What: Shares of software-as-a-service technologist New Relic (NYSE:NEWR) were down a whopping 23.8% at 2:50 p.m. EST on Friday after its account growth disappointed analysts.
So what: New Relic's Q3 results -- a loss of $0.22 per share on a revenue spike of 64% -- managed to top Wall Street forecasts. While its Q4 guidance met expectations, disappointing growth in "paid business accounts" is forcing analysts to quickly recalibrate their expectations. In fact, paid business accounts rose by 286, quarter over quarter in Q3 versus the 400 pop New Relic saw in Q2. This suggests that the company might be facing some growth-dampening competitive headwinds going forward.
Now what: Management now sees a current-quarter loss of $0.25 to $0.23 per share on revenue of $49.8 million to $50.8 million versus the consensus of a per-share loss of $0.24 and revenue of $48.9 million. "We are continuing to drive momentum for the New Relic Software Analytics Cloud as companies of all sizes -- from start-ups to Fortune 10 enterprises -- entrust their digital future to New Relic," said Founder and CEO Lew Cirne. "Whether you're a developer, an IT operations professional or an executive, we see New Relic rapidly becoming the first, best place to look when you need to understand what's happening in your digital business." Given New Relic's still-speculative nature and highly volatile stock price, however, I'd hold out for a much wider margin of safety before betting too heavily on it.