Time to Buy Riverbed?

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After getting absolutely slaughtered on a couple of earnings report, Riverbed delivered. Revenue was up 17% versus last year, and guidance looked pretty healthy for next quarter.

Analyst Eric Bleeker here. I bought the company shortly before its last quarter for my real-money portfolio, much to my chagrin since it saw huge losses since. I've been lax to rebuy, just because I wanted to see whether I was buying a company with a rapidly decelerating core product line. WAN optimization in the previous quarter -- which is its main business -- had slowed down to a crawl. Management had blamed product refreshes, especially with Riverbed's Steelhead line-up and sales problems, but every IT firm makes those excuses.

So Riverbed released earnings, and I was pretty impressed. Riverbed bragged about Cascade growing 30%, which is nice, but it's a smaller business. I'm happier to see WAN optimization get that 9% sequential boost. Obviously, the Riverbed story doesn't work without that growth.


Overall, Riverbed was up nearly 30% the next day, and the company deserves it. Even with that jump, I'm still looking to buy more. And finally, their stingray application delivery controller business signed a $75 million licensing contract with Juniper. I've been inclined to ignore that business, believing Steelhead, Granite, and Cascade had more promise and F5 would continue to dominate load balancing, but that's an impressive win. Overall, Riverbed did a lot to prove its continuing growth last quarter. I'll be weighing another buy in the coming weeks.

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Austin Smith has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Eric Bleeker manages shares of Riverbed in his real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Riverbed Technology. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend F5 Networks and Riverbed Technology. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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