TORONTO – Fiber-optics equipment maker JDS Uniphase Corp. said on Thursday it was no longer sure that March would mark a trough in sales, and it reported second-quarter revenues in line with previous forecasts.
JDS, which had earlier said it expected demand to reach a low point in the current third quarter, repeated earlier comments that third-quarter sales would fall a further 10 percent to 15 percent from the second quarter's $286 million.
It added ominously: ``Recent changes to its sales forecasts have caused the company to be uncertain that the March quarter will represent the low point in sales for the current downturn, although it continues to believe that recovery from the low point is expected initially to be modest.''
JDS, which has shed over half its work force in the face of sliding demand, said pro forma losses in the quarter to Dec. 31 were $255 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with profits of $208 million, or 21 cents a share in the year ago period.
Losses according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) were $2.1 billion or $1.60 per share.
But JDS said sales in the quarter were less than one-third of year-ago figures, dropping to $286 million, from $925.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2001.
Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call had expected a loss prior to goodwill of 2 cents a share on sales of $284.3 million.
JDS earned itself the dubious distinction of recording one of the largest quarterly losses in corporate history last year, with a whopping third-quarter loss of $41.9 billion or $36.63 per share. This included the write down of $39.8 billion in goodwill, amassed in an acquisition spree in headier times for the fiber-optics industry.
The company warned in early December that sales would dip about 10 percent from the first quarter and fall in the range of $279.7 million to $296.1 million.
JDS also said it recorded a reduction of $1.3 billion in the carrying value of goodwill and other long lived assets in the second quarter. It said its financial condition remains strong, with $1.5 billion in cash and highly liquid securities at the end of December.
Shares of JDS have lost 19 percent since the Dec. 10 warning. This compares to optics-related firms Corning Inc. and Ciena Corp., which are off 13 percent and 23 percent respectively in the same period.