shares were sinking in premarket trading Thursday after the robotic-process automation software company reported a wider-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter and issued a first-quarter revenue forecast that also was below Wall Street expectations.
UiPath (ticker: PATH) posted a loss of 12 cents a share in the quarter vs. analysts’ expectations that called for a loss of 7 cents. Revenue in the quarter rose 39% from a year earlier to $289.7 million and topped expectations of $283 million. Net new annual recurring revenue rose 72% to $106.9 million.
For the first quarter, UiPath said it expects revenue of between $223 million and $225 million, below analysts’ expectations of $247 million.
The company said its business serves customers in more than 115 countries, including countries across eastern Europe and Russia, and it was “prudent at this time to factor both our European exposure and go-to-market leadership transition into the financial outlook.”
The company named Chris Weber, a former Microsoft executive, as chief business officer. Weber will lead UiPath’s global go-to-market strategy and execution. Chief Revenue Officer Thomas Hansen is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities, UiPath said.
Shares of UiPath declined 18% to $23.76 on Thursday. The stock has fallen almost 45% this year.
Analysts at Oppenheimer noted UiPath’s disappointing guidance, with the issues being “macro and internal sales leadership/execution.” They lowered their price target on the stock to $35 from $56 but maintained their Outperform rating.
RBC Capital Markets analysts, which rate UiPath at Perform, also lowered their price target to $32, down from $37. “Large deal caution due to macro uncertainty and a CRO leadership transition negatively impact the initial FY/23 outlook and likely results in investors taking a more wait-and-see approach around the changes,” RBC said in a research note.
RBC added that longer-term it believes UiPath “remains well-positioned for the sizable opportunity around automation.”
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