Sure, the earnings were a little bit better than expected and the commentary was generally positive. However, these strong results have been has been pretty consistant all along, even besides the fact that they surprised everyone with the extent of the merger costs and the longer than expected time frame to integrate and pay for WebCT.
Has the market really shrugged off this year's integration costs and looked to the future already?
It seems hard to believe. I'm always surprised when the market as a whole takes on a long-term perspective and starts getting optimistic about earnings that are 18 months away.
Don't get me wrong- that's why I bought BBBB last month. Along with many other people, I saw the potential for a near-monopoly on a growing business in education software. However, I thought I would have a little more time to build my position before the market embraced Blackboard's future again.
So now I have a little regret that I still sit with just a small introductory position in BBBB -and watched as those few shares shot up in value by 20% today on what really seemed to be not much in the way of unexpected earnings news- though the analysts did turn positive and issue some nice remarks about their potential in the out years now that their main competitor is being absorbed.
It's still a long while before their acquisition costs trickle off the books, though, so perhaps I'll have another buying opportunity before the year's out. Regardless, I'm glad I had at least a few shares before the climb began - another argument for not trying to predict the whims of the market, especially at earnings time, and buying in chunks.
BBBB 1-yr chart: