Earnings season is winding down, with most companies already having reported their quarterly results. But there are still some companies left to report, and TIBCO Software (NASDAQ:TIBX) is about to release its quarterly earnings. The key to making smart investment decisions with stocks releasing their quarterly reports is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

TIBCO Software is a growing player in the enterprise software space, with core products that include data analytic tools and enterprise-communications products. The company has positioned itself to take advantage of several industry trends, holding up well against much larger competitors. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with TIBCO Software over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report on Thursday.

Stats on TIBCO Software

Analyst EPS Estimate


Change From Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$242.5 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will TIBCO Software run faster this quarter?
Over the past few months, analysts trimmed their views on TIBCO's earnings. For the just-ended quarter, they've cut estimates by $0.03 per share, and have reduced their calls for the full 2013 fiscal year by a nickel per share. Yet the stock has performed quite well, rising 14% since mid-December.

TIBCO is playing the role of a disruptive company in a promising sector of the technology industry. With its feet squarely in some of the hottest areas in tech, including the Big Data revolution and cloud tools and analytics, TIBCO has managed to maintain advantages over larger competitors by focusing on delivering the best data quickly rather than simply opening the floodgates and hoping that the right information somehow gets through.

But TIBCO's competition won't just lie down. IBM (NYSE:IBM) is seeking to integrate its Watson supercomputer to work in helping its Big Data segment ramp up and compete more effectively on highly intensive tasks, taking aim at Oracle and Teradata with their own database systems. Moreover, up-and-coming analytics provider Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) has made a big splash in the analytics segment, echoing TIBCO's emphasis on needing to distinguish the quality of data from the quantity.

In TIBCO's quarterly report, watch closely to see if the company shows the same strength that Qlik Technologies did in its own report a month ago. If TIBCO can match Qlik's positive results and guidance, then its stock could move higher still in the months to come.

Click here to add TIBCO Software to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter: @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Qlik Technologies, Teradata, and TIBCO Software and owns shares of IBM and Oracle. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.