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Newbridge 4Q a penny short of estimates

The fourth quarter turned out to be about as bad as expected for Newbridge Networks Corp. (NYSE: NN).

In fiscal fourth quarter results released after market close Tuesday, the Canadian network equipment maker posted net income of $33 milion, or 12 cents a share, excluding one-time charges. Analyst consensus predicted earnings of 13 cents.

Fourth quarter sales increased to $457.1 million, up 15.7 percent year-over-year from $395.2 million. Last month, Newbridge, blaming supply chain problems, warned it would report a disappointing fourth quarter.

One-time gains were related to the initial and secondary public offering of shares of Newbridge affiliate Tundra Semiconductor Corp. Charges reflected one-time costs to streamline operations by cutting development of some mature products and closing some offices.

Newbridge is seeing "excellent" demand for its ATM and IP switches, said Alan Lutz, president and chief operating officer. It will take two quarters to fix supply problems so that output matches orders, he said. "It's time to look and move forward," said Alan Lutz, president and chief operating officer. "The task is not completed, but progress to date is good.''

Production improvements combined with a new line of networking products will strengthen the company, Lutz said.

Shares of Newbridge retreated 9/16 to 27 1/16 in Tuesday's trading prior to the quarterly report. Of 24 analysts surveyed by Zack's Investment Research, 11 have "moderate buy" ratings on the Newbridge, seven rate the stock a "hold", three recommend it as a "strong buy", two maintain "moderate sell" advisories, and one describes it as a "strong sell".>

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