Jun 13, 2023

Alt Data Alerts – May 2023

What if you could monitor large datasets for anomalies and inflections to uncover actionable, investable insights within alternative data?

Exabel Alerts allows you to monitor your data regularly for anomalies and inflection points, helping you to stay on top of the large and ever-growing volumes of alternative data delivered both on vendor dashboards and directly to your inbox.

As part of our new, monthly feature – our research team of fundamental and quantitative researchers have selected the most interesting alerts from our partners’ alternative datasets within the past month.

Take a look at our researchers’ selections, below:

Top Alerts this month

Vericel Medical equipment sales – Medical purchase order data from MedMine

Vericel’s stock price has gone up by 40% in the last 6 months. If we look at the sales trend from Medmine’s data for the last year, we find that Vericel has had incredible sales growth since June 2022 which has shown in the company’s earnings reports with revenue growths of 11.7%, 10.7% and 13.7% for Q3 2022, Q4 2022 and Q1 2023 respectively.

Monthly sales absolute and YoY numbers for Vericel 

Recently, MedMine’s April equipment sales data for Vericel triggered an outlier alert, indicating that the tracked monthly sales figures were abnormally strong, even after adjusting for seasonality. Going by the strong outlying trends, the company is on track to post a strong sales number for Q2 2023 as well, and keep riding the bull wave.  

Drop in Salesforce’s job listings – Job market data from LinkUp

Salesforce (CRM US) has been tightening up their expenses for a few quarters now. In the face of grim macroeconomic conditions, tech companies have been at the forefront of cost-cutting measures, often in the form of widespread layoffs.

LinkUp’s active listings and job duration data has proven to be an effective leading indicator for layoffs. The typical pattern is for active listings to drop sharply, with a concurrent surge in active duration, weeks ahead of a layoff.

Salesforce has already undergone multiple episodes of layoffs after it announced a slowdown in its revenue last August, each time preceded by a sharp drop in LinkUp active listings for the company. In the past weeks, another sharp drop in active listings triggered an alert on the Exabel platform, with listings falling from thousands a week ago, into single digits. This period also saw a rise in its active listing duration from 32 days to 53 days (~66%).

The Exabel platform allows users to set up alerts to track such inflections well in advance. The LinkUp Insights Platform has an alert set up on the Z-score of active listings. This recently has dropped below -3 (yellow dashed line) based on the last 13 weeks data (-3.85 as of May 28, 2023) as shown in the chart above. The figure below shows the configuration and the output of the alert on the LinkUp Insights Platform.

This is a trend we’ve observed before and in such cases, a layoff announcement followed a few weeks later. Given the recent developments and commentary from Salesforce executives, it is worth keeping an eye on the active listings of Salesforce. A related Exabel research piece on Salesforce can be found here.

Rise in job listings at SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. – Job market data from LinkUp

Exabel’s alerts picked up a positive change in active job listings for SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. in this grim environment where we are receiving frequent news on layoffs. Yahoo finance calls it as a stock cashing in on AI hype and riding the Green energy boom. SolarEdge also got a boost from Deutsche Bank analyst Corinne Blanchard, who increased her price target from $305 to $375 and upgraded the stock from a “hold” to a “buy” rating.

Analyzing LinkUp’s job listings data by occupation suggests that this hiring is focused on the Architecture & Engineering, Computer & Mathematical, and Management occupations.

The trends changed for the company almost 6 months ago and we see it as a clear outlier amongst its peers. We can see an increase in hiring intent by Canadian Solar, Inc., just not to the same extent. SolarEdge’s stock price hasn’t yet reflected the positive fundamental growth observed  in the company, suggesting a positive outlook for the near future. You can find more details supporting our analysis here.

Uber (Uber Eats Downturn) – Debit card transaction data from 90 West Data

Uber Eats competes against DoorDash and Grubhub (owned by Just Eat Takeaway) in the US food delivery sector. As Uber’s management is increasingly focusing towards increasing its profitability, Uber Eats’ average ticket has slowly been inching higher and has increased by more than 20% since Q3 of last year. As a result of these steady increases Uber Eats’ average ticket is now at a very comparable level to that of DoorDash , thus intensifying the competition between the two even more. 

Although, for the majority of the first quarter, UberEats was able to maintain a decent year-over-year growth in sales despite the increasing ticket prices, this trend has reversed dramatically as of late. The effect of that can be seen in a sharp drop in its customers, as highlighted by the 90 West alert on the Exabel platform. 

We can see that starting from the second half of March onwards, the sales for Uber Eats, have been declining constantly. Upon digging further, and looking at the transaction insights it becomes clear that this downtrend is a result of both lower transaction frequency among existing customer base and a lower number of total customers despite some strength coming from the increased average ticket. 

As we keep monitoring this trend , going into Q2 we will be able to better understand whether this trend is just a short term result of the reaction towards increased prices, or is symptomatic of long term headwinds against increasing prices on the Uber Eats app, or if it is just a byproduct of reduced sector demand due to improving weather conditions.  

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Exabel is a financial technology company based in Oslo, London, and New York.

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