Shares of so-called Cloud Kings lost more luster than the broader technology index Thursday amid investors' concerns that cloud-based tech companies, specifically those that rely on subscription-based revenue, will suffer in a broader economic downturn.
In addition to fears of slowing economic growth, market watchers pointed to a combination of factors behind the selloff, including steep valuations and increased regulatory concerns.
Shares of the so-called Cloud Kings, coined by TheStreet.com's Jim Cramer, all posted fairly sharp declines Thursday. Cloud King stocks include Adobe Inc. (ADBE) - Get Report , Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM) - Get Report , ServiceNow Inc. (NOW) - Get Report , Red Hat Inc. (RHT) - Get Report , VMware Inc. (VMW) - Get Report , Splunk Inc. (SPLK) - Get Report and Workday Inc. (WDAY) - Get Report . Twilio Inc. (TWLO) - Get Report is also considered part of the royal family.
Adobe, Salesforce and VMWare shares were each down more than 2%, while Workday, ServiceNow and Splunk were down closer to 4% and Twilio was down more than 5%. Red Hat and Workday shares were each down less than 1%.
By contrast, the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped about 1.6% on the day after falling as much as 3%, though the bellwether index has officially entered bear market territory having now dropped about 20% from its August record.
Zev Fima, research analyst for Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS, pointed out that Twilio is already known as a "high-flying tech name," and that even with the latest downdraft, still trades at roughly 47 times forward earnings, "so we always knew it could be volatile," he said.
"While this market is certainly testing our conviction, we are long-term investors; we seek out companies with solid fundamentals that play to strong, secular trends, and in our view, there is no trend stronger or more secular than the cloud and digitization," he said.
Indeed, some of the other "Cloud Kings," including Salesforce, are far more than simply data storage and collection companies, noted Fima. "The platform allows companies to make sense of the data they've collected by translating into actionable information that can improve the bottom line.
"While global growth may be slowing, Salesforce's business isn't, and we have full confidence in management's ability to reach their full-year 2022 target of $21 billion to $23 billion in revenue."