What to Expect From Riverbed Technology Today

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How well is the network equipment sector faring? We'll know a little more when Riverbed Technology (NAS: RVBD) reports fourth-quarter earnings after the bell today. Here's a closer look at what analysts expect from this Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation:

Metric

Q4 2011 (est.)

Q4 2010

Estimated Growth

Revenue$200.80 million$165.43 million21.4%
Earning per Share$0.24$0.1926.3%

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Let's hope Wall Street is lowballing. According to S&P Capital IQ, Riverbed's revenue growth has decelerated quarter over quarter for four quarters running prior to today's report. Slowing sales growth could dampen a recent run of investor enthusiasm.

3 more things to watch
As business-focused investors, there are several Riverbed initiatives we're interested in. Here are three things I'm particularly hoping to hear more about:

  • Pipeline progress. Orders for Riverbed's Steelhead appliances tend to run in the tens of thousands of dollars, and thus can be difficult to close in a timely manner. How well did Riverbed manage its backlog this quarter? Are sales closing in a timely manner?
  • Market share. Despite competitive pressure from Cisco Systems (NAS: CSCO) and one-offs such as F5 Networks (NAS: FFIV) , Riverbed controlled more than half the share of its primary market as of October. At the time, the report reflected an ongoing trend of Riverbed capturing share from rivals. Is that still the case?
  • Whitewater. What Steelhead is to accelerating the delivery of content over a wide area network, Whitewater is to optimizing the archiving process inside a storage network. The settings may be different, but the essential deduplication algorithms for lightening data as it travels remain the same. Is management's plan resonating with customers?

Those are my questions. Now it's your turn to weigh in. What do you expect to hear from Riverbed Technology today? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Click hereto add Riverbed Technology to My Watchlist for up-to-the-minute Foolish coverage of the stock and your entire portfolio.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorTim Beyersis a member of theMotley Fool Rule Breakersstock-picking team. He owned shares of Riverbed Technology at the time of publication. Check out Tim'sweb home,portfolio holdings, andFoolish writings, or connect with him onGoogle+or Twitter, where he goes by@milehighfool. You can also get his insightsdelivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool owns shares of Cisco Systems.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Riverbed Technology and Cisco Systems.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended writing covered calls in Riverbed Technology. 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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