Why Convergys Corp. 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 Convergys Corp. (NYSE: CVG  ) rose 10% in Tuesday's early trading, and then settled to close up around 3% after the customer management specialist released solid first-quarter results.

So what: Quarterly revenue from continuing operations grew 23% year over year to $606 million -- including $86 million from its acquired Stream Global Services operations for the month of March -- which translated to adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.32. Analysts, on average, were looking for adjusted earnings of $0.29 per share on sales of $589.3 million.

Meanwhile, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 23% over the same period to $75 million.

For the full year 2014, Convergys expects revenue to exceed $2.9 billion, or a 40% increase over last year. This should result in roughly 30% growth for adjusted earnings per share to a range of $1.45 to $1.50. Adjusted EBITDA for 2014 is also expected to grow approximately 41% to a range of $350 million to $360 million.  By comparison, analysts were looking for 2014 earnings of $1.40 per share on revenue of $2.89 billion.

Finally, Convergys' board approved raising the company's quarterly dividend by a penny to $0.07 per share.

Now what: Convergys CEO Andrea Ayers added: "We are making good progress integrating the Stream business. Our expanded Convergys team is energized and moving forward as one organization to become the premier provider of customer management services in the world. 2014 will again be a year of leadership and profitable growth for Convergys."

Convergys' results and guidance were strong, but not to an overwhelming extent. I can understand, then, why it gave up some of its earlier gains. Even so, the stock does look reasonably priced at around 15 times this year's expected earnings. Assuming Convergys can indeed continue growing profitably from here, I think patient investors will be happy they held on.

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