What happened

Shares of Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ:HLIT) were up 16.1% as of 1:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday after the video delivery infrastructure specialist announced better-than-expected third-quarter 2017 results.

More specifically, Harmonic saw adjusted (non-GAAP) quarterly revenue decline 9.9% year over year to $91.6 million, which translated to an adjusted net loss of $0.5 million, or $0.01 per diluted share. That might not sound encouraging, but last quarter Harmonic told investors to expect lower revenue of $80 million to $90 million, and a wider adjusted per-share loss in the range of $0.11 to $0.03.

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So what

"We drove high single digit operating margin in our video segment through growth of our premium live OTT solutions and crisp cost control," stated Harmonic CEO Patrick Harshman. "Our CableOS program also made significant progress, including a new tier 1 customer design win, expanded commercial deployments and trial activity, and a growing backlog of orders."

To be sure, Harmonic's backlog and deferred revenue grew to a company-record $200.9 million, including a backlog of more than $20 million for the CableOS program. The company also exceeded 20,000 live over-the-top channels powered globally.

Now what

Looking to the fourth quarter, Harmonic anticipates revenue in the range of $90 million to $100 million, and adjusted earnings per share ranging from a loss of $0.05 to net income of $0.04.

Harmonic also increased its full-year 2017 guidance. It now expects adjusted revenue of $348 million to $358 million (up from $336 million to $356 million previously), and an adjusted loss per share ranging from $0.38 to $0.29 (compared to previous guidance for a per-share loss of $0.50 to $0.33).

While Harmonic still has work to do to achieve sustained top-line growth and bottom-line profitability, this was a straightforward beat-and-raise scenario for the company. So it's no surprise to see Harmonic stock rebounding in response today.

Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.