Asana Stock Is Overvalued, Bernstein Analyst Says

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The market Asana serves is “somewhat commoditized,” according to Bernstein analyst Zach Chrane.


Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

If you were thinking of buying shares of

Asana,

the project-management software company that just came public via a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, you might want to think again.

Bernstein analyst Zach Chrane picked up coverage of Asana (ticker: ASAN) late Thursday with an Underperform rating and $19 target price. The company opened for trading last week at $27, after the NYSE set a reference price” on the stock of $21. Near midday on Friday, the stock was off about 1% to $26.27.

Chrane’s assessment is that there’s nothing all that special about Asana’s software. The company declined to comment on the report.

“Asana provides a project management SaaS [software as a service] solution for relatively basic functions, in a market that is somewhat commoditized, in which we view Asana as a second-tier vendor,” Chrane wrote in a research note. “Competing products have similar core functionalities and pricing. Vendors in this field tend to frame their future growth as driven by market growth, rather than being driven by genuine differentiation. Asana has a solid product and a talented, visionary management team, but its solution does not stand out among peers.”

The company’s founder and CEO is Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook (FB).

A Bernstein survey found that the best-known player in the project- management software market by far is Microsoft Project, followed by

SmartSheet

and Trello, which was acquired in 2017 by

Atlassian.

(Barron’s uses Trello as part of its daily editorial work flow.)

Chrane says Asana’s product “appears easily replicable, technologically,” and he adds that the company faces “increasing competition from other pure-play vendors and mega-scale players.” He contends that the company’s self-described differentiation

RCMP tech analyst testifies about material found on Fredericton shooting suspect’s computer

FREDERICTON – A senior forensic analyst with the RCMP has begun testifying at the first-degree murder trial of Matthew Raymond in Fredericton.

Raymond, 50, is accused in the August 2018 shooting deaths of Donnie Robichaud, Bobbie Lee Wright and police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns.

Read more:
Pathologist tells Fredericton murder trial four victims died of gunshot wounds

Cpl. Aaron Gallagher told jurors Monday he seized a computer with four hard drives as well as a GoPro camera from Raymond’s apartment in the days following the shootings.

Gallagher says the hard drives contained hundreds of thousands of images including adult pornography and material from conspiracy websites.


Click to play video 'Officers detail chaotic scene at Raymond’s apartment in trial'



Officers detail chaotic scene at Raymond’s apartment in trial


Officers detail chaotic scene at Raymond’s apartment in trial

He says said most of the videos were of biking and the outdoors, but says that in at least one of the videos, Raymond appears to be complaining about noise around his apartment complex.

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The officer is the 35th witness called by the Crown.




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Snap Gets Upgrade, Other Internet Stocks Boosted By Analyst Comparing Them To Software Firms

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© AP Photo/Richard Drew


Guggenheim Securities analyst Michael Morris has boosted his 12-month price targets for six internet companies he covers, upgraded Snap Inc. and initiated coverage of Pinterest with a buy rating.

In a report summarizing the sweeping adjustments Monday, Morris cited an effort to shift analysis of the companies to bring it more in line with that of software companies, a group led by Microsoft.

Snapchat parent Snap Inc. earned an upgrade from “neutral” to “buy,” with its price target rising to $28 from $22. Pinterest starts off as a “buy,” with a price target of $48. Facebook, Google parent Alphabet, Roku, Netflix, Spotify and Twitter all saw their targets upped.

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The revised target prices represent a premium of 9% to 30% over current valuations. Shares in Roku, rated “neutral” by Morris, are projected to be at $173 in 12 months, which would be a 5% drop from today’s levels.

The revised targets were developed after comparing them to the median for a 35-stock software company group, Morris said.

“We are revising our valuation framework for our digital media coverage universe to better reflect


comparability with peer companies in the software industry,” Morris wrote in the report. “We believe that there are greater core similarities between internet and software companies than implied in current valuations and expect investors will continue to evolve their view to reflect this, driving incremental appreciation for internet shares.”

Mega-cap firms Alphabet and Facebook are directly matched with Microsoft, which Morris sees as “most similar in terms of size, business diversity, research and development investment and potential investor base.”

Elaborating on his reasoning, Morris observed that “at the core, ‘internet’ companies are software development and distribution companies