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CommScope Swings to Profit

Higher cable prices help out.


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, the communications equipment maker, swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, helped by higher cable prices.

The company earned $16.6 million, or 25 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $7 million or 13 cents a share. Adjusted for after-tax charges related to restructuring costs and an after-tax gain related to recovery of accounts receivable previously written off, the net earnings were $19.9 million or 30 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $14.7 million or 24 cents a share in the quarter.

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Fourth-quarter revenue rose 17 % from the year ago quarter to $345.8 million. Analysts were estimating revenue of $332.8 million.

The company estimates sales of $1.42 billion to $1.47 billion for full year 2006, on strong volumes growth and price increases. "Assuming major raw material costs do not escalate, we believe that we can achieve an operating margin around the 8.5% level for calendar year 2006, excluding special items, " the company said. It added that for the first quarter, the company expects revenue of $330 to $340 million and operating margin of 4% to 4.5%, excluding special items.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were seeing revenue of $1.43 billion for 2006 and $332 million for the first quarter.

Revenue in the fourth quarter was driven by an increase in prices of cables across enterprise segment and broadband segment. Carrier segment sales went up due to strong demand for integrated cabinet solutions and cell reach wireless products. Enterprise segment revenue, which contributed about 47% of the fourth-quarter sales, rose 9 % to $163.1 million over the comparable quarter. Broadband sales rose 7.6% to $ 119.3 million and revenue from carrier segment jumped 80.8% o $64 million. Operating income for the fourth quarter was at $21.8 million, or 6.3% of revenue, bulk of it coming from the broadband segment. The broadband segment posted $21.6 million profits at the operating level, up from $6.2 million in the year-ago period. The carrier segment recorded an operating profit of $3.1 million and the enterprise segment a loss of $2.9 million.

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