:30 a.m. ET, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) were down 135 points to 35,631, while S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) futures lost 14 points to 4,675 and Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) futures dropped 60 points to 16,252.

High-growth tech stocks have taken a lot of damage over the past couple of weeks, and investors have been responding to earnings releases with a lot of nervousness about whether past rates of growth will continue. On Wednesday morning, two more tech stocks fell sharply following their latest financial reports. Below, we'll look more closely at why Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) and Anaplan (NYSE: PLAN) are falling hard and what their futures might hold.

Will Autodesk's growth slow?

Shares of Autodesk were down more than 13% in premarket trading following the computer-aided design (CAD) software giant's third-quarter financial report. Although Autodesk sustained ongoing growth, investors seemed unimpressed with its guidance for its immediate future.

Person doing design work on a laptop computer in a bright office. © Getty Images Person doing design work on a laptop computer in a bright office.

Autodesk's numbers looked solid on their face. Revenue grew 18% to $1.13 billion, and remaining performance obligations under current contracts jumped an even higher 21% to $2.88 billion. Autodesk cited strength both in new subscriptions and in renewal rates among existing clients for the top-line gains. Net revenue retention rates remained between 100% and 110%, and adjusted earnings of $1.33 per share were up nearly 30% year over year.

Geographically, Autodesk got consistent performance worldwide, with emerging economies slightly outpacing larger core markets. Autodesk's architecture, engineering, and construction segment outpaced growth in AutoCAD and other segments, but all of Autodesk's businesses grew at double-digit percentage growth rates.

What seemed to trip up investors was Autodesk's fourth-quarter guidance, which called for revenue of $1.185 billion to $1.2 billion and adjusted earnings of $1.41 to $1.47 per share. That would put full-year revenue growth at around 15%. Moreover, if Autodesk isn't able to keep its billings moving higher at a fast enough pace, then investors are concerned that revenue and profit growth will eventually slow as well.


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A taxing quarter for Anaplan

Elsewhere, cloud-based business performance software platform provider Anaplan saw its stock plummet more than 20% in premarket trading. The company's third-quarter financial results showed further losses amid steady growth in sales.

Anaplan's numbers told a similar story to what we've seen from many companies in the cloud computing space. Total revenue jumped 35% year over year to $155.3 million, with subscription-based revenue climbing at a slightly slower 33% annual pace. An adjusted loss of $0.05 per share was flat compared to year-ago levels.

Yet even though Anaplan boosted its revenue guidance for the full year, investors seemed more worried about disappearing sequential growth. The company now believes it will see sales come in between $583.5 million and $584.5 million, up from its previous range of $571.5 million to $573.5 million. However, total revenue projections for the fourth quarter of $154 million to $155 million would actually be down slightly from third-quarter levels.

The stock's decline is sending Anaplan to its worst levels since early 2020 despite its top-line growth. Combined with the reaction to Autodesk's report, investors are showing that they're not as comfortable taking on faith the idea that rising sales by themselves will ultimately lead to financial success for all tech companies. That's a trend that could last for a while.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Anaplan Inc and Autodesk. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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