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Why Nimble Storage Inc. Stock Plunged Today

By Steve Symington – Nov 23, 2016 at 1:15PM

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Shares of the flash storage technology company fell after a decent quarter was overshadowed by unimpressive guidance.

Image source: Nimble Storage Inc.

What happened

Shares of Nimble Storage Inc. (NYSE: NMBL) were down 13.2% as of 12:15 p.m. EST Wednesday after the flash storage technology specialist released solid fiscal third-quarter 2017 results, but followed them with underwhelming forward guidance.

So what

Quarterly revenue climbed 26% year over year, to $102 million, as Nimble Storage's customer base grew 38% year over year, to more than 9,450 customers worldwide. Bookings were particularly strong from large enterprise customers and cloud service providers, growing 53% and 65%, respectively. That translated to an adjusted net loss of $15.7 million, or $0.18 per share, compared to a net loss of $11 million, or $0.14 per share in the same year-ago period.

For perspective, both the top and bottom lines were in line with Nimble Storage's guidance, which called for revenue of $100 million to $103 million, and an adjusted net loss per share of $0.17 to $0.19.

Now what

For the current quarter, however, Nimble Storage anticipates revenue of $112 million to $115 million, which should result in an adjusted net loss per share of $0.13 to $0.15. By contrast, analysts' consensus estimates predicted the company would incur a narrower $0.12-per-share adjusted net loss on roughly the same revenue at $113.1 million.

Nonetheless, Nimble Storage CFO Anup Singh stated, "We continue to execute well against our financial and operational plan. [...] As we look ahead, our priority is to drive revenue growth while delivering improvements in operating leverage."

That's fair enough. And I'm not convinced that Nimble Storage's light bottom-line outlook was as bad as today's steep share-price decline seems to indicate. But at the same time, nothing about this report was particularly inspiring for growth-hungry investors, and I can't blame the market for taking a step back today.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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