, a manufacturer of networking equipment for communications companies, said Tuesday that fourth-quarter earnings per share were 56 cents, excluding one-time costs, matching the consensus forecast of 24 brokers polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial


Earnings for the quarter were up 44% from the 39 cents a share posted in the same period one year ago. Net income before one-time items was $232 million, up 41% from $165 million a year ago. Including one-time items, net income in the fourth quarter was $238 million and diluted earnings per share 57 cents.

The Lisle, Ill.-based company said its core business of networking equipment drove record sales and earnings. Sales in the quarter came to $1.018 billion, up 42% from $716 million in the same period in 1999. Full-year 2000 sales of $3.3 billion increased 43% over 1999 the company said.

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Although most communications companies are planning to cut back on infrastructure spending as the economy slows, the earnings results for fiber optics components and systems makers are expected to be a mixed bag this earnings season, with some companies posting strong results and others struggling, especially those with exposure to the broader telecommunications equipment market.

Tellabs' shares were recently up a little at $54.13 in pre-market


trading, having closed at $53.50 Monday on the