Why Fortinet Shares Cratered Today

By Evan Niu, CFAMarketsFool.com

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What happened

Shares of cybersecurity specialist Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) have slumped today, down 12% as of 11:20 a.m. EDT, after the company announced preliminary third-quarter results that fell short of expectations.

So what

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The company said total billings are expected in the range of $343 million to $348 million, which is lower than the previously expected range of $372 million to $376 million. Revenue in the third quarter should be $311 million to $316 million, with adjusted earnings per share of $0.15 to $0.16. Prior outlook called for $0.17 to $0.18 per share in adjusted profit.

Analysts were expecting $322.4 million in sales and $0.18 per share in adjusted profit.

Now what

CEO Ken Xie blamed "lengthening of deal cycles" in the enterprise, as customers are taking longer to make purchasing decisions, particularly when compared to last year when customers acted with more urgency. The executive also attributed the shortfall to poor execution in North America as well as macroeconomic hurdles in Latin America and the U.K.

Fortinet has also authorized a $100 million increase to its share repurchase program. The total authorization is now $300 million. Year to date, Fortinet has repurchased $75 million worth of stock, which leaves $225 million remaining on the current authorization.

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Evan Niu, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.