Here's Why NetScout Systems, 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 NetScout Systems  (NASDAQ: NTCT  ) rose more than 10% in Thursday's early trading, then settled up around 7% after the company turned in better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter 2014 results.

So what: Adjusted quarterly revenue rose 18% to $112.5 million, which translated to 15% growth in adjusted net income to $0.48 per share. Analysts, on average, were looking for earnings of just $0.45 per share on sales of $109.35 million.

For fiscal 2015, NetScout expects revenue to be in the range of $450 million to $465 million, with adjusted net income per share between $1.74 and $1.81. By contrast, analysts were modeling fiscal 2015 earnings of $1.70 per share on sales of $439.91 million. In addition, the company's board of directors expanded the existing open market share repurchase program to $100 million.

Now what: This also marks NetScout's fifth consecutive beat on both the top and bottom lines, and its latest full-year guidance seems to indicate no plans of resting on its laurels. The share price might reflect some of that optimism trading at around 34.5 times last year's earnings and 22.5 times this year's estimates. But keeping in mind those estimates are likely to creep higher as analysts have time to fully digest today's news, I think that's a fair premium to pay given NetScout's history of outperformance. 

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