A tech stock bubble just like 2000 has burst, longtime tech CEO says

Longtime tech exec Patrick Spence knows a market cycle when he sees it.

And what he sees right now in the form of plunging values for tech stocks is something reminiscent of the tech bubble of 2000, when he was running point as a marketing whiz at Blackberry.

“I do think it feels more to me like 2000 and the dot.com bust, where it quickly went from growth at all costs to [a focus on] those companies that were building real businesses and had profitable growth,” Spence, now CEO of Sonos, said in a new episode of Yahoo Finance Presents (video above).

Fortunately for Sonos, it’s not a money-losing tech platform (see Robinhood, Rivian, etc.) that is having its future questioned by investors.

The company said this week it saw its fiscal second-quarter sales rise 20.1% on the back of demand for its latest smart speakers. Adjusted operating profits were relatively unchanged year over year at $46.9 million.

Sonos did slightly lower its full-year adjusted operating profit outlook to between $290-$310 million, citing inflation and ongoing component shortages. Previously, Sonos expected profits of between $290-$325 million.

Sonos stock rose 14% on Thursday following the results.

The CEO stressed the role of software in the company’s success.

“It’s core to who we are,” Spence said. “I always tell people we are the story of ‘software eats audio,'” referencing the 2011 op-ed from Marc Andreessen titled “Why Software is Eating the World.”

He also acknowledged the recession concerns roiling the stock market, but said there are no signs his customer base is refusing to spend.

“When it comes to our consumer, every everything we see right now, and based on the results you just saw, our consumer remains strong,” he added.

NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, Expedition 34 commander, watches a water bubble float freely between him and the camera on the International Space Station in this NASA handout photo released January 30, 2013. REUTERS/NASA/Handout

Wall Street appears to agree with that assessment.

“We are impressed by the beat in Q2, and even more encouraged to see Sonos reiterate FY22 and FY24 revenue guidance despite fears of a slowdown in the macro environment,” Jefferies Tech Analyst Brent Thill wrote in a note to clients. “We remind investors that Sonos is trading near trough discount levels vs the S&P500. We believe the valuation disconnect will allow investors to be rewarded over time if SONO is able to execute against targets.”

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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