JOURNALIST • EDITOR • DIGITAL STORYTELLING
SANTA CRUZ — International headset maker Plantronics saw revenues climb in the last fiscal quarter and managed to beat its own revenues guidance, but predicted on Tuesday that sales would probably be flat in the spring quarter.
“Our financial performance in fiscal year 2011 was excellent,” said Ken Kannappan, president and chief executive officer.
Net revenues for the company were up 7 percent for the fourth fiscal quarter compared to a year ago and up 11 percent for the year. Net income for the quarter was about $27.18 million, up from $24.22 million a year ago. The company reported record annual earnings per share.
On a conference call with analysts Tuesday, Kannappan said the company was continuing to increase its share in its traditional markets in addition to forging ahead in the developing unified communications sector. Unified communications refers to more adaptable and transferable headset technologies that allow users to maintain communication while on the move between multiple land and mobile phone lines as well as computer platforms and multiple devices. Kannappan said Plantronics had also gained market share in the unified communications arena, including partnerships with some of the largest global companies.
Barbara Scherer, chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance and administration, said improved economic conditions and increasing interest in unified communications helped drive an 18 percent jump in Office and Contact Center revenues in the quarter compared to a year ago. Sales of unified communications products contributed $16.6 million of $132 million in OCC net revenues during the quarter. Mobile sales dropped 22 percent, however, to $28.1 million from $35.8 million a year ago.
Sales are slightly down in recent weeks in the office and call center business where most of the company’s revenues are generated, but Plantronics executives said the numbers were too new to speculate on what is driving the downturn.
“Our guidance reflects some caution that the downtrend will play out,” Scherer said, noting that mobile sales are expected to be down again. The company finished the year with $430 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.
Plantronics also announced a 5 cent per share dividend and the authorization of a 7 million share repurchase program, the largest amount in the company’s history.
“As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, we believe that our best long-term revenue and profit opportunities are in front of us and that we are well-positioned for them,” Kannappan said.
The company, which is celebrating its anniversary May 18, announced last week
that its Mexican production facility received a “best place to work” commendation, based in part on a workers’ survey conducted by The Great Place to Work Institute. The institute ranks more than 500 companies on credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie. Plamex also scored highest in “credibility,” according to the survey.
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