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Why Okta's Shares Dropped 7.5% on Wednesday

By Travis Hoium - Mar 3, 2021 at 1:45PM

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A tech sell-off has hit Okta hard today.

What happened 

Shares of online identity company Okta (OKTA 6.17%) dropped as much as 7.5% ahead of the company's earnings report. Shares are down 7.3% at 2:20 p.m. EST and are bouncing near the lows of the day. 

So what 

It's a little strange that Okta's shares are down this much ahead of earnings. Growth-oriented tech stocks have taken it on the chin in general today, so that could be part of the move. Sometimes a "whisper number" hits Wall Street, where someone gets word of whether or not a stock will hit earnings estimates ahead of earnings. 

Finger print on a chip representing security.

Image source: Getty Images.

Wall Street analysts are expecting $221.9 million in revenue and a loss of $0.01 per share. And estimates for 2022 are for $1.07 billion in revenue and a penny in earnings, so look for any information about what results will look like, even though many companies haven't given guidance this year. 

Now what 

I wouldn't read too much into today's move because tech stocks are down big and earnings will be out this afternoon. Investors' focus should really be on the company's financial results and in particular revenue growth and earnings trajectory. If Okta can begin reporting a profit it'll be a good sign for the company, especially if the top-line momentum continues. 

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