Mentor Graphics' stock surges following another record quarter [The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.]
(Oregonian (Portland, OR) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 23--Shares in Mentor Graphics Corp. are up nearly 9 percent this morning after the Wilsonville design software company reported another quarter of record revenue Thursday. In early trading, the stock hit its highest point in more than a decade.
Revenue in Mentor's fiscal second quarter, which ended July 31, totaled $253.2 million. That's up from $240.8 million in the same quarter last year, and above the $245 million Mentor had told investors to expect.
Profits totaled $24.0 million, or 19 cents a share, above the 16 cents a share Mentor posted a year ago. Mentor had forecast profits of 14 cents a share.
Mentor's is Oregon's largest pure technology company. It has about 1,000 employees at its Wilsonville headquarters.
Engineers use Mentor's software to design semiconductors and other sophisticated electronics and mechanical systems. The company has attributed a run of strong financial results to growing complexity in the computer chip industry, necessitating more capable design tools.
Mentor reiterated its revenue forecast for the full year on Thursday, telling investors it continues to expect record sales around $1.155 billion. But the company cut its profit forecast, from $1.33 a share to $1.31 a share.
Additionally, Mentor said Tuesday that it spent $20 million to buy back 1 million shares of the company's stock at an average price of $19.95. The company said it has repurchased $164 million shares of its stock since March 2011, and on Thursday the company's board authorized Mentor to spend up to $100 million more buying its own shares.
Stock buybacks are one way that companies signal confidence in their business prospects, and they raise the value of investors' holdings by decreasing the number of outstanding shares -- thereby increasing earnings per share.
Mentor's stock has been rising steadily since the company began its buyback more than two years ago, so Mentor's bet on its own shares has thus far paid off. Occasionally, though, companies have spent heavily on buybacks only to watch their stocks stumble later. That's left them overpaying for their own shares.
This morning, though, Mentor shareholders remain very enthusiastic. Shares jumped $1.91, 9 percent, to $23.20. The company's stock hasn't been this high since the dot-com era.
-- Mike Rogoway; twitter: @rogoway; phone: 503-294-7699
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