Tellabs

(TLAB)

, 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.

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

Instinet

trading, having closed at $53.50 Monday on the

Nasdaq

.