FireEye Growth Slows As China Attacks Reportedly Abate, Stock Plunges

By Jeremy C. OwensMarketWatch Pulse

FireEye's growth is slowing, third-quarter results released Wednesday afternoon showed, a result that Chief Executive Dave DeWalt partially credited to a retreat in attacks from China. The security company reported a loss of $135.5 million, or 88 cents a share, on sales of $165.6 million; after adjustments, the company claimed a loss of 37 cents a share. Analysts had expected an adjusted loss of 41 cents a share on sales of $167.1 million, according to a FactSet survey. Future growth is likely to be a big concern after Wednesday's report, however: FireEye came up well short of projections for billings, an important metric for future revenues, with $210.6 million versus guidance of $225 million to $230 million and an average analyst projection of $227.2 million. FireEye also pulled down its revenue guidance for the year, to a range of $620 million to $628 million from $630 million-$645 million. CEO DeWalt told MarketWatch in an interview Wednesday morning that attacks from Chinese groups had begun to slow amid talks between China and the U.S., among other countries, which led to shorter contracts and smaller deals. "We could feel an inflection, we could feel a little bit of change in the threat landscape," FireEye's CEO said. FireEye stock fell 13% in after-hours action following the report's release.

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