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.
So what: The market shrugged off another sequential (and year-over-year) slide in revenue, which is down to $183.2 million against $182 million expected by analysts. This was about 4% lower than the year-ago quarter. Why was this weakness shrugged off? Coherent's done a solid job holding earnings per share steady during this time, as the $0.73 in reported EPS was $0.02 higher than the consensus. Low expectations led to a bounce in this case, even though the company's year-ago quarter EPS was significantly better on both an adjusted and a GAAP basis.
Now what: Coherent earned itself an upgrade to "buy" status from Noble Financial as a result of the EPS beat, with a new price ceiling about 10% higher than the current post-pop price. Coherent could also be set for longer-term growth as a result of the acquisitions of two small laser manufacturers in the just-reported quarter. Coherent's P/E has been hovering around its current level for nearly two years, so it's neither especially cheap nor particularly expensive. However, since the company didn't issue its own forward guidance today, it's hard to say whether analysts' expectations of both top- and bottom-line growth in the upcoming quarter are accurate or just wishful thinking.