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Newbridge Networks finally gets it right

Newbridge Networks Corp. (NYSE: NN) skipped past analysts' estimates in its first quarter Tuesday, posting a profit of 18 cents a share, on sales of C$495 million.

First Call consensus expected the Canadian network-equipment maker to earn 16 cents a share in the quarter.

It raked in C$47 million, or 26 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter compared to a profit of C$35 million, or 20 Canadian cents per share last year. Sales of C$495 million were up from C$426 million.

"We're higher in revenue and higher in earnings than analysts expected," CEO Alan Lutz told Reuters. "Quite honestly, it all boils down to our fundamental product lines growing rapidly."

That revenue includes a 16 percent sequential increase in sales for Newbridge's flagship asynchronous transfer mode technology, which sends multimedia signals over telecommunications networks at high speeds.

The upside surprise is a marked departure from the company's recent woes. Newbridge Networks had issued profit warnings in five of its past eight fiscal quarters.

A significant backlog of orders that Newbridge couldn't fill last quarter helped boost this set of results. Production has been largely overhauled, Lutz said, and the company does not expect to miss any orders in the future.

Last quarter, Newbridge missed estimates, earning $33 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $457.1 million.

The stock peaked at 39 7/8 in January after hitting a low of 15 7/16 in October.

Thirteen of the 25 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.