Blue Coat Systems Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

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What: Shares of Blue Coat Systems (Nasdaq: BCSI  ) are taking a shellacking again, having fallen by as much as 12% in intraday trading three months after losing 8% on the heels of reporting unimpressive third-quarter earnings.

So what: Lower guidance and executive departures were the culprits this time. Management reduced its expectations for Q4 revenue to a range of $120.5 million to $121.5 million, down from $121 to $128 million. Non-GAAP profit is due to come in between $0.30 and $0.31 a share, down from $0.32 to $0.38 a share. Brian NeSmith, who had been CEO before assuming the role of products chief, and David de Simone, senior VP of products and technology, will leave the company at the end of next month.

Now what: Blue Coat positioned the departures and lower outlook as the result of a sort of strategic review that resulted in the creation of three distinct product groups: Web Security, WAN Optimization, and Cloud Services. Maybe this is what Blue Coat needs, but seeing key rivals in core markets post outstanding earnings -- Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD  ) in WAN Optimization and F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV  ) in Web Security, for example -- tells me my investing dollars are better placed elsewhere.

Interested in more info on Blue Coat Systems? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. Riverbed Technology is a Rule Breakers recommendation. You can try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out his portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is at least 10% better than other disclosure policies.

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