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Polycom and the Rorschach Test

August 4, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Andrew Davis / No Jitter

Does the company's financial picture look like a disaster unfolding, or a rebound beginning? It depends on who's looking at it.

The Rorschach test is one in which subjects' perceptions of inkblots are analyzed in a psychological interpretation, sometimes with complex algorithm enhancements as well. The test is often employed in diagnosing underlying thought disorders and in differentiating psychotic from non-psychotic thinking.

It has occurred to me that Polycom's P&L could be viewed as a Rorschach test where numbers rather than inkblots are subject to interpretation. And maybe like the traditional test, interpreting Polycom's patterns is also an indicator of the psychological state of the reader.

The facts are pretty simple. Polycom reported second quarter 2014 revenues of $332 million, somewhat below Wall Street expectations (whatever that means). However, increased profitability from revenue mix shifts and cost cuts and a lower share count all assisted in a non-GAAP earnings per share of 21 cents, higher than expectations. A summary of Q2 results:


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