Tableau Accused of Downplaying Competitive Threats
Purchasers of Tableau Software, Inc. (DATA) filed a securities class action complaint against the company’s officers and directors for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between February 5, 2015 and February 4, 2016. According to the complaint, Tableau officials knew that large technology companies had or would introduce software products that directly competed with Tableau’s products and which were causing Tableau’s customers to cancel pending license orders. Nonetheless, Tableau officials continued to assure investors that competitive threats had not changed, all while dumping hundreds of millions of dollars of their personally-held Tableau common stock. On February 4, 2016, Tableau revealed that it recorded a tax valuation allowance, indicating that the company thought it was unlikely that Tableau would be able to generate future income sufficient to realize its deferred tax assets. Tableau further stated that it expected the company’s 2016 first quarter revenue growth rate to decline approximately 25% on a year-over-year basis, finally signaling to the market the true adverse effect of Tableau’s competitors on the business. Tableau’s stock has yet to recover to its class period high of $114.87.