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Nuance Communications boosts 4th-qtr forecast

Tue, 10/18/2011 - 8:05am
The Associated Press

Nuance Communications Inc. on Tuesday raised its fourth-quarter adjusted profit outlook, but shares fell after the software maker said it planned to raise $600 million in a debt offering.

The maker of voice recognition software said on Tuesday it expects a net loss of between 3 and 5 cents per share for the quarter ended on Sept. 30. Excluding special charges related to acquisitions and other items, it expects earnings of 41 to 42 cents per share.

Nuance also said it now expects revenue of between $363 million and $367 million. Adjusted to include revenue from three recent acquisitions, Nuance said it expects revenue of $396 million to $400 million.

In August, Nuance had forecast a loss of between 4 and 7 cents per share, adjusted earnings of 38 cents to 41 cents per share and revenue of between $355.3 million and $370.3 million. It expected adjusted revenue of between $380 million and $395 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted earnings of 40 cents per share on revenue of $384.8 million.

The company cited growth in its mobile, imaging and health care businesses, and improvement in its enterprise division.

Nunace, which is based in Burlington, Mass., will report complete results on Nov. 22.

But the company's stock fell 61 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $22.99 in midday trading. Nuance also said on Tuesday that it plans a $600 million senior convertible debt offering due in 2031. The company plans to use the proceeds for $200 million program of stock buybacks, potential acquisitions and general corporate purposes.

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's lowered its outlook on the company because the offering will increase Nuance's debt load. But S&P analyst David Tsui said that the "incremental debt is not a detriment to credit quality" at Nuance's current "BB-" rating.

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