An enviable streak is dead at LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN), but Mr. Market doesn't need to mind. The proactive chat support specialist saw its stock move sharply higher on Thursday after posting a well-received quarterly report.
Revenue climbed 16% over the past year -- or 22% if we adjust for currency fluctuations -- to hit $59.3 million in the second quarter. That's at the high end of its May forecast, calling for $58.5 million-$59.5 million on the top line. However, it still puts an end to LivePerson's streak of 51 quarters in a row of sequential revenue growth since it had recorded $59.8 million in revenue during this year's first quarter.
That's a streak that stretches all the way back to the dot-com bubble days of 2001, when revenue went from $1.9 million to $1.7 million between the second and third quarters of that year according to S&P Capital IQ data.
That may seem problematic for LivePerson. There isn't a lot of seasonality here, and a quarter-over-quarter slide in revenue may suggest that customers are either defecting or merely paying less. LivePerson continues to be magnetic. It signed a total of 129 deals during the quarter, and that including nabbing three dozen new customers. It just needs to get back on track in getting them to stick around and pay more.
LivePerson's quarterly loss widened to $5.4 million, or $0.09 a share, but that was actually less red ink than it was forecasting earlier this year. Its adjusted profit of $0.02 a share was also double what analysts were targeting, making this LivePerson's first bottom-line beat in nearly a year.
The sequential slip in top-line sales should come to an end during the current quarter. LivePerson's guidance calls for a resumption of quarter-over-quarter growth. It's also slightly boosting the low-end of its guidance for all 2015, an encouraging sign after hosing down its outlook back in May.
LivePerson is succeeding in setting its platform apart. It keeps attracting support-hungry companies of all sizes to its "intelligent engagement" offering, incorporating chat, voice, and content delivery support. LivePerson also points to success in migrating some customers to its updated LiveEngage platform.
The stock rallied on the news, trading as much as 28% higher at one point. We can't call this a blowout quarter, at least not by textbook definitions. Investors are merely breathing a sigh of relief after the brutal guidance that was offered after its first quarter. Things appear to have steadied at LivePerson, and that's good enough to start rebuilding trust on Wall Street.