Shares of data solutions provider Pure Storage (PSTG) - Get Report  posted a double-digit plunge on Friday after the company reported a surprise fiscal third-quarter loss and revenue that missed analysts' forecasts amid a continued struggle to boost subscription growth of its software data services. 

Pure Storage's stock was down nearly 20%, or $3.94 a share, at $15.91 in morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market after the Mountain View, Calif.-based company posted a fiscal third-quarter loss of $30 million, or 12 cents a share, vs. a loss of $28.2 million, or 12 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting per-share earnings of 9 cents. Revenue came in at $428.4 million, above last year's $372.8 million but below analysts' consensus forecasts of $512.2 million.

On a post-earnings conference call, Pure Storage CEO Charles Giancarlo pointed to a tougher pricing environment for subscription-based software services including data storage coupled with hesitation among companies to change or upgrade their data management systems for the quarterly loss, and also for lower guidance for its fiscal fourth quarter.

For the fourth quarter, Pure Storage said it expects revenue in the range of $484 million to $496 million. It also said it expects non-GAAP gross margin in the range of 67.5% to 70.5% and non-GAAP operating margin in the range of 10% to 14%.

Separately, the company announced that it has hired Kevan Krysler as its new chief financial officer. Krysler, who was previously a senior vice president of finance and chief accounting officer at VMware (VMW) - Get Report , will join the company in early December. He replaces Tim Ritters, who left this fall.