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Why Bazaarvoice, Inc. Shares Bounced Today

By Steve Symington - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:22PM

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Is Bazaarvoice's pop meaningful? Or just another movement?

What: Shares of Bazaarvoice, ( BV ) jumped 17% Wednesday after the company provided an update on a potential divestiture of its PowerReviews business, and turned in better-than expected fiscal third-quarter 2014 results.

So what: Quarterly revenue increased 12% year over year, to $48 million, which translated to a $0.02 per share improvement in Bazaarvoice's adjusted net loss to $0.04 per share. Analysts, on average, were looking for a net loss of $0.06 per share on sales of $46.57 million.

For the current quarter, Bazaarvoice expects revenue to be in the range of $44.9 milion to $45.9 million, with an adjusted loss per share in the range of $0.10 to $0.12. Curiously enough, analysts were expecting a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $0.09 per share on sales of $46.3 million.

However, thanks to the strong third-quarter performance of the company's media segment, management also increased the midpoint of its full-year fiscal 2014 guidance by $1 million, to $183 million, That should result in a 2014 loss per share in the range of $0.25 and $0.27. Both figures are in line with analysts' expectations.

Now what: Management also provided an update on the previously announced U.S. court decision, which ruled that Bazaarvoice had violated U.S. antitrust law with its 2012 acquisition of rival PowerReviews.

Specifically, they reminded shareholders that the U.S. Department of Justice had filed a proposed motion for judgment on Feb. 12, calling for, among other things, the divestiture of the PowerReviews business. Bazaarvoice representatives filed their opposition to the DOJ's brief yesterday, and are currently awaiting the DOJ's reply due March 12, and a remedy hearing scheduled for April 2.

However, while Bazaarvoice would obviously prefer to hang on to PowerReviews, CEO Eugene Austin stated, "In light of the potential outcomes discussed in the briefs, we have been in discussions with potential divestiture buyers of PowerReviews and have received significant interest from multiple parties."

While I'm not personally compelled to dive into Bazaarvoice stock given its lack of profitability and sluggish top-line growth, I have to applaud management for its prudence in accounting for both possible situations. In the end, I think investors are right in bidding up shares today.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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