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Nuance falls as 4Q revenue misses Street

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Nuance Communications, whose speech-recognition software has helped power the iPhone's virtual assistant, Siri, fell more than 4 percent Tuesday as the company's fourth-quarter revenue missed analysts' estimates.

THE SPARK: Nuance reported on Monday that its earned 36 cents per share for the period ended Sept. 30. Revenue climbed 28 percent to $468.8 million from $367 million. Adjusted earnings were 51 cents per share. Revenue totaled $490.1 million when including $21.3 million in revenue lost to accounting treatments related to acquisitions.

Analysts polled by FactSet predicted earnings of 48 cents per share on revenue of $497.5 million.

The company's technology enables different gadgets to respond to voice commands. Its other products include Dragon voice-recognition software.

THE ANALYSIS: While investors seemed unhappy with Nuance's quarterly revenue performance, Brent Thill of UBS Investment Research said in a client note that Nuance had a solid quarter as revenue rose, earnings increased from a year ago and operating margin improved.

"Nuance is the clear go-to partner for speech recognition functionality," he wrote.

The analyst maintained a "Buy" rating and increased the company's price target to $30 from $29.

SHARE ACTION: Nuance Communications Inc.'s stock declined 97 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $20.60 in midday trading. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $19.33 to $31.15.