Nuance Communications Looks to Finish 2015 Strong

By Dan

Voice recognition in automobiles is one high-growth area for Nuance. Image: Nuance Communications.

Voice-recognition specialist Nuance Communications hasn't performed the way that most investors hoped it would. Its early role in the development of Apple's Siri voice-activated assistant failed to develop into a relationship that countless other Apple suppliers have used to ride the coattails of the iPhone giant to riches.

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Coming into its fiscal fourth-quarter financial report on Monday, Nuance shareholders are hoping that the company will be able to bounce back from troubling guidance it gave in its last quarterly report, and get the share price moving in the right direction. Let's look more closely at what investors should expect to see at Nuance Communications this quarter, and whether it will bring good news to the volatile stock.

Stats on Nuance Communications

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will Nuance Communications earnings speak up? Investors have actually gotten slightly more positive in their views on Nuance earnings in recent months, raising their full-year fiscal 2015 and 2016 projections by $0.01 per share. The stock hasn't shared that enthusiasm, though, falling nearly 8% since early August.

Nuance Communications' fiscal third-quarter results in August gave investors mixed feelings about the company's prospects. On one hand, the software specialist was able to exceed expectations on both the top and bottom lines, producing unexpected revenue growth, and seeing a 15% rise in adjusted net income. Yet all four major business segments saw organic revenue declines, with acquisitions providing the sole upward momentum for top-line growth. Still, Nuance seemed upbeat in its guidance, with figures that were consistent with what investors already expected from the company going forward.

Since then, Nuance has worked toward finding more ways to enhance its growth potential. In late September, Nuance said it had extended its strategic partnership with Samsung to allow the mobile-device maker to sell and distribute various Nuance products in exchange for providing service and support to joint customers. Nuance's voice-recognition software is present on a number of Samsung devices, and the expansion reveals some areas in which Nuance could persuade other customers to broaden their collaboration to take advantage of what essentially are cross-selling opportunities.

At the same time, Nuance has strengthened its key healthcare segment. The company launched its Dragon Medical Advisor program a couple of months ago, giving medical professionals a computer-assisted physician-documentation product to help them produce essential notes and electronic medical records for future use. With new compliance requirements set to take effect in the near future, Dragon Medical Advisor will be an appealing add-on for doctors and other medical staff looking to meet the standards that regulations have set.

Nuance is also working closely with developers to ensure that its tools are available to produce even more solutions for users. The company said in late October that it would make its SpeechKit SDK voice developer tools available on the Twitter Fabric developer program. By encouraging use of Nuance technology in apps and other services, the company hopes that voice will become a more important part of the way that people interact with computers and mobile devices, and it's looking to get in front of as many people in the development industry as possible to foster that vision.

In the Nuance Communications earnings report, investors will need to look for signs that revenue pressures are finally giving way to more consistent growth, especially in key segments like healthcare. As it looks for ways to spread out across the industry, Nuance hopes that, eventually, any regrets that investors might have about its less-than-perfect handling of its relationship with Apple is a thing of the past.

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Dan Caplinger owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple, Nuance Communications, and Twitter. 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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