Sierra Wireless, Inc. Short Circuits After Another Good Quarter

The Internet of Things specialist beat expectations in Q2, but once again issued conservative guidance. Here's what investors need to know.

Steve Symington
Steve Symington
Aug 6, 2015 at 8:30PM
Technology and Telecom

Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ:SWIR) just announced another better-than-expected quarter, but don't expect the market to reward it for its efforts just yet. Shares of the Internet of Things pure play fell more than 5% in Thursday's after-hours trading when the company revealed second-quarter revenue rose 17% year over year, to $158 million, including organic revenue growth -- which excludes contributions from acquisitions -- of 13.7%.

Meanwhile, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization nearly doubled to $13.1 million, and adjusted net income came in at $8.6 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, up from $2.6 million, or $0.08 per share in the same year-ago period.

On acquisitions
Analysts, on average, were only expecting revenue of $155.2 million, and adjusted earnings of $0.23 per share. Sierra Wireless' results also came in above the company's own guidance, which called for second-quarter revenue of $153 million to $156 million, and earnings per share of $0.21 to $0.24.

Sierra Wireless CEO Jason Cohenour acknowledged the strong top- and bottom-line growth, and elaborated:

During the quarter, we also strengthened our market leading position in device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things with the purchase of Accel Networks and the announced acquisition of MobiquiThings. We remain focused on profitable organic growth and strategic acquisitions that enhance our market position and business model.

Sierra Wireless only just announced its 14 million euro (plus performance-based earnouts) purchase of MobiquiThings on June 23, 2015, so investors will need to wait another quarter to hear more about how integration of the Europe-based mobile virtual network operator is progressing.

Meanwhile, Sierra Wireless technically announced it had agreed to acquire Accel Networks three months ago on the same day as last quarter's solid report, but only formally completed the purchase in mid-June. At the time, Cohenour expressed optimism that bringing Accel's managed connectivity products and large base of more than 300 enterprise customers would also "add significant scale and capabilities to [Sierra Wireless'] services business."

On the (improving) enterprise segment
Three months ago, Sierra Wireless promised sequential improvement in that enterprise business -- which notably underperformed management's expectations in Q1 -- for each of the remaining quarters this year. Sure enough, revenue from Enterprise Solutions grew 13.8% sequentially and 7.6% year over year, to $19.8 million, including a $4.1 million contribution from the previous Wireless Maingate acquisition, and a small partial-quarter contribution from Accel.

The much larger contributor to overall results remained OEM Solutions, revenue from which grew 18.5% year over year, to $138.2 million, driven by broad-based design wins across multiple market segments.

On supply constraints and guidance
Regarding last quarter's RF Component shortages within OEM Solutions, which negatively affected both revenue and costs of goods sold in Q1, Cohenour stated, "During the quarter, our component supply situation also improved faster than anticipated, enabling us to fulfill more customer demand in Q2 than originally expected."

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As it turns out, that improvement had another side effect: According to CFO Dave McLennan during the subsequent call, some customers moved to secure supplies ahead of schedule given the known component shortages. But when the situation improved more quickly than Sierra anticipated, which, in turn, allowed it to meet more of this early demand, it effectively meant some orders were pulled ahead into Q2 from the third quarter.

Consequently, Sierra Wireless now expects third-quarter revenue in the range of $157 million to $160 million, and diluted earnings per share of $0.23 to $0.27. Assuming the midpoint of revenue guidance, McLennan added during the call, this implies year-over-year organic growth of 13.1% for the first nine months of the year. That's well within Sierra Wireless' stated goal of maintaining long-term organic growth in the range of 10% to 15%.

Even so -- and in keeping with Sierra Wireless' last two quarterly reports -- these ranges fell below Wall Street's models, which called for third-quarter revenue and earnings of $163.7 million and $0.30 per share, respectively. Investors can take solace knowing this is primarily due to Sierra Wireless meeting orders in Q2 ahead of schedule, so more than anything, it's a zero-sum game.

In the end, the market is a forward-looking machine that hates unpredictability, and today's after-hours decline indicates it wanted more from this promising company.