Why Five9 Stock Dropped 15% in September

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What happened

Shares of Five9 (NASDAQ: FIVN) fell 15% in September, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, reflecting broader volatility in cloud-computing stocks, and as multiple analysts weighed in with mixed views of the cloud-based contact center specialist.

On the former, note that most of Five9’s drop occurred early last month (starting Monday, Sept. 9) as a handful of other cloud-computing names plunged on high trading volumes despite a lack of company-specific news. My fellow Motley Fool Anders Bylund explored that curious bout of volatility here.

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So what

Meanwhile, Wall Street analysts were chiming in with their own disparate opinions on Five9. On Sept. 4, Rosenblatt Securities initiated coverage on the stock with a neutral rating and a $73 price target — a reasonable premium from its price of $62 per share at the time.

Then on Sept. 19, Morgan Stanley analyst Meta Marshall lowered his rating on Five9 stock to equal weight from overweight (essentially like moving to neutral from buy), assigning a price target of $58 in the process. Keeping in mind Five9 stock was already up nearly 50% year to date leading into this call, Marshall argued that “its valuation now more appropriately reflects its growth-adjusted premium.”

Finally, on Sept. 26 — following Five9’s steep drop early in the month — Guggenheim’s Nandan Amladi initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating and $70 price target, arguing its narrow focus on cloud-based call centers lends itself well to efficient research and development spending to sustain its industry leadership.

Now what

In any case, investors should receive more clarity on whether these various analyst calls were on target when Five9 announces third-quarter 2019 results early next month. Meanwhile, barring some material news over the next few weeks, don’t be surprised if this high-flying tech stock endures more wide swings given today’s uncertain macro environment and broader market volatility.

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Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Five9. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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