Why ShoreTel Shares Surged
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of ShoreTel have ended the day with a 7% gain after starting the morning with a 14% pop. Investors have moderated their enthusiasm over ShoreTel's double beat on yesterday's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report, as they digest the company's forward guidance.
So what: ShoreTel's revenue came in at $85.6 million for the fourth quarter, 9% higher year over year, and also a bit ahead of the $83 million Wall Street consensus. The company's earnings of $0.06 per share smashed through the Street's expectation of just $0.02 in EPS. Looking forward, the company's first-quarter guidance now puts revenue in the $77 million to $83 million range, which hits Wall Street's $79.8 million fairly near the midpoint. ShoreTel CFO Mike Healy did note that the company's first-quarter gross margins will be about 61% to 62%, and with operating expenses in the $49 million to $52 million range, it looks as though the company may report a slight net loss for the quarter.
Now what: Analysts were expecting a $0.01 loss per share for the upcoming quarter, and there's still some room for ShoreTel to grow past that weak spot. However, the company's year-ago first-quarter revenue was about 7% lower than the midpoint of its present guidance. That's a slight dip from this quarter's growth rate, but it's not falling into worrisome territory. After today's pop, it might be best to do a deeper investigation before you decide to follow the crowd into this small-cap stock.
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