Nuance Communications Reports a Solid Quarter; Shares Plunge

Nuance Communications Reports a Solid Quarter; Shares Plunge

Shares of Nuance Communications are trading down 5% in after-hours market action, driven by a brand-new fourth-quarter report.

Nuance saw non-GAAP sales edge up by 4.5% year over year, landing right at the $490 million analyst target. The non-standard revenue figure includes $18 million of adjustments to account for intellectual property royalties that would have accrued if Nuance hadn't acquired a number of direct customers in 2013.

On the bottom line, Nuance reported non-GAAP earnings of $0.30 per share, down from $0.51 in the year-ago quarter and just above Wall Street's $0.29 estimate.

Nuance shares took a 4% dive on the news, marking a new 52-week low. The stock has now plunged 38% below 52-week highs that were set in early February.

Nuance is growing the number of time-limited license deals for its speech recognition and optical character reading products, while reducing the amount of buy-once package sales. To help investors track this business model change, management included a metric on order bookings for the first time.

Nuance expects bookings to grow roughly 15% in fiscal year 2014 while non-GAAP revenue should increase by 5%. The modest revenue guidance helps explain Nuance's abrupt share-price drop. The bookings clarification may not have registered with Nuance investors yet.

You can access Nuance's fourth-quarter report on the company's Investor Relations site, alongside a copy of prepared remarks for the upcoming analyst call.

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