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Broadcom tops lowered expectations

The company reports a second-quarter loss that squeaks by analysts' lowered expectations, but it remains positive about a possible rebound in its business.

Broadcom reported a second-quarter loss that squeaked by analysts' lowered expectations, but the company remains positive about a possible rebound in its business.

The communications chipmaker said its pro forma net loss for the period was $41.1 million, or 16 cents per share, on revenue of $210.9 million. That compares with earnings of $61.1 million, or 24 cents per share, on revenue of $245.2 million in the same period in 2000.

Wall Street expected Broadcom to lose 17 cents per share, the consensus estimate of 19 analysts surveyed by First Call.

"Revenue decreased significantly in our broadband and networking business units as our customers continue to work through their inventory issues," said CFO William Ruehle in the earnings call, who added that Broadcom's inventory decreased to $51 million in the second quarter from the previous quarter's $75 million.

Broadcom posted revenue that was 32 percent lower than its first-quarter net revenue of $310.5 million. The company told investors in June that second-quarter revenue would be between 32 percent and 35 percent lower than first-quarter revenue.

Despite the lackluster numbers, Broadcom was optimistic about its prospects. "We are continuing to see signs that business is stabilizing for the second half of the year," Chief Executive Henry Nicholas said in a statement.

Ruehle said during the earnings call that Broadcom expects third-quarter revenue to stay flat with the second quarter, and pro forma earnings to be flat or slightly better. Ruehle also mentioned that the company sees encouraging signs for an uptick in revenue growth by the end of the year but could not say if these signs would become a certainty at this time.

The company also gave details on the number of employees cut under its previously announced layoff plans. The company laid off more than 200 workers in engineering and non-engineering positions, or about 9 percent of a work force that numbered 2,706 at the end of March 2001.

The company also recorded $18.2 million in restructuring charges during the quarter related to severance pay and excess real estate. Broadcom's cash also dwindled by $47 million to $665 million.