Why Conversant, Inc. Shares Skyrocketed

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 Conversant (NASDAQ: CNVR  ) jumped 17% Wednesday after the company turned in better-than-expected fourth quarter results.

So what: Formerly known as ValueClick, Conversant saw its quarterly revenue rose 6% year over year to $176.44 million, which translated to 43% growth in adjusted net income per share to $0.67. By contrast, analysts were looking for earnings of only $0.57 per share on the same level of sales.

Going forward, Conversant expects current-quarter revenue to be in the range of $138 million to $144 million, with adjusted net income of $0.38 to $0.39 per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting higher earnings of $0.41 per share on sales of $140.52 million.

Keep in mind, however, that Conversant's guidance includes $3 million in expenses related to its recent corporate name change, and also assumes nominal revenue and an operating loss of $1 million stemming from last week's acquisition of digital video specialist SET Media.

Now what: As it stands, there's certainly risk involved with Conversant's rebranding of an established name, but CEO John Guiliani insists, "the early response from customers and prospects has been very positive."

What's more, even after today's pop shares are currently only trading around 13.8 times next year's estimated earnings. If Conversant's efforts continue to yield fruit as 2014 progresses, I think the stock could still reward patient investors going forward.

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