Why Progress Software Corporation Stock 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 Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS  ) rose nearly 12% early Friday, then settled to close up around 8% after the business applications development specialist turned in solid fiscal second-quarter results.

So what: Though quarterly revenue fell around 1%, to $80.8 million, improving operating margin helped Progress Software's adjusted earnings per share climb by more than a third, to $0.37. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of only $0.34 per share on sales of $78.46 million.

In addition, the market was happy with Progress Software's revised guidance. For the current quarter, revenue is expected to be between $78 million and $81 million, which should result in adjusted earnings per share between $0.32 and $0.35. By comparison, analysts were modeling fiscal Q3 earnings of $0.33 per share on sales of $79.61 million.

For the fiscal year ending Nov. 30, 2014, Progress Software now expects revenue between $331 million and $338 million, with adjusted earnings per share between $1.38 and $1.45. Wall Street was looking for fiscal full-year earnings of $1.38 per share on sales of $326.28 million.

Now what: Despite its lack of top-line growth, Progress Software has done an admirable job of maintaining its bottom line as it keeps costs in check. Though I'm not personally intrigued enough to dive in today, shares do look reasonably priced at around 17 times the midpoint of this year's expected earnings. In the end, I can't blame the market for bidding up Progress Software stock today.

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