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Osicom 4Q losses increase

Osicom Technologies (Nasdaq: FIBR) saw losses widen as revenue increased in the fourth quarter.

After market close Thursday, the optical and network technology company reported a fiscal fourth quarter loss of $4.9 million, or 44 cents per share from continuing operations. Osicom lost $2.6 million, or 34 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Shares of Osicom plunged to as low as 101 in after hours activity on the Island electronic communications network, following the quarterly report. The stock closed Thursday's regular trading at 128 1/2, up 13 1/8 for the session.

Losses increased because of higher expenses for R&D, as well as sales, general and administrative functions, Osicom said.

The company saw revenue of $13.1 million, up 39 percent year-over-year, in the quarter ended Jan. 31. Optical networking saw revenue of $5.4 million, a 135 percent gain from the year ago period. Network access revenue rose 10 percent year-over-year to $7.7 million.

Gross margin shot up to 60 percent for optical networking, from 37.5 percent a year earlier. Network access gross margin fell to 29 percent from 39.3 percent as products were introduced to new OEM clients.

For the full fiscal 2000, Osicom earned $2.4 million, or 15 cents per share, on revenue of $68.4 million. The first nine months of the year included revenue from NETsilicon (Nasdaq: NSIL), which went public in September. Net income included a $14 million gain from selling NETsilicon shares.

Also Thursday, Osicom announced management buyout of its Far East division, which reported an operating loss of $9.8 million in the fourth quarter. Osicom recorded an estimated $3.6 million loss on the sale of the division, and with a net $20 million operating loss carried forward. Executives running that unit agreed to pay $2.5 million cash for the buyout.>