VoIP Systems

Acme Packet Gets Jittery

Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT) says its revenues for the second quarter will be at least 24 percent worse than expected. (See Acme Issues Q2 Warning .) The session border control vendor's stock has been getting hammered; its shares have fallen as much as 32 percent in late morning trading on Thursday.

For the second quarter of 2008, Acme Packet says that it expects revenues to come in between $24.5 million and $25.5 million and non-GAAP income to be between two and four cents per share. Wall Street was expecting $33.57 million in revenue and earnings of 9 cents a share, according to Reuters Research .

Acme Packet says that the shortfall is simply due to delayed transactions in the second quarter. “There were a number of transactions that did not close on the schedule we had forecast with various customers,” said Acme Packet CEO Andy Ory on a conference call this morning.

Ory says that these delays were not focused on any specific customer or region and that the company does not believe the opportunities were lost to competitors. “We believe these transactions will close this calendar year,” said Ory.

Acme Packet reiterated that it expects to return to sequential revenue growth in the third quarter -- something it has accomplished for the last nine quarters.

But how many -- and what type of -- customers have delayed orders? The company is implying that much of the shortfall is to blame on the larger more important carriers.

“The movement of smaller carriers doesn’t have nearly the impact of larger customers,” said CFO Keith Seidman on the call. “It is more than just a handful of customers. In this case it was not just three, four, or five.”

Acme Packet also says it shipped an unusually high number of products in the finals days of the second quarter. “In certain cases, we were unable to recognize the revenues from these orders due to time based acceptance criteria with certain customers,” said Ory.

While the company says this happens every quarter, the number of such transactions in the final days of the second quarter was unusually high.

Acme Packet will officially report earnings and provide full year guidance on August 7, 2008.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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