Why Shares of LivePerson Inc. Slumped Today

By Markets Fool.com

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.

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What's Happening: Shares of LivePerson , a provider of cloud-based customer support software, fell more than 10% soon after the market opened on Thursday morning, following the company's announcement of its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday afternoon. By 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, the stock had recovered most of that loss.

Why It's Happening: LivePerson fell short of analyst estimates for non-GAAP earnings, reporting $0.02 per share compared to expectations of $0.04 per share. Revenue grew by 24% year-over-year during the fourth quarter, but the company posted a GAAP net loss of $0.08 per share, a penny higher compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. Bookings grew by just 10% during the fourth quarter, far slower than the 19% bookings growth for the full year.

Total expenses rose slightly faster than revenue, jumping 27.6%, with sales and marketing expense rising 45.4%. LivePerson expects losses to grow in 2015, to between $0.12 and $0.07 per share. Revenue is expected to grow to $269 million at the high-end in 2015, representing 28% growth, an acceleration compared to 2014.

CEO Robert LoCascio remains optimistic on LivePerson's prospects, stating "LivePerson accelerated revenue growth in 2014 and achieved several important milestones. We successfully launched LiveEngage into the market and we now have more than 1,000 customers on the new platform. The market is ready for a different kind of brand and consumer connection, and LivePerson has the platform, a strong team of leaders, and solid foundation of culture to execute on this opportunity in 2015."

The article Why Shares of LivePerson Inc. Slumped Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

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Timothy Green has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends LivePerson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.