Dolby Laboratories, Inc. Offers a Solid Earnings Beat

Lend me your ears, Dolby Laboratoriesshareholders, because your favorite audiophile just announced solid fiscal second-quarter 2015 results.

After climbing around 1.3% in Tuesday's regular session, shares of Dolby rose slightly in after-hours trading after the company said quarterly revenue fell 2.4% year over year to $271.9 million. To be fair, last year's fiscal Q2 included a one-time back payment settlement of $24.7 million, excluding the impact of which Dolby's revenue would have climbed 7.1%. In addition, Dolby's adjusted net income came in at $74.9 million, or $0.72 per diluted share. Wall Street was anticipating earnings of $0.48 per share on revenue of $265.5 million.

For the current quarter, Dolby expects total revenue in the range of $230 million to $240 million, with adjusted gross margin remaining steady at between 90% and 91%. That should result in adjusted earnings per share between $0.43 and $0.49. Analysts were expecting roughly the same revenue to result in significantly lower earnings of $0.32 per share.

Finally -- and this could explain the market's muted positive reaction so far -- Dolby once again reiterated its previous full year guidance for revenue of $970 million to $1.0 billion. Wall Street was similarly modeling fiscal 2015 sales of $982.2 million.

Digging deeperRevenue from licensing once again led the way, this time falling 2% year over year to $243.3 million. Excluding last year's one-time settlement -- which was included under Dolby's Broadcasting segment -- licensing would have increased around 4%.

Within that, Broadcasting continued to drive the bulk of Dolby's business at $102.2 million, comprising 42% of total licensing after falling 15% year over year. Excluding last year's back payment, Broadcasting climbed around 8%, driven by higher unit volumes in TVs and set-top boxes amid the transition to digital signals in emerging markets such as China, India, and Africa.

PC revenue was roughly 17% of total licensing at $41.4 million, down about 2% year over year, and up around 14% sequentially as one of Dolby's larger customers reported higher-than-expected units during the quarter. According to Dolby CFO Lewis Chew, this increase was due primarily to timing, which explains at least some of Dolby's outperformance during the quarter relative to its reaffirmed full-year guidance.

Next, Consumer Electronics licensing was about 15% of Dolby's total at $36.5 million, up about 22% sequentially because of seasonality, and an increase of 8% year over year. For the latter, Dolby attributes higher sales of products such as sound bars, which were partially offset by continued declines in Blu-ray and DVD player sales.

Mobile devices stood at 11% of total licensing at roughly $26.8 million -- or slightly below the 12% Dolby management predicted during last quarter's conference call -- down about 19% sequentially and 14% year over year. The sequential improvement was driven by timing of a customer contract, while the overall performance was roughly consistent with Dolby's previous projections.

Finally, in licensing, revenue from "Other" markets stood roughly even with Consumer Electronics at 15% of the total, or $36.5 million. That result was up by about 34% over the previous quarter, again because of seasonality, and also up 14% year over year on higher revenue from gaming, Dolby Voice, and Via, Dolby's subsidiary licensing service for third-party intellectual-property owners.

Meanwhile, revenue from Products and Services collectively totaled $28.6 million during the quarter, or $11 million higher than in Q1, and $8.6 million higher than the same year-ago period. In contrast to last quarter's disappointing showing from these segments, Dolby enjoyed higher-than-expected sales of products from Doremi Labs. Remember, in February, Chew blamed Dolby's fiscal Q1 revenue shortfallin part on lighter-than-expected sales from Doremi in the first few months following its acquisition by Dolby this past November.

In other news ...Later in Dolby's conference call, Dolby CEO Kevin Yeaman added his usual color on Dolby's results and progress in key initiatives.

Most notably, Yeaman highlighted Dolby's new partnershipswith both AMC Entertainment and Disney. Both new relationships revolve around Dolby Cinema, which combines Dolby Atmos sound with the company's new Dolby Vision technology.

AMC, for its part, will be incorporating Dolby Cinema into up to four AMC Prime theaters by the end of next month, with the number growing to 50 by the end of 2018 and 100 by 2024. And Disney has agreed to bring the first titles mastered in Dolby Vision to Dolby Cinema locations around the globe. To start, that includesTomorrowland next month, Disney Pixar's Inside Out in June, and Disney's live-action version of The Jungle Book next year.

We should also remember Warner Bros. effectively issued its own vote of confidencefor Dolby's new techin January, when it promised a "steady pipeline of Dolby Vision" home-movie releases later this year. Last quarter also saw the first TV announced with Dolby Vision from Vizio, while Dolby has previously insisted more models are on the way. All things considered, investors should be encouraged that Dolby is spreading its wings as a confirmed video connoisseur.

Yeaman also detailed progress in mobile, though he still had no updates to offer on Dolby's efforts to find its way back intoSamsung's flagship Galaxy devices. For now, investors will need to take solace in theintegration of Dolby Atmos in three new mobile devices from Lenovo last quarter, including one Dolby Atmos-enabled smartphone and two tablets. And that's on top of existing design wins from a suite of mobile devices from and HTC.

In the end, while there's certainly plenty of work do yet for Dolby to fully realize the potential of its newest technologies, the progress it continues to show is undeniable. Given today's solid results, and if Dolby can continue to penetrate these new markets while maintaining its existing core business, I see no reason the stock can't continue to be a great bet for patient, long-term investors.

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Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends, Dolby Laboratories, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and Walt Disney. 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.

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