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Why Shares of Sierra Wireless Jumped on Friday

By Lou Whiteman - May 10, 2019 at 5:11PM

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Three months after reporting a disappointment, the company provides evidence it is on the mend.

What happened

Shares of Sierra Wireless (SWIR 2.61%) climbed 8.4% on Friday, and were up by more than 10% midday, after the Internet of Things (IoT) specialist reported first-quarter results that suggested its turnaround is on track.

So what

Sierra Wireless ended 2018 on a low note, reporting disappointing fourth-quarter results and tepid guidance that sent shares down 25% the day after. In response, CEO Kent Thexton said Sierra was "accelerating the transformation of the company," including centralizing research and development, merging global sales efforts, and seeking cost savings.

A hand-drawn stock chart pointing up.

Image source: Getty Images.

Thursday night was Sierra Wireless' first chance to show improvement, and the markets liked what they saw. The company reported a first-quarter adjusted loss of $0.02 per share, better than the consensus $0.05 loss estimate, on revenue that came in slightly better than expectations.

For the year, Sierra Wireless expects adjusted earnings of $0.30 to $0.35 per share, versus the $0.30 consensus.

"We are making good progress driving improved efficiency throughout our operations to accelerate our transformation into a leading global IoT solutions provider," Thexton said. "At the same time, we are investing in innovative cellular technologies and capabilities to enhance our differentiated Device-to-Cloud offering and grow our recurring subscription-based revenue."

Now what

The transformation of Sierra Wireless is far from complete, but investors now at least have some evidence the company is moving in the right direction.

Even after Friday's jump, the shares are still down 19.4% year to date, and 8% below their levels prior to the fourth-quarter disappointment. If Sierra Wireless is successful in cutting costs and revamping operations, the stock could still have room to run.

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