UiPath Stock Tumbles 15% on Dramatic Growth Slowdown, Guidance Embeds 'Significant Conservatism' Says Analyst

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UiPath Stock Tumbles 15% on Dramatic Growth Slowdown, Guidance Embeds 'Significant Conservatism' Says Analyst
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Shares of Uipath (NYSE: PATH ) are down nearly 15% in premarket trading Thursday after the company released a weaker-than-expected Q1 revenue forecast.

The software maker reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 5c, well above the analyst consensus of 2.6c per share. Total revenue in the quarter came in at $289.7 million.

For the first quarter, UiPath expects revenue in the range of $223 million to $225 million, missing the consensus estimates of $246.4 million. The company expects Q1 adjusted operating loss in the range of $25 million to $30 million.

"We have built a global business that serves customers in more than 115 countries, including countries across eastern Europe and Russia," said the company's CEO Daniel Dines.

Looking ahead, we feel confident in our market-leading position in automation and prospects for future growth at scale but believe it is prudent at this time to factor both our European exposure and go-to-market leadership transition into the financial outlook we are providing this afternoon.

Credit Suisse analyst Phil Winslow believes PATH's guidance reflects significant conservatism. The analyst slashed the price target to $57.50 from the prior $75.00.

To further frame the conservatism in terms of new vs. expansion business, FY2023 ARR guidance excluding headwinds would imply $0 ARR contribution from new customers and DBNRR declining from 145% to ~134% "despite maintaining a best-in-class range vs. 153% exiting FY2020. We reiterate our thesis that the market opportunity in terms of global automatable wages is both sizable and largely untapped, we believe that UiPath, with the only purpose-built, end-to-end hyperautomation platform, is leading the paradigm shift toward the fully-automated enterprise," Winslow said in a client note.

Cowen analyst Bryan Bergin sees many moving parts in the PATH story after EPS.

PATH posted a broadly solid 4Q beating Street, but FY23 outlook disappoints. "While we understand this is not a story that needed added complexity, the sharp initial stock reaction (-14% AH) is overdone, in our view, when taking into account a host of uncontrollable impacts (Russia/FX) and an otherwise broadly positive pipeline and competitive positioning views," Bergin said in a memo to clients.

By Senad Karaahmetovic

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