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Callidus Rides Surprise Profit to New Highs

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Callidus Software (CALD - Get Report) leapt to their best levels in more than two years Friday after the Pleasanton, Calif.-based maker of salesforce management software posted a surprise profit for the September quarter, and at least one analyst is saying they still look like a bargain.

After Thursday's closing bell, Callidus said it earned $400,000, or a penny per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30 on a non-GAAP [generally accepted accounting principles] basis, which typically excludes one-time items and expenses related to stock-based compensation.

Third-quarter revenue swelled 8% on a sequential basis to $18.5 million as recurring revenue from subscriptions and support increased 18% to $13.2 million, or roughly 72% to total revenue. Gross margins were a bright spot as well, rising to 46% in the latest quarter from 40% in the second quarter, and 37% last year.

Wall Street was looking for a loss of 2 cents a share in the quarter on revenue of $17.5 million.

The stock finished up 41 cents, or 9%, to finish at $4.91 with volume of roughly 880,000 running at almost six times the issue's trailing three-month daily average of around 143,000. The session-high of $5.05 was the first time the stock broke above $5 since mid-2008, and it's now risen just shy of 50% in 2010 alone. At current levels, the stock has made a convincing break above both its 50- and 200-day moving averages of $4.24 and $3.52 respectively.

Wedbush Morgan maintained an outperform rating on the stock with a $7 price target in the wake of the report, calling the company's ability to turn a profit a full quarter ahead of its own guidance "a major milestone" and saying the shares have room to run from here.

"With the shares currently trading at less than 1.5x EV [enterprise value]/Sales, and the company now profitable, we believe CALD shares are severely undervalued relative to those of its recurring revenue peers, and we recommend investors purchase the shares aggressively at the current price," the firm said.

While the third-quarter profit was impressive, Wedbush was just as enthused about the fact that Callidus said it expects to stay in the black in the current quarter.

"Equally important, in our view, is that management guided Q4 revenue in line with consensus and also guided to another profitable quarter," the firm said. "Based on their Q4 guidance, Callidus management expects Q4 revenue growth yr/yr to be between 16-22%, a solid rate which we believe could continue into 2011."
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