Santa Cruz Sentinel
SANTA CRUZ — An improving economy, especially on the international front, helped boost sales about 9 percent over this time last year for Santa Cruz headset maker Plantronics, which on Tuesday reported its financial results for the third fiscal quarter.
Sales were particularly strong in the company’s office and contact center product category, which jumped 19 percent from $103.1 million a year ago in the third quarter to $122.9 million this last quarter. Mobile net revenues, however, dropped 8 percent to $43.2 million in the third fiscal quarter and gaming and computer audio sales dropped 5 percent to $10.5 million from a year ago.
“We continue to see growth in our core office and contact center market in all geographies as a result of improving global economic conditions,” said Ken Kannappan, president and chief executive officer, during a conference call Tuesday with investors and analysts. “We are increasingly well-positioned to benefit from expected strong growth in the unified communications market over the next several years.”
Last month, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary with the release of several new products boasting new technology that was revolutionizing the headset market such as ear pieces with sensors to detect when they were being worn.
Barbara Scherer, senior vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer, said the company was investing heavily in growth opportunities, including adding to the
company’s sales force. The company generated $29 million from operations and repurchased 280,000 shares of common stock. Plantronics has more than $414 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.
Looking ahead, the company forecast a drop in sales in the fourth fiscal quarter due to a seasonally lower demand for consumer products. The mobile headset market is expected to decrease from a year ago but the office and contact center market is expected to be up significantly from a year ago, Scherer said.
Plantronics also announced a 5-cent per share quarterly dividend payable March 10 to stockholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 22.
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.
EMPLOYEES: As of November, the company employed 3,245 people, about 483 of whom worked in Santa Cruz
STOCK PRICE: Shares trading on the NYSE under the ticker PLT were up 84 cents Tuesday to close at $36.24. The 52-week range is $25.83-$38.55.
FINANCIALS: Third fiscal quarter net income was $31.55 million, or 64 cents diluted earnings per share, compared with $23.25 million, or 47 cents diluted earnings per share, a year ago. Net revenues were $181.6 million compared to $165.9 million a year ago.
GUIDANCE: The company forecast net revenues of $167 million to $172 million and earnings per share of 58-62 cents.
This article first appeared here.