Plantronics beats own expectations for Q1

Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ — An increased demand for mobile headsets and in the office and contact center category as well as lower operating expenses helped Plantronics push its quarterly earnings beyond expectations, according to company executives who reported Monday first quarter earnings for fiscal 2011.

The company reported net income of nearly $26 million on revenues of almost $170.7 million, a 21 percent jump in year-over-year revenues. The unexpected sales boosted the company’s earlier forecast of 46-50 cents earnings per share for the quarter to an earnings per share of 58 cents.

The company generated about $32 million in cash flow from operations during the first fiscal quarter, according to Barbara Scherer, chief financial officer and senior vice president. Mobile net revenues were also up significantly.

“The economic environment is clearly much better than last year but remains highly uncertain and volatile,” Scherer said. “Fears of a double-dip recession seem to be increasing actual volatility and that makes forecasting our business that much more difficult,” Scherer called it a “choppy and fragile economic environment.”

The company brought in about $9.8 million in revenues related to unified communications, a growing market for the company.

“We have a strong UC pipeline and remain very positive on the opportunity,” Scherer said, noting, however, that sales are “lumpy,” in part due to the nascent market.

Executives maintained a conservative outlook for the September quarter, saying summer sales typically dip and pick up again only late in the quarter.

Plantronics Inc.

WHAT: A publicly held telephone and computer headset manufacturer.
HEADQUARTERS: 345 Encinal St., Santa Cruz
BACKGROUND: Founded in 1961, Plantronics introduced the first lightweight communications headset in 1962. The company maintains offices in 20 countries.
LEADERSHIP: Ken Kannappan, president and chief executive officer.
EMPLOYEES: The company employs 3,245, about 483 in Santa Cruz.
INFORMATION: 426-5858; http://www.plantronics.com.
STOCK PRICE: Shares trading on the NYSE under the ticker PLT were up 49 cents Monday to close at $33.36. The 52-week range is $20.70-$34.91.
FINANCIALS: First quarter 2011 net income was $25.95 million, or 52 cents per diluted share, compared to $10.65 million, or 22 cents per diluted share a year ago in the same quarter. Net revenues were $170.69 million, compared to $141.16 million in the same quarter a year ago. The company reported record cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $363 million and declared a 5-cent cash dividend per share payable Sept. 10 to stockholders of record at the close of business on Aug. 20.
GUIDANCE: The company forecast for second fiscal quarter of 2011 is for net revenues of $158 million to $163 million or earnings per share of 48-52 cents.

This article first appeared here.

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