LivePerson Hits 52-Week High: Chatting With More Upside?

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Shares of LivePerson (NAS: LPSN) hit a 52-week high recently. Let's look at how it got here and whether clear skies are ahead.

How it got here
LivePerson is addressing the ever-increasing need for companies to engage with prospective customers over the Internet, as consumers migrate away from phone interactions to Web-based ones. The company's online chat products continue to gain traction, and LivePerson scored over two-dozen new clients last quarter.

The online chat specialist added 28 new enterprise and midmarket clients last quarter, and expanded its relationship with numerous existing ones. Revenue grew to $36.8 million, and next quarter's sales are expected to come in between $38.5 million and $39 million, with earnings per share in the range of $0.03 to $0.05.


Looking at the full year, fiscal 2012 revenue should be in the ballpark of $160 million to $165 million, the midpoint of which represents growth of 22% when compared to the $133.1 million in sales last year.

How it stacks up
Let's see how LivePerson stacks up against its larger peers in the software and business services space.

LPSN Chart

LPSN data by YCharts

We'll add in some fundamental metrics for more insight.

Company

P/S (TTM)

Sales Growth (MRQ)

Net Margin (TTM)

ROE (TTM)

LivePerson721%8.6%9.2
Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) 3.46%32%38.2%
Oracle (NAS: ORCL) 3.73.1%26.3%24.5%
salesforce.com (NYS: CRM) 7.737.9%(1.3%)(2.1%)

Source: Reuters. TTM = trailing 12 months. MRQ = most recent quarter.

LivePerson is far smaller than some of these other players, but it continues to grow, and is cheaper than salesforce.com. The company has a ways to go before it can expand its profitability to be on par with other enterprise software providers.

What's next?
I think LivePerson will continue to enjoy the momentum that it's building, so I'm also giving it an outperform CAPScall today, as it continues to serve up digital interactions for its customers.

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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 Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce.com.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of LivePerson, Microsoft, and salesforce.com, creating a bear put spread position in salesforce.com, and creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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