Corvis losses narrow, even as revenue falls

Last quarter's net decline about half of amount from year-ago period

February 07, 2003|By Stacey Hirsh | Stacey Hirsh,SUN STAFF

Columbia-based Corvis Corp. said yesterday that its losses narrowed as revenue dropped during the fourth quarter.

The telecommunications company reported a net loss of $190.2 million, or 47 cents per diluted share, for the quarter ended Dec. 28. That compares with a net loss of $374.8 million, or $1.05 per share, for the corresponding quarter of 2001.

Adjusted net loss for the quarter - which does not include restructuring and other charges - was $46 million, or 11 cents per share, compared with an adjusted net loss of $39.9 million, or 11 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2001.

Corvis, which makes equipment for fiber-optic networks, reported revenue of $7.1 million for the quarter, compared with $15.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2001.

Sales during the quarter came from contracts with Qwest Communications International Inc., Broadwing Communications Inc. and France Telecom SA.

Revenue for this year's first quarter is expected to be lower than it was for the fourth quarter of 2002, the company said.

For the year, Corvis had a net loss of $507.8 million, or $1.30 per share, on revenue of $20.2 million. That compares with a net loss of $1.4 billion, or $3.94 per share, on revenue of $188.5 million in 2001.

Adjusted net loss for 2002 was $190.6 million, or 49 cents per share, compared with an adjusted net loss of $135.3 million, or 39 cents per share, for 2001.

"We made significant progress in 2002, realigning the business during one of the most difficult telecommunications markets most of us have ever seen," Corvis Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Huber said in a statement yesterday. "We believe that we are taking the necessary steps to help position Corvis for the long term and to be first in line when service providers resume spending."

Corvis announced last week that it cut 180 jobs, most of them in the company's research and development division. The cuts, along with continuing layoffs in France that Corvis announced late last year, will bring the company's staff to fewer than 500 employees by the end of the first quarter.

Andrew Backman, Corvis' vice president of investor relations and public relations, said that the company continues to make steady progress in a tough market.

Corvis finished 2002 with $504.4 million in cash and cash equivalents, and spent $4.4 million to repurchase 5.9 million shares of common stock as part of a previously announced stock buyback program. The company used $30.3 million for its operations in the fourth quarter, compared with $38 million in the third quarter. Corvis expects to use $30 million to $35 million for operations in the first quarter.

"Corvis ended fiscal 2002 with over $500 million in cash and virtually no long-term debt," Lynn Anderson, Corvis' senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, said in a statement. "We do not have the serious debt issues currently facing some of our larger competitors, and we believe we have substantial resources unlike some of the smaller competitors."

The earnings were announced after the close of the market yesterday. Shares of Corvis, which are traded on the Nasdaq small-cap market, rose a penny to close at 71 cents.

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