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Making Sense of Missed Earnings

This article originally appeared on May 1, 2013 on Real Money. To read more content like this + see inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE. Click Here NOW.

Over the 20 years that I have followed stocks and analyzed industries professionally, I've found that many an investor can get lost in the slipstream of earnings during that quarterly gauntlet.

It's easy to do and I'd be lying if I said I didn't catch myself in that position during the more than 80 quarterly reports, thousands of corporate earnings releases and hundreds of conference calls to which I have listened.

More often, it pays to ask a few simple questions. That's particularly true when a company stubs its toe and delivers a miss during earnings season. Over the last few years, the degree to which a stock is punished when a company misses has grown to drops of 10%-20%. We saw this Tuesday with Nuance Communications (NUAN).

At such times, I find that amid all the bluster and flow of earnings, some perspective is needed. For example, we're seeing more and more companies roll out voice-based solutions on more devices. We're also seeing other companies chase the space as well -- just last night it was announced that Samsung, Intel (INTC) and Telefonica (TEF) have joined the likes of Google (GOOG) to invest in Expect Labs. This is a startup company with technology that can analyze and understand conversations in real-time. It then uses that data to find related information. This continued investment tells me that we are only at the tipping point for voice-based solutions and services. That's a positive driver for Nuance shares, and it takes a long-term investor to realize this and use it to her or his long-term advantage.

Given the pullback in NUAN shares Tuesday, longer-term investors should be inclined to enter new positions in the company and existing owners should use the drop to average down their cost basis. With Carl Icahn involved and Nuance announcing a $500 million share repurchase authorization, it's hard to see much more downside in the shares now that Wall Street has adjusted its near-term expectations.

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