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JDS Uniphase hurdles 4Q estimates

JDS Uniphase topped analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Wednesday, earning $114 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $524 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected the maker of fiber-optic network equipment to earn 12 cents a share in the quarter.

JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU) shares closed up 5 13/16 to 136 ahead of the earnings report.

The $524 million in sales marks a 173 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $41 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $192 million.

Including merger-related charges, purchased intangibles amortization and payroll taxes on stock option exercises, JDS Uniphase lost $419 million or 54 cents a share in the quarter and $905 million or $1.26 a share in the fiscal year.

For the fiscal year, JDS Uniphase pocketed $327 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $1.43 billion, up from a profit of $125 million, or 18 cents a share, on sales of $282.8 million in fiscal 1999.

JDS Uniphase will be added to the S&P 500 Index after the bell.

Earlier this quarter, it announced it will buy SDL Inc. (Nasdaq: SDLI) for $41 billion in stock.

The deal calls for each share of SDL to be exchanged for 3.8 shares of JDS. Following the merger, SDL, which also makes fiber optics products, will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of JDS.

Last quarter, JDS Uniphase beat the Street estimate when it posted a profit of $85.8 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $394.6 million.

Its shares rolled up to a 52-week high of 153 3/8 in March after falling to a low of 19 5/16 in July. The stock split 2-for-1 in March.

Thirty-two of the 34 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

First Call Corp. consensus expects it to earn 63 cents a share in fiscal 2001.