FireEye Earnings Fall Short of Investor Expectations

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FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) reported its third-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Wednesday. The company had a net loss of $0.37 per share on $165.6 million in revenue. That compared to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of a net loss of $0.45 per share on revenue of $167.13 million. The same period from the previous year had a net loss of $0.51 per share on $114.21 million in revenue.

Current deferred revenue totals $265.9 million, up a record $105.1 million, or 65%, from the end of the third quarter of 2014. At the same time, total deferred revenue equals $454.9 million, an increase of $171.9 million, or 61%.

In terms of guidance, FireEye expects a net loss per share of $0.38 to $0.36 and revenue in the range of $182 million to $190 million for the fourth quarter. There are consensus estimates for a net loss of $0.40 per share on $200.76 million in revenue.

David DeWalt, FireEye CEO and chairman of the board, commented on earnings:

We delivered a solid quarter of overall growth, with revenue up 45 percent and non-GAAP operating margins and earnings per share well ahead of our outlook. The new releases of our MVX engine and our HX endpoint platform last month, together with the partnerships we announced during the quarter, further strengthened our ability to detect, prevent and contain advanced threats.

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Cash flow used in operations of $8.3 million, an improvement of $38.2 million compared to the third quarter of 2014. On the books, cash, equivalents, and short-term investments totaled $1.17 billion in the third quarter compared to $402.2 million at the end of December 2014.

Mike Berry, FireEye senior vice president and CFO, suggested why the company’s performance may not have been up to par this quarter:

While we outperformed on many financial metrics, our billings performance did not meet the expectations we set in late July. The strength evident in our sales to new logo customers, our North American enterprise business and the Asia-Pacific region was partially offset by weakness in Europe. We believe this was due to a combination of macroeconomic factors, as well as the growing pains of a new organization. Additionally, the third quarter of 2014 included a large, five-year transaction that extended the average contract length to 34 months. This created a difficult year-over-year comparison and impacted our year-over-year billings growth rate as the average contract length declined to approximately 30 months in the third quarter of 2015.

Shares of FireEye closed Wednesday up 0.7% at $29.12, with a consensus analyst price target of $47.22 and a 52-week trading range of $26.03 to $55.33. Following the release of the earnings report, shares were down over 11% at $25.83 in the after-hours trading session.

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