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Tellabs beats 4Q estimates

Telecommunications equipment manufacturer Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB), said Tuesday earnings for the fourth quarter were 41 cents share, beating First Call's estimate of 40 cents a share on demand for its Titan line of products. The company also announced two product enhancements.

Shares in the company closed at 69 1/16 Monday, and have been spiking along since the company beat estimates in its previous quarter.

Including a pre-tax gain of about $29.9 million on the sale of stock held as an investment, Tellabs said net income for the fourth quarter of 1999 was $188.7 million, or 46 cents a share, up 55.9 percent from $121 million, or 30 cents a share a year earlier.

Sales for the fourth quarter of 1999 were $714.9 million, up 37.1 percent from sales of $521.3 million for the similar period in 1998. Sales during 1999 were $2.3 billion, exceeding the company goal set in 1995 of achieving $2 billion in annual revenue by the end of 2000.

Tellabs also reported year-end results; excluding the gains charges and write-offs, net income for 1999 was 43.8 percent greater than in 1998. Diluted earnings per share for 1999 were $1.30, compared to 92 cents in 1998. First Call's consensus estimate had predicted $1.32 a share for 1999. Net income for 1999, including the gain mentioned above, another third-quarter pre-tax gain of about $6.9 million on the sale of stock and a charge taken in connection with the acquisition of NetCore Systems, was 559.1 million. This compares to net income of $396.1 million during 1998.

Tellabs said it plans to achieve $6 billion in annual revenue by the end of 2003, with the help of the introduction of three new products in 2000: the Titan 6500 and 6100 platforms, the AN2100GX system and its Everest switch.

Sales growth during 1999 was driven by the Titan digital cross-connect family, the company said. Tellabs Cablespan system and Customer Services business also contributed to revenue growth. In a separate press release Tuesday, Tellabs trumpeted its Titan sales of $1.2 billion as a huge boon to revenue, and proof of its position as the leading provider of fiber transport systems.

The company also announced it is doubling the capacity of its Titan 532L narrowband digital cross-connect system, and has improved another offering by adding single-pair symmetrical digital subscriber line (SDSL) capabilities to its MartisDXX managed access and transport system, which will enable service providers to supply high-speed data access over long copper loops.

Other highlights for the past quarter include Tellabs' purchase of Salix in an all-stock transaction valued at about $300 million. Tellabs expects the acquisition to close before the end of the first calendar quarter of 2000.