Corvis losses soar in quarter

Fiber-optic maker's revenue plummets in `challenging' market

February 08, 2002|By Stacey Hirsh | Stacey Hirsh,SUN STAFF

Corvis Corp., the Columbia-based maker of fiber-optic equipment, reported yesterday that its losses more than quadrupled and revenue shrank in the fourth quarter.

The company also said it took charges and write-downs of $303.4 million in the quarter that ended Dec. 29 and $1 billion for the year.

"There is no question that the market for optical networking equipment remains challenging," David Huber, president and chief executive officer of Corvis, said in a conference call yesterday.

Corvis had a net loss of $374.8 million, or $1.05 per share, in the fourth quarter. That compares with a loss of $89.7 million, or 27 cents per share, in the corresponding quarter of 2000.

The company's adjusted net loss - which does not include restructuring and other charges - was $39.9 million, or 11 cents per share. That compares with an adjusted net loss of $23.9 million, or 7 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Revenue for the quarter was $15.2 million, compared with $46.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2000. The revenue in the fourth quarter came from deploying equipment through existing contracts with Broadwing Communications Inc. and Williams Communications Inc., the company said.

Corvis' $303.4 million in restructuring and other charges during the fourth quarter included charges from laying off about 300 employees in November, write-downs for excess materials and some equity investments and a write-down of good will from the acquisition of Algety Telecom, a French company that Corvis bought in 2000.

For the year, the Columbia-based company's $1 billion charges include a $710.7 million write-down of good will associated with the Algety Telecom acquisition.

Huber said that Corvis has a strong balance sheet. "We believe our long-term prospects are good," he said. The company has about $660 million in cash and short-term investments.

Corvis reported revenue of $188.5 million in 2001, compared with revenue of $68.9 million for 2000.

Net loss in the year was $1.4 billion, or $3.94 per share, compared with a net loss of $283.6 million, or $1.80 per share, in the year earlier. Adjusted net loss in 2001 was $135.3 million, or 39 cents per share, compared with an adjusted net loss of $96.3 million, or 29 cents per share, in 2000.

The earnings were released after the close of market yesterday. Shares of Corvis closed at $1.61, down 5 cents.

The stock's 52-week high was $22.06 in February 2001. It hit $108.06 in August 2000.

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