Georgens said that the entire industry's storage business is challenged despite the fact that storage still accounts for the biggest part of customers' IT budgets.
"However, given the increasing uncertainty of the economic environment, and the fact that Q1 is normally our most challenging quarter, we are not providing guidance for fiscal year 2013," Georgens said.
The uncertainty was not just economic but political in nature given the upcoming U.S. elections and the situation in the European Union, Georgens said. "And Q1 has never been our strength," he said. "If there's a quarter where our visibility is limited, this is it."
Investors were not happy with NetApp's guidance. Share prices during the trading day fell 44 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $32.86. However, share prices plummeted to as low as $24.36, or down 26 percent, before recovering to well over $27 per share a few hours later.