MicroStrategy Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of business intelligence specialist MicroStrategy (NAS: MSTR) are wearing a dunce-cap today, with shares plunging 19% after the company reported earnings this morning.

So what: Revenue in the third quarter came in at $141.7 million, and earnings per share totaled $0.44 for the period. Sales put up a healthy 24% increase, but heavy increases in operating expenses held back the bottom line, which fell 30%.

Now what: Third-quarter net income included a $3.4 million pre-tax gain generated from the sale of an equity investment, which represents a big chunk of the $4.9 million profit reported. Without it, the bottom line would have plunged even more, and investors are expressing their disappointment by dropping the stock. The company, which competes with Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation Qlik Technologies (NAS: QLIK) , also saw its shares downgraded by UBS from buy to neutral.

Interested in more info on MicroStrategy? Add it to your watchlist byclicking here.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorEvan Niuholds no position in any company mentioned.Click hereto see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Qlik Technologies.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Qlik Technologies. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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