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Interactive Intelligence shares fall on smaller profit

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Shares of Interactive Intelligence fell as much 10 percent in early trading Thursday after the Indianapolis-based software maker reported lower earnings Wednesday after the market closed.

Interactive's profit in the first quarter fell to $189,000, or 1 cent per share, compared with $3 million, or 16 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2011.

Revenue grew 11 percent, to $52.8 million, compared to the previous year.

The company reported profit of 9 cents per share on a non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) basis, missing analyst estimates by 6 cents per share.

Interactive's short-term results appeared to be dinged by a higher percentage of cloud-based product orders, which resulted in more revenue being deferred to future quarters.

The company increasingly is making its communications software available as a service that is hosted and managed off-site instead of at the customer’s premises. The appeal of such cloud computing is that customers don’t have to allocate costly space on their own IT systems.

“For the first quarter, a higher mix of cloud-based orders and the structure of certain product orders resulted in more revenues being deferred to future quarters,” Interactive founder and CEO Donald Brown said in a prepared statement. "We are optimistic about our outlook for the remainder of the year, and we are maintaining our revenue, order growth and profitability guidance for 2012."

Unbilled future cloud-based revenues in the quarter jumped to $40.6 million, from $18.6 million during the first quarter of 2011.

Interactive stock fell as low as $27.27 per share Thursday morning before rebounding to $28.49, down 7.4 percent from Wednesday's closing price.

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