Comverse hurdles third-quarter estimates

Comverse Technology topped analysts' estimates in its third quarter Tuesday, earning $68.4 million, or 38 cents a share, on sales of $319 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 36 cents a share in the quarter.

Comverse (Nasdaq: CMVT) shares closed up $3.25 to $99 ahead of the earnings report.

The $319 million in sales marks a 27 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $45 million, or 28 cents a share, on sales of $232.9 million.

"The acceleration in our third quarter sales growth reflects continued strong demand for Comverse's products, particularly among wireless network operators, which account for the majority of our sales," said CEO Kobi Alexander in a prepared release.

Last quarter, it beat the Street when it pocketed $62.5 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $216.8 million.

Comverse shares moved as high as $123.88 in March before after falling to a low of $56.50 last December.

All 16 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

First Call Corp. consensus expects it to earn $1.41 a share in the fiscal year.