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Earnings Roundup: Tellabs, Spyglass, Safeguard, Covad deliver

Earnings results were looking up Wednesday as Tellabs, Safeguard Scientifics, Spyglass and Covad Communications all topped First Call expectations.

Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB) reported Wednesday third quarter operating earnings of 34 cents a share on sales of $594.5 million to beat estimates by a penny.

The sales tally was a record for the telecommunications equipment maker as revenue was up 38.8 percent compared to the $428.4 million posted in the third quarter a year ago.

Including a one-time gain and acquisition charge, Tellabs reported earnings of $6.9 million, or 35 cents a share. Net income was up 73.4 percent from a year ago including one-time items and up 53 percent excluding charges.

Tellabs said sales were strong among most of its products. In the quarter, Tellabs acquired two companies: Alcatel's DSC Communications businesses in Europe, now known as Tellabs Denmark, and Wilmington, Mass.-based NetCore Systems, Inc.

Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE), the Internet holding company behind the Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq: ICGE) among others, reported third quarter earnings of $9.3 million, or 26 cents a share, a dime better than First Call consensus.

Net sales for the three months ended Sept. 30, were $897.7 million compared to $609.1 million for the same period a year ago. The increase reflects the higher revenue at the company's CompuCom unit.

In addition to Internet Capital, Safeguard owns a big chunk of US Interactive (Nasdaq: USIT), which was recently spun off in an IPO. Safeguard currently focuses on companies engaged in e-commerce, network infrastructure activities, and e- business services.

Spyglass Inc. (Nasdaq: SPYG) topped estimates by a penny with fourth quarter earnings of 2 cents a share on sales of $9.2 million. Revenue was up 49 percent compared to the $6.2 million reported in the year ago period.

The fourth quarter earnings reversed a 7 cents a share loss in the fourth quarter a year ago.

The company said fourth quarter sales were driven by a 68 percent improvement in technology licensing revenue combined with a 32 percent increase in revenue from professional services.

For fiscal 1999, Spyglass reported a loss of 12 cents a share and sales of $29.6 million.

Covad Communications (Nasdaq: COVD), a broadband and digital subscriber line access provider, reported a third quarter loss of $54.1 million on sales of $19.1 million. First Call consensus had Covad losing 70 cents a share.

The sales were up 77 percent from the second quarter, but the loss also widened from $41.9 million for the quarter ending June 30.

Covad said subscriber lines increased 86 percent to 31,000 lines, from 16,700 lines at June 30.