Acme Packet Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ:APKT) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, February 2, 2012. Acme Packet provides session border controllers that enable service providers to deliver secure interactive communications–voice, video, and other real-time multimedia sessions–across Internet Protocol network borders.

Acme Packet, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 19 cents per share, a decline of 9.5% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 29 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It has since dropped over the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of 69 cents per share, a rise of 6.2% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company fell short of estimates last quarter after being in line with forecasts the quarter prior. In the third quarter, it reported net income of 12 cents per share versus a mean estimate of 14 cents. Two quarters ago, it reported profit of 21 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $85.2 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 21.3% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $309.5 million for the year, a rise of 33.8% from last year’s revenue of $231.2 million.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on Acme Packet as eight analysts rate it as a buy, none rate it as a sell and eight rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 24.3% to $7.9 million (11 cents a share) from $10.5 million (15 cents a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue rose 24.7% to $70.6 million from $56.6 million.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 47.3%, with the biggest boost coming in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 70.2% from the year earlier quarter.

The decrease in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 44% in the second quarter, 64.5% in the first quarter and 59.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Sonus Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:SONS), Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), Riverbed Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:RVBD), Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU), Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), Ditech Networks Inc. (NASDAQ:DITC), Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL), Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE:MSI), and Motorola Mobility Hldgs. Inc (NYSE:MMI).

Stock Price Performance: During October 31, 2011 to January 27, 2012, the stock price had fallen $5.27 (-14.6%) from $36.21 to $30.94. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 22, 2011 and March 29, 2011 when shares rose for six-straight days, rising 11.7% (+$7.60) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between December 9, 2011 and December 19, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 13.9% (-$4.81) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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