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Why Fastly Stock Plunged Today

By Joe Tenebruso – Aug 6, 2020 at 6:15PM

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Investors' expectations were just too high.

What happened

Shares of Fastly (FSLY 0.56%) fell 17.7% on Thursday following the edge cloud computing platform's second-quarter earnings results. 

So what

Fastly's revenue surged 62% year over year to $75 million, fueled by new customer additions and higher sales to existing clients. That was above Wall Street's expectations for revenue of $71.4 million. 

A digital stock chart that rises sharply before falling.

Fastly's stock sold off sharply on Thursday despite the company's solid Q2 growth metrics. Image source: Getty Images.

Better still, Fastly's profitability metrics are improving as it expands its business. It generated adjusted operating income of $2 million, compared to a loss of $9 million in the second quarter of 2019. Its adjusted earnings per share, meanwhile, came in at $0.02, compared to a loss of $0.16 in the prior-year period. That, too, was better than the $0.01 loss analysts had expected. 

These strong results prompted Fastly to boost its 2020 full-year outlook. Management's new guidance includes revenue of $290 million to $300 million, up from $280 million to $290 million.

Now what 

In summary, Fastly delivered revenue and adjusted profits that were higher than analysts forecasted and raised its guidance for the year ahead -- yet the stock still sold off by nearly 18%. After Fastly's incredible run in 2020, during which its share price soared 442% prior to today , it appears that many investors simply set the bar too high.

Fastly's long-term prospects remain strong. As a leading content delivery network, Fastly stands to benefit from the growth of some of the most popular websites in the world, including the rapidly expanding e-commerce platform Shopify. Referring to Fastly's impressive list of online retail customers, CEO Joshua Bixby told Barron's, "As they rise, we rise."

Should Fastly's shares continue to pull back in the coming days, long-term investors may wish to view the sell-off as an opportunity to buy the stock at a significant discount to its recent highs.

 

Joe Tenebruso has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Fastly. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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