Why Silver Spring Networks Inc Shares Got Destroyed

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 Silver Spring Networks Inc (NYSE: SSNI  ) have lost roughly a third of their value today after the company released its first-quarter earnings and announced its intention to acquire an Internet of Things specialist for an undisclosed amount last night.

So what: Silver Spring reported revenue of $71.8 million, and an adjusted loss of $0.19 per share for the first quarter. Both of these figures beat the Wall Street consensus, which had sought $67.5 million on the top line and a loss of $0.20 per share. Silver Spring's revenue was nonetheless a 3% year-over-year decline, which was blamed on "near-term timing delays."

Going forward, the company now projects revenue to range from $60 million to $65 million for the second quarter, producing a loss of between $0.22 and $0.26 per share. Silver Spring also expects to generate between $300 million and $330 million in revenue for the full year. Both estimates are much, much worse than what Wall Street had expected -- the consensus had been for $75.4 million in revenue, and a loss of $0.12 in the second quarter, and analysts had expected Silver Spring to generate $366.1 million in revenue for the full year.

Silver Spring also agreed to acquire Streetlight.Vision, a French Internet of Things company that develops control and management software for (what else?) street lights. The two companies have already worked together to connect street lights in many cities around the world, so there is a fair amount of familiarity here already.

Now what: Silver Spring's results are not good, and they don't show the growth investors need to see in a small and relatively speculative tech company. Silver Spring might turn itself around eventually but, as of today, its shares have already lost half their value since the company's IPO. Unless you're willing to essentially place a bet on a company that isn't giving you any reason for optimism today, there's no reason to even consider buying shares, even after this major collapse.

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