NetScout seems to know the game

If you’re looking for a local public company that seems to have the quarterly earnings game down to a science, have a look-see at NetScout Systems Inc., a Westford-based provider of network-monitoring systems.

On Tuesday, the company announced earnings for the quarter ending Dec. 31, its third of fiscal 2017, of $21.2 million, or 60 cents per share (adjusted for one-time items). That was 4 cents per share better than analysts’ forecasts.  

NetScout has surpassed analysts’ profit projections for four consecutive quarters (at least). The number to beat this quarter, which ends March 31, is 62 cents per share. That would give NetScout fiscal 2017 net income of about $1.93 per share (the company is projecting $1.87 to $1.90, based on revenue of $1.2 billion).

Oddly, none of the estimates for the stock were revised over the past 30 days, according to Zacks Equity Research. The Zacks Consensus Estimate also remained unchanged over the same time frame.

Shares advanced on Tuesday by about 6 percent, to close at $33.30. After giving back a few pennies in each of the next two days, shares rallied again today to close at $34.35, up $1.75 on the day. During today’s session, they reached a 52-week high of $34.45.

Even at that level, NetScout shares are trading at a not-so-bloated level of 18 times projected fiscal 2017 earnings.  

If nothing else, NetScout seems to know how the earnings game is played.


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