Fortinet Stumbles Over Preliminary Q3 Results

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Fortinet Inc. (NASDAQ: FTNT) shares slid in Wednesday’s session after the company released its preliminary third-quarter financial results. Ultimately these numbers did not live expectations, as we can tell by the investor reaction.

Keep in mind that these third-quarter 2016 preliminary results are subject to change based on the completion of the quarter-end review process.

The company expects total billings to be in the range of $343 million to $348 million, compared to its previously announced guidance of $372 million to $376 million.

Fortinet also expects to report total revenue for the third quarter between $311 million and $316 million, compared to previously announced guidance of $319 million to $324 million. Thomson Reuters has consensus estimates calling for $321.82 million in revenue for the quarter.

Earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $0.15 to $0.16, while the previously announced guidance was $0.17 to $0.18. Consensus estimates were calling for $0.18 in EPS.

Ken Xie, founder, board chair and chief executive, commented:

Our third quarter results were primarily impacted by the lengthening of deal cycles as enterprises are becoming more strategic with their purchasing decisions and buying with less urgency than last year. We also encountered sales execution challenges in the North America resulting from the newness of our sales organization, as well as macro issues in Latin America and the U.K. Though we are disappointed with our third quarter performance, we continue to feel good about our competitive-differentiating and market-leading security fabric. We remain confident in the underlying strength of our business and long-term growth opportunity, and committed to delivering returns to our shareholders.

The third quarter results are scheduled to be announced on October 27.

Shares of Fortinet were down about 12% at $30.00 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $40.44 and a 52-week trading range of $23.16 to $44.63.