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LivePerson Parties Like It's 2015

By Rick Munarriz – May 3, 2018 at 7:09PM

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The cloud-based chat support specialist delivers its best top-line growth in nearly three years.

Double-digit growth is back at LivePerson (LPSN -0.09%). The provider of high-tech customer support reported fresh financials after Thursday's market close, delivering its best period of year-over-year revenue growth in nearly three years. 

Live Person's top line is checking in at $58.2 million, up 14% since the prior year's showing. It was targeting $56.75 to $57.75 million in revenue -- up 11% to 13% -- back in late February. You have to go all the way back to the third quarter of 2015 to find the last time LivePerson was growing faster. After a rough patch in which it posted six consecutive quarters of year-over-year declines in revenue, LivePerson has gone on to rattle off three straight periods of positive -- and now accelerating -- top-line growth.

Demo of LivePerson's brand-to-consumer messaging platform across devices.

Image source: LivePerson.

Engage and conquer 

LivePerson stock was heating up long before its fundamentals started turning the corner. The shares have more than doubled over the past year. And it's not just the stock moving higher, as Thursday's report is LivePerson's fourth consecutive quarter of sequential revenue growth. It once had a jaw-dropping streak of 51 consecutive periods of quarter-over-quarter revenue growth before the run snapped in 2016.

Life isn't as grand on the other end of the income statement. LivePerson posted its tenth consecutive quarterly deficit on a reported basis. However, on an adjusted basis, LivePerson came through with a profit of $0.01 a share -- at the high end of its guidance range. 

The proactive platform is catching on, with businesses looking to make a better connection with their customers. LivePerson signed 98 new deals during the first three months of the year, and it's getting its growing Rolodex to lean on its offerings even more. The average trailing-12-month revenue per enterprise and mid-market customer has grown from $200,000 to $240,000 over the past year.

The near-term outlook is encouraging. LivePerson is modeling $59 million to $60 million, 16% to 18% ahead of the prior year's first-quarter showing. Even at the low end, we're eyeing what would be LivePerson's fifth straight period of sequential growth. Its guidance calls for the same adjusted profit of $0.00 to $0.01 a share that it has been targeting in the two previous quarters.

LivePerson is slightly boosting the guidance for all of 2018 that it initiated three months ago. It sees revenue of $239 million to $243 million, lifting the low end that was previously at $237 million. The new guidance translates to 9% to 11% top-line growth, suggesting that revenue growth will decelerate in the second half of the year if it's not once again being overly conservative with its self-prognosis. LivePerson is also lifting its adjusted full-year profit outlook to between $0.11 and $0.15 per share, up sharply from the $0.07 and $0.10 per share it was targeting in late February. The turnaround at LivePerson is in full swing, and the stock chart over the past year bears that out. 

Rick Munarriz has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends LivePerson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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