Tableau's market value soars past that of competitor QlikTech on first day of trading

Tom Paine

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Photo / Business Wire

Business Intelligence vendor Tableau (I think the preferred term now is data discovery and visualization) closed its opening day of trading (on the NYSE under the symbol "DATA") yesterday at $50.75, up almost 64% from its opening price to the public of $31.00, giving it a market capitalization of about $2.9 billion.

Its Radnor-based competitor, QlikTech, closed yesterday at $30.68, with a market cap of $2.65 billion. QlikTech held its IPO on July 16, 2010.

Seattle-based Tableau had been growing at more than 100% per year and had total revenue of $127.7 million in 2012. It posted a net loss of $3.7 million on revenue of $40 million during this year's first quarter, up 62% from the pior year. QlikTech reported total Q1 2013 revenue of $96.5 million, up 22% from the prior year's first quarter, and a GAAP loss of $16.8 million.

Tableau and QlikTech are by no means apples to apples competitors, though they frequently come up for direct comparison (but QlikTech CEO Lars Björk downplays in presentations how often they compete for the same accounts). Tableau's strength's are seen as data visualization and "rapid fire" ad hoc query capabilities, and being easier for end users who are not data analysts or developers to use. QlikTech is probably better suited to heavier (more structured) data analysis and for the sheer speed of its in-memory processing (although Tableau also uses in-memory technology).

Another distinction between the two is that while QlikTech originated in Sweeden and gradually expanded into other regions of the world and its revenue distribution still reflects its European roots, only 17% of Tableau's 2012 revenue came from outside the US and Canada, according to its S-1.

QlikTech announced earlier this month it had acquired Sweeden-based NComVA, a company it was already partnering with, to enhance its visualization technology.

QlikTech shares have also had a nice spike this month, up 20% and hitting a 52 week high, partially spurred on by the prospects of the Tableau IPO and perhaps a sense among some investors that QLIK was undervalued relative to the value given to Tableau.


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