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Sonicblue preannounces financial results

The electronics maker reports that it expects revenue to be $78 million to $80 million when it announces fourth-quarter results next month.

Consumer electronics maker Sonicblue on Tuesday preannounced its financial results for the fourth quarter, as it said the company expects to beat analysts' revenue estimates by more than $20 million.

Sonicblue reported that it expects revenue to be $78 million to $80 million when it announces fourth-quarter results Feb. 6. If the estimate holds up, it would represent a 45 percent quarter-over-quarter growth in revenue and would exceed analysts' estimates by $21 million to $23 million.

Analysts are expecting a loss of 9 cents per share for the fourth quarter, according to First Call.

The company attributed the results to strong sales over the holiday period, beginning as early as October. The company had trouble keeping up with demand, in particular, for its Rio CD-based MP3 player, its Go-Video combination DVD/VCR player and its ReplayTV digital video recorders, according to the company.

The strong results put the company in a better position to turn itself around following its transition from a graphics chip company to a consumer electronics company.

"We are ahead of our internal plan to bring our cost structure in line with our current business plan and have positioned the company to be profitable in 2002," Sonicblue Chief Financial Officer John Todd said in a statement.

When the electronics maker laid out plans to transform itself, many analysts said Sonicblue was entering many nascent product categories, such as Internet appliances.

In an interview with CNET, Sonicblue Chief Executive Ken Potashner said that the company would continue to push into emerging categories, such as digital video.

"We believed that the world would move to digital (content) faster than many expected...after setting the playing field for digital audio, we're now getting ready to allow consumers to access digital video wherever they want," Potashner said.

Sonicblue's ReplayTV boxes will likely play a vital role in the company's video strategy. Sales of the ReplayTV box are expected to make up less than 5 percent of revenue, but it has only been available direct from the company. There are plans to move it into retail as early as the second quarter.