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Brocade raises 2001 revenue goal

Brocade Communications Systems (Nasdaq: BRCD) beat consensus analyst estimates in the fourth quarter, set a stock split, and boosted its revenue target for the current fiscal year.

After market close Wednesday, the maker of switches for Fibre Channel storage area networks posted fiscal fourth quarter net income of $27.2 million, or 22 cents per share. First Call's survey of 15 analysts predicted a profit of 20 cents per share for the quarter ended Oct. 28.

Also Wednesday, Brocade announced a 2-for-1 stock split, to take effect Dec. 22 for shareholders of Dec. 11 record. Brocade ended the fourth quarter with 124.1 million shares.

"We are very proud of our results for the fourth quarter of 2000," CFO Michael Byrd said, during a Wednesday afternoon conference call with analysts.

The company also exuded confidence about fiscal 2001. Byrd told analysts to raise their full year revenue expectations to $830 million, a 150 percent improvement over 2000. Wall Street previously had expected 2001 revenue of roughly $700 million.

Shares of Brocade traded at 147.874 in afterhours activity on the Island electronic communications network, following the release of quarterly results. The stock had fallen into the 143 range in afterhours trading before the quarterly conference call.

Brocade slid 7.25 to 153.75 in Wednesday's regular trading, ahead of the earnings report.

Fourth quarter revenue increased 339 percent year-over-year to $132.1 million, easily surpassing Wall Street's consensus expectation of $117.5 million. But beating the estimate hardly surprised many Wall Street observers.

"Given the business momentum we have been seeing, we believe BRCD will meet or exceed our raised forecast," Banc of America Securities analyst Shaw Wu wrote in a research note released prior to Brocade's earnings report.

Brocade now claims nearly 60 percent of the its storage area networking market, including a gain of almost 5 percent in the fourth quarter.

"At this point, we're very, very optimistic about SANs adoption," chairman and CEO Greg Reyes told analysts. "We have an incredibly strong outlook and our best backlog ever going into the next quarter.">