Forrester 4Q profit doubles but outlook soft

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) ? Forrester Research Inc. reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income more than doubled.

But the research and advisory company issued guidance that fell short of analyst expectations and its stock ended the day down 7 percent.

Forrester, based in Cambridge, said that it earned $8.9 million, or 38 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. That’s up from $4.1 million, or 18 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding acquisition costs, reorganization expenses and other special items in both periods, Forrester earned 40 cents per share in the most recent quarter versus 26 cents per share in the prior year.

Revenue increased 11 percent to $74.7 million from $67.1 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet anticipated the company would earn 35 cents per share on revenue of $76.1 million.

For full-year 2011, the company reported that it earned $23 million, or 99 cents per share, compared with $20.5 million, or 89 cents per share, last year. Annual revenue increased 13 percent to $283.6 million.

Forrester said that it plans to simplify its sales process for customers in 2012 and increase its sales productivity. It also plans to invest in its facilities and technology during the year.

The company said it expects to earn 7 to 11 cents per share for the first quarter, or 15 to 19 cents on an adjusted basis. The company forecast first-quarter revenue of $68.5 million to $71.5 million. Analysts had been forecasting earnings of 25 cents per share on revenue of $74.6 million.

Forrester forecast earning 94 cents to $1 per share for all of 2012, or $1.16 to $1.22 per share on an adjusted basis. It anticipates revenue of $308 to $316 million. Analysts forecast earnings of $1.39 per share on revenue of $318.8 million.

Shares of the company fell $2.50 to close at $32.80 Thursday.

The company also announced that it has instituted a quarterly dividend. The first dividend payment of 14 cents per share, which will be paid March 21 to shareholders of record as of March 7.