Why Inteliquent, Inc. Shares Popped Today

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 Inteliquent (NASDAQ: IQNT  ) jumped 17% Thursday after the company released encouraging fourth-quarter results.

So what: Quarterly revenue decreased 13% year-over-year to $50.2 million, which translated to earnings of $0.27 per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of just $0.18 per share on sales of $50.11 million.

Meanwhile, fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA increased 26.8% over the the past year to $18 million.

In addition, Inteliquent expects 2014 revenue between $200 million and $210 million, with adjusted EBITDA between $61 million and $66 million. Analysts were modeling 2014 revenue of $198.24 million.

Finally, Inteliquent increased its quarterly dividend to $0.075 per share.

Now what: "We are very pleased with our strong results for the fourth quarter," Inteliquent CEO Ed Evans said. "During the quarter, we continued to see growth from our sales pipeline and we continue to focus on cost management. The results of the fourth quarter reflect the improved operating performance of our voice business."

Inteliquent's results were undeniably solid, so it's unsurprising shares briefly touched a new 52-week-high earlier in the day.

As a result, given Inteliquent's healthy balance sheet -- with $77 million in cash with no debt -- and with shares currently trading at a reasonable 17 times this year's expected earnings, I think Inteliquent shareholders are justified in their optimism. If Inteliquent can maintain its steady performance, there's no reason the stock can't continue climbing higher from here.

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