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Why FireEye Stock Plunged Today

By Steve Symington - Jan 20, 2016 at 12:11PM

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The cyber-security specialist dropped after reporting a disappointing quarter. Here's what investors need to know.

What: Shares of FireEye (MNDT -0.02%) were down 10% as of 11:00 a.m. Wednesday after Wunderlich analyst Rob Breza maintained his buy rating on the cyber-security company, but reduced his per-share price target from $32 to $21.

So what: Given FireEye's 70%+ decline from its 52-week high last June -- most recently including investors' violent negative reaction to mixed third-quarter results in November -- FireEye'sBreza's new target still represents a 50% premium to today's price.

To justify his tempered bullish stance today, Breza notes that, while channel checks with partners and resellers indicate FireEye could turn in better-than-expected revenue and earnings in the fourth quarter, he fears that last year's significant investments made in cybersecurity by large enterprise customers may lead to slower growth for FireEye from both incident response and product revenues. As a result, Breza believes FireEye may disappoint investors by issuing conservative guidance going into the new year.

Now what: FireEye won't officially release fourth-quarter results for another three weeks, so until then, investors will need to hurry up and wait. For perspective in the meantime, FireEye's guidance calls for fourth-quarter revenue in the range of $182 million to $190 million, billings of $240 million to $260 million, and a net loss per share of $0.36 to $0.38. 

Analysts are hoping for roughly the same, with consensus estimates modeling revenue of $186.9 million, and a net loss of $0.37 per share. For next fiscal year, consensus estimates call for FireEye's revenue to grow 30.7% year over year, to $816.5 million, which should translate to a net loss of $1.26 per share.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends FireEye. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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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