Shares of TiVo (NASDAQ: TIVO) rose as much as 17.3% higher Wednesday morning following the entertainment-technology specialist's fourth-quarter earnings report. As of noon Eastern time, the gains had moderated to 16%.
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TiVo's GAAP earnings rose to $0.15 per share, up from $0.08 per share in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, revenues fell 13%, to land at $238 million. Analysts were expecting earnings closer to $0.39 per share on sales in the neighborhood of $214 million, so it was a mixed performance. The bottom-line number included a $26.6 million one-time tax benefit related to December's taxation reform. Without that unusual item, TiVo would have reported a net loss of $0.07 per share.
The report wasn't particularly impressive, but management also took this opportunity to announce that TiVo is "exploring all alternatives to maximize value for shareholders," which often is a first step toward finding a buyer for the entire company.
According to a Seeking Alpha transcript of TiVo's earnings call, an outright sale is definitely on the table. According to TiVo CEO Enrique Rodriguez:
The company has enlisted a boutique advisor firm to help it evaluate all of these alternatives, and maybe it's for the best. The revenue jump that was unlocked by the combination of Rovi and TiVo has not translated into stronger cash flows or profits. I'm quite content to watch TiVo's search for a new direction from the sidelines.
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