Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) experienced a significant drop in its stock value, plunging up to 17% in premarket trading following the company's announcement that it expects a historic slowdown in sales growth.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, the San Francisco-based software giant projects that revenue will increase by a maximum of 8% to $9.25 billion for the quarter ending in July.

This marks the first instance of single-digit sales growth for Salesforce in nearly two decades as a publicly traded entity.

This forecast fell short of analysts' expectations, who had anticipated revenue closer to $9.35 billion.

Additionally, the expected profit, excluding certain items, is set at about $2.35 per share, slightly below the average analyst estimate of $2.40 per share.

The downturn in share value reflects growing investor unease regarding Salesforce's recent sales performance. 

The shares reached a premarket low of $225.05 on Thursday after closing at $271.62 the previous day in New York.

Should this decline continue as the US markets open, it could result in the largest intraday drop since August 2008.