In the business of disrupting the business of telephony, there are a few known quantities. Skype and Vonage (NYSE: VG ) , of course. And Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) gets regular acclaim for its Voice service. Not so for 8x8 (Nasdaq: EGHT ) , but that may be changing.
8x8 specializes in outfitting small businesses with professional Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) infrastructures. From caller ID to voice mail to auto attendant and call forwarding services, 8x8 provides everything its larger peers might but without the need for expensive equipment investments. All its services are delivered via the Internet.
It's good business. Last night, 8x8 reported deceptively good fourth-quarter results. Revenue rose 11.5% year-over-year to $17.78 million, while per-share earnings remained flat at $0.02 per share. Both results failed to meet Street expectations, though earnings would have been a penny higher if not for a $625,000 charge for settling a class action lawsuit.
8x8's shares are trading lower today as a result. I suspect that's because the certificate-flippers didn't look at the company's cash flow statement. Like Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) , which also reported results recently, 8x8 generated more free cash flow than net income in Q4.
And cash is flowing faster than it ever has. 8x8's fourth-quarter FCF more than doubled, from $800,000 to $1.9 million. The company now carries $20.5 million in cash and investments on its books and no debt. This, and a still-developing growth opportunity born of the cloud-computing movement, is why some rebel Fools like the stock.
Wrote Foolish investor jkubinak1339 in November:
8x8 has found a niche for itself in that they can service [small and medium sized businesses] that [AT&T (NYSE: T ) ] and Verizon cannot. 8x8 service is agnostic -- they easily provision companies that have displaced workers in different states or countries. One of 8x8's customers, for example, has 150 extensions in 26 different countries. All they had to do was plug their phones into an Internet connection and they were all on their enterprise class phone network.
Sound compelling? It does to me, especially now that 8x8's subscription services are driving outrageous cash flow growth. I'll be rating the stock to outperform in my CAPS portfolio after this morning's initial sell-off.
Now it's your turn to weigh in. What do you think of 8x8? Would you buy the stock at current levels? Use the comments section below to let us know what you think. You can also rate 8x8 in Motley Fool CAPS.