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ONI Systems tops Street view in 3Q

    ONI Systems topped the Street estimate in its third quarter Tuesday, losing $16.2 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $16.4 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected the maker of optical networking equipment to lose 18 cents a share in the quarter.

    ONI Systems (Nasdaq: ONIS) shares shot up $11.06, or 16 percent, to $81.06 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the year-ago quarter, it lost $8.4 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $742,000.

    "Our significant revenue increase this quarter reflects strong demand for our products," said CEO Hugh Martin in a prepared release. "The company expects to see sequential revenue growth of approximately 25 percent in the fourth quarter of 2000 and approximately 35 percent for each of the first and second quarters of 2001."

    In the quarter, gross profit margins improved to 32.1 percent, up from 27.6 percent in the second quarter.

    Including a variety of charges, ONI Systems posted a net loss of $35.1 million, or 30 cents a share, in the quarter.

    Last quarter, ONI Systems beat the Street when it posted a loss of $20 million, or 18 cents a share, on sales of $9.5 million.

    Its shares raced up to a 52-week high of $142 in June before slipping to a low of $51.63 earlier this month.

    All five analysts tracking the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

    First Call Corp. consensus pegs the San Jose, Calif. company for a loss of 75 cents a share in the fiscal year.