ONI Systems

(ONIS)

reported a fourth-quarter loss today that beat Wall Street's raised expectations by 2 cents.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, ONI lost $11 million, or 9 cents a share, excluding noncash charges. The company lost $12.9 million, or 59 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Nine analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

initially estimated that the company, which is based in San Jose, Calif., would lose 17 cents a share, then raised their consensus to a loss of 11 cents.

ONI, a developer of optical telecommunication systems, posted fourth-quarter revenue of $30.2 million, up from $1.3 million in the same quarter one year ago. Revenue rose 84% from the latest third quarter.

The company said "visibility, into at least the next several quarters, remains solid." The company expects revenue of $35 million to $40 million in the first quarter and $45 million to $55 million in the second quarter. ONI also projected revenue of $210 million to $220 million for 2001. The company also expects to break even, excluding stock compensation costs and goodwill amortization, in the fourth quarter of 2001.

ONI had 16 customers as of Dec. 31, and the company expects to have at least 24 to 26 customers by the end of 2001.