The stock market went into the weekend with unbridled enthusiasm, as major market benchmarks reached unprecedented heights yet again. For now, investors are riding the wave of optimism about the sustainability of the bull market higher, but not every stock managed to gain ground on Friday. Among the biggest losers were Splunk (NASDAQ: SPLK ) , Infoblox (NYSE: BLOX ) , and Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF ) .
Splunk dropped 16%, as even solid growth from the maker of enterprise data analytics software failed to satisfy the high demands of shareholders. Revenue jumped 50% from year-ago levels, with a narrower loss than investors had expected from Splunk. Yet even though Splunk also gave guidance that was roughly in line with what analysts had already predicted, investors reacted negatively to the perceived slowdown in Splunk's growth trajectory and its failure to become profitable as quickly as they had hoped. With investors uncertain about how long the big-data opportunity will last, Splunk needs to move faster in order to satisfy skeptics that it can take advantage of the popular trend in tech.
Infoblox plunged 37% as the maker of network equipment suffered two major setbacks. First, the company's earnings report left much to be desired, with revenue rising just 5% from the year-ago quarter and adjusted earnings falling by more than 25%. Moreover, Infoblox's guidance for the current quarter and for the full 2014 fiscal year came in weaker than investors had expected to see. Perhaps even more troubling, though, is the fact that CEO Robert Thomas will leave Infoblox once the company finds a successor. Given the competitive pressures facing the networking industry right now, Infoblox will have a tough time finding a replacement to lead the company forward and generate the growth that shareholders expect.
Lions Gate Entertainment fell almost 12% after the movie and television production company reported an 8% drop in revenue for the quarter. Earnings also fell short of what investors had expected to see, and even news that the company will move forward with a traveling tour and theme park related to its blockbuster Hunger Games franchise wasn't enough to send shares higher. The bigger question for Lions Gate is whether the third and fourth Hunger Games movies, as well as future releases based on its Divergent franchise, will live up to the high expectations investors have. If they do, then the odds will definitely be ever in Lions Gate's favor.
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