What happened

Shares of Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY) fell 11.3% on Wednesday after at least three analysts reiterated their ratings, but also lowered their per-share price targets for the human capital management (HCM) platform company following its Analyst Day presentation.

So what

Workday HCM software running on multiple devices including a laptop, tablet, and smartphones.

Image source: Workday.

RBC Capital's Alex Zukin kept his outperform rating but lowered his per-share price target by $13 to $212. Zukin argued that Workday continues to enjoy steady growth, but is also seeing slowing penetration with large clients and lengthening sales cycles.

Next, Stifel analyst Brad Reback reaffirmed his hold rating on the stock, but reduced his price target by $30 to $180. To justify his relative bearishness, Reback similarly expressed worries in part that HCM segment sales growth is slowing as Workday grows from a larger base.

Finally, Deutsche Bank's Karl Keirstead echoed the sentiment for slowing HCM growth, adding that some new deals could be delayed given today's uncertain macroeconomic environment. Keirstead also took issue with Workday management's "noncommittal" approach to achieving improved margins next fiscal year.

Now what

It should come as little surprise that Workday's growth might slow with larger clients, considering it already counted more than 40% of the Fortune 500 as customers as of last quarter. And we should know more about whether these notes of caution are merited when it releases its fiscal third-quarter results late next month. In the meantime, today's drop effectively erased all of Workday's year-to-date gains despite the fact that its underlying business appears to be largely sustaining its positive momentum. And that could mean a buying opportunity for patient, long-term investors.

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.