JDS Uniphase Slips as Guidance Sags

Updated from April 28

JDS Uniphase ( JDSU) sagged 15% Thursday after the struggling tech company trimmed fiscal fourth-quarter guidance.

The San Jose, Calif.-based maker of optical networking parts posted a slightly stronger-than-expected third quarter after the market closed Wednesday. But its shares dropped 56 cents to $3.30 around midday Thursday as investors resumed wondering about the company's anemic growth.

Excluding one-time adjustments, JDS posted a third-quarter loss of $6.7 million, or less than a penny per share, on $161 million in sales. This compares with a penny-a-share loss on $153 million in sales in the December quarter, and a 3-cent loss on $166 million in revenue in the year-ago period.

On a GAAP basis, JDS posted a net loss of $7.3 million, or a penny per share, on sales of $161 million. This compares with a second-quarter loss of 4 cents on $153 million in sales, and a dime-a-share loss on sales of $166 million a year ago.

A Reuters Research tally had analysts looking for a penny-a-share loss on sales of $159 million.

"We continue to focus on execution and operational improvements, as we see signs of recovery in our markets," CEO Kevin Kennedy said in the company's earnings release Wednesday.

Management's outlook for the current quarter ending in June was largely in line with analysts' expectations, which called for a 5% sequential sales increase. But the company lowered its non-GAAP loss forecast, project a penny-a-share loss. Analysts had expected a smaller loss.

As a key supplier to the network building boom, JDS was one of the highest fliers in the go-go bull market. The stock peak above the split-adjusted $140 in March 2000 at the height of the Nasdaq bull run.

Quarterly sales at JDS once reached toward a billion dollars, as previous management engaged in a massive stock-fueled acquisition spree. But the company's numbers plunged under the weight of the collapsing tech boom after 2001, and its sales have been static in the neighborhood of around $150 million ever since.

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