Why Westell Technologies Shares Popped

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 Westell Technologies (NASDAQ: WSTL  )  initially spiked more than 40% Thursday morning, then settled up by around 20% as of this writing after the company crushed expectations for its latest quarterly earnings report.

So what: Fiscal second-quarter sales came in at $30 million, leading Westell to swing from a loss last year to an adjusted net income of $0.07 per share. For reference, both numbers handily beat analysts' estimates, which were modeling adjusted earnings of just $0.01 per share on sales of $23.1 million.

Now what: CEO Rick Gilbert weighed in: "We are pleased with our revenue and profitability performance in the fiscal second quarter. Our success during the first half of the fiscal year continues to validate our strategic focus on intelligent site management and wireless products."

To be sure, the stock looks expensive trading at roughly 59 times next year's earnings estimates, but analysts haven't exactly been in the ballpark with their numbers so far. To their credit, though, Westell remains reluctant to provide specific forward guidance, so it's hard to peg exactly where the business is headed outside of management's professed confidence in their direction.

In the end, while investors could certainly continue to be rewarded down the road, I think it's worth treading lightly in the absence of more clarity.

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