Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of patent licensor Acacia Research Corp (NASDAQ:ACTG) jumped as much as 25% after reporting first-quarter earnings.
So what: Revenue nearly tripled from a year ago to $34.2 million and GAAP net loss was $13.1 million, or $0.27 per share in the quarter. But on an adjusted basis the company made a $3.2 million, or $0.06 per share profit, which was a penny ahead of expectations.
Management also announced a quarterly dividend of $0.125 per share, which indicates confidence in future cash flows.
Now what: Companies like Acacia Research are commonly known as patent trolls because they don't actually produce anything, they just own patents and sue, or threaten to sue, companies who may be infringing on those patents. As a result, results can be very lumpy depending on licenses and litigation and can also rely on a small number of customers. For example, in Q1 two licensees accounted for 73% of revenue, an incredibly high number for any company.
Given the nature of Acacia's business and the risk involved, not only from a small number of customers, but also from potential changes in patent law, I just can't buy into shares today.