Investors in Rosetta Stone
Just the numbers
Rosetta Stone has handily beaten analyst expectations for the past three quarters. That would be great news, except for the fact that in all three quarters, the company was still posting a loss. To get a clearer view of how the company is performing, here's a breakdown of its different divisions.
Q4 2011 Revenue Growth
Percent of All Revenue
|World Wide Institutional||7%||18%|
Source: Rosetta Stone.
While beating estimates is always a good thing, these numbers are a far cry from what investors who bought in years ago were hoping for. International and institutional customers were supposed to make up the bulk of revenues by now, as they had been growing at very fast clips in the past.
But weakness in the Asian markets from English language learners as well as a failure to get major educational and government contracts have dashed those hopes. That said, the middle ground of management's outlook for first-quarter revenue predicts growth of more than 4% over the previous year.
But we're ignoring the really big news
I don't own shares of Rosetta Stone anymore, and I'm not buying back yet. Competition with other providers such as Berlitz, CBS'
But there is one huge source of positive news investors should be excited about: Tom Adams is finally out as CEO, and former CFO Steve Swad is now in charge. I know it's a little unusual for a CFO to assume CEO responsibilities, but as anyone who's been listening to Rosetta's conference calls knows: Steve is the man for the job. He consistently demonstrates that he, more than anyone else, understands what it will take for the company to fulfill its potential.
I'll be keeping an eye on Rosetta, and if Steve can right the ship, I'd be willing to jump back on board. In the meantime, I'm looking to other areas for investing -- like mobile technology. We've recently put out a special free report on the one company set to benefit the most from this revolution. To find out which company it is, get your report today absolutely free!
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