While the San Jose, Calif., company may lack the size of some of its competitors, it knows how to return value to shareholders through dividends. These shares, which are up more than 6% year to date, beating the broader averages, won't get any cheaper.
For the quarter than ended in January, Brocade reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of $87.3 million, or 20 cents per share. On an adjusted basis, when excluding one-time gains and costs, earnings were 27 cents per share, up 12.5% year over year, beating Wall Street estimates by 3 cents. These gains were primarily due to the company's better-than-expected revenue and gross margin improvements.
During the quarter, Brocade reported revenue of $576 million, up 2% year over year and topping estimates of $569.9 million. While its competitors complained about currency headwinds due to the strong U.S. dollar, Brocade felt no such impact. The company grew its product revenue by 2% year over year, while services revenue climbed almost 1%.
Brocade is already one of the largest data storage providers in the world, giving it access to growth markets such as big data and the cloud. Plus there is Brocade's recent acquisition of Riverbed Technology's (RVBD) SteelApp business.
With SteelApp, Brocade is looking for capitalize on a $2 billion market for Application Deliver Control services, a software-based platform that controls data traffic. The market is growing at a compound annual rate of 30%. The company expects the deal to close within its fiscal second-quarter, ending in April.
Separately, the company's board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.035 per share of the company’s common stock, or 14 cents annually, yielding 1.11%. What's important to note here is the likelihood that more dividend increases will come later, based on Brocade's ongoing financial improvements, which include a 0.35% decline in operating expenses.
Brocade stock closed Thursday at $12.58, climbing 6.4% for the year to date. With telecom spending projected to climb in 2015, investors still looking for a bargain and a decent dividend can do well by buying now.
TheStreet Ratings team rates BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS SYS as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS SYS (BRCD) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: BRCD Ratings Report
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.