Should Investors Hold Slack Shares Until the Salesforce Acquisition Closes?


It’s been four months since (NYSE:CRM) announced that it’s acquiring Slack (NYSE:WORK), but the transaction hasn’t been completed yet. Should shareholders of the messaging platform, continue to hold, or does it make more sense to sell and move on? As with many things in investing, it depends. On a Fool Live episode recorded on March 17, Fool contributors Brian Stoffel and Brian Withers discuss what investors should be considering to make their decision.

Brian Withers: Let me jump into Slack. Slack’s a pretty popular rec [recomendation]. I imagine not as many people own it anymore. But I don’t know that everybody goes back and un-favorites stocks that they don’t [laughs] own anymore. But there’s really not a lot going on with Slack, but I did want to give viewers a quick little insight.

Earnings was pretty decent, revenue was $903 million for full-year 2020, so they’re approaching a $1 billion run rate business, it’s up 43%, Q4 was up 38%, so pretty strong. Billings are up 41% showing me that customers are still signing up for Slack even though everybody knows that Salesforce is going to buy them, that isn’t slowing growth at all. Had a GAAP loss of 29%, but a positive cash flow from operations, including [that] it spent $8.7 million in the quarter from a transaction expense related to the acquisition.

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I think the question everybody is asking is, should I hold my stock? I am going to put this in the chat. The acquisition closing price will be $26.79 plus 0.0776 times the Salesforce stock price. I did the math on this yesterday. The current buyout price is 43 bucks and Slack was trading around 40 bucks. If you wait around, you will get another three bucks, if you want to put your money to work and you have long-term capital gains, that’s another way to play it as well. But the only thing I would caution is if you have short-term capital gains and you’re close to that one-year mark, I might wait a little bit of time for that to flip over, but we’re not tax advisors here.

Brian Stoffel: Brian, just about Slack, in general, do you own the stock first?

Withers: I did, I sold after the acquisition [was announced].

Stoffel: Was that because its stock itself couldn’t go anywhere, did it have to do with your feelings about Salesforce? Because really at this point we’re asking people, how do you feel about Salesforce, correct?

Withers: Well, it’s not even really a Salesforce question because you’re only getting, for every one share of Slack stock, [laughs] you’re getting 7% of a share of Salesforce. You have to have a lot of shares to make it worthwhile. If you had 100 bucks of Slack, you’d only get $7 worth of Salesforce stock. I don’t know that that’s worth hanging around for. If you want to buy Salesforce, just go ahead and buy them.

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But, yeah, for me, there was a cap on where that stock could grow, and when the new stock year came around, and my tax situation went to fiscal 2021, I sold and reinvested in another player that has more long-term growth.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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