Well, it didn't take long for 2012 to punish someone for Q4 guidance. Acme Packet (news, filings), a specialist in session border controllers and related technology, yesterday offered up a rather dismal preannouncement, reducing guidance for the fourth quarter and the full year 2011. According to CEO Andy Ory:
"Our results were impacted by uncertainty in the North American service provider market. Outside of the North American service provider market, Acme Packet continued to perform very well – particularly in our enterprise business as well as in our Europe and Latin America businesses."
Ugh, I hope we don't hear too much of that between now and when earnings season kicks off. Hopefully this particular bout of uncertainty was an isolated case for VoIP infrastructure if not entirely company-specific. If service providers were battening down the hatches in general, it might suggest a tough year ahead when we are all surely hoping for some calmer macroeconomic seas. Overall the industry has seemed to remain reasonably healthy at least amongst competitive operators, with continued strength in metro fiber and colocation of course.
Acme Packet says that full year revenues are now expected to be $308-310M, or $84-86M for the fourth quarter. That's just below the guided range of $310-315M. Guidance for non-GAAP earnings per share for the full year was reduced to $1.03-1.05, down from $1.14-1.18. The stock market is not taking the news too well of course, at least in the pre-market.
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