JOURNALIST • EDITOR • DIGITAL STORYTELLING
SANTA CRUZ — Top executives from headset maker Plantronics reported an unexpected boost in profitability for the third fiscal quarter of 2014, crediting several one-time factors as well as higher than expected revenues, lower costs and a lower tax burden.
The company reported an 8 percent jump in year-over-year revenues for the quarter and a 4 percent jump in earnings per share.
Ken Kannappan, company president and chief executive officer, said he expected continued volatility in the unified communications market but strong growth in the coming year.
“Our market position in UC, our technology leadership and overall solutions are as strong as ever,” Kannappan said.
Unified communications is the highly adaptable and mobile headset technology that is emerging to accommodate the increasingly mobile user who may work on multiple communication platforms.
Kannappan noted several recent wins in product design at the annual Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month and at the International Forum Product Design competition to be awarded in Munich next month.
The global economic market remains somewhat choppy, but there was strong growth in international markets, according to Pam Strayer, chief financial officer.
“All of our regions experienced growth,” Strayer said, noting a 5 percent revenue jump in office call center orders, which was largely driven by a 20 percent jump in orders for unified communication equipment.
Mobile product revenues were up 8 percent compared to a year ago, which was a good showing considering the market for mono headset is declining overall, said Kannappan.
“We had a significant lift in market share,” he said. “We feel very good about how we’re executing.”
The company is still expecting to spend close to $1 million in preparation for its lawsuit defending a market monopoly lawsuit filed by competitor GN Netcom.
Follow Sentinel correspondent Jennifer Pittman at Twitter.com/jenniferpittman
At a glance
WHAT: A publicly held telephone and computer headset manufacturer.
HEADQUARTERS: 345 Encinal St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
BACKGROUND: Founded in 1961, Plantronics introduced the first lightweight communications headset in 1962.
LEADERSHIP: Ken Kannappan, president and chief executive officer
EMPLOYEES: The company employs about 3,500 people worldwide, including about 550 in Santa Cruz. There are currently 12 open positions in Santa Cruz.
INFORMATION: (831) 426-5858; www.plantronics.com
STOCK PRICE: Shares trading on the NYSE under the ticker PLT closed Monday at $43.60, up 63 cents. The 52-week range is $38.45″“$49.84.
FINANCIALS: Third quarter 2014 net revenues were $212.7 million, compared to $197.4 million a year ago. Net income was $38.38 million, or 80 cents per diluted share, for the quarter ending in December, compared to $28.21 million, or 66 cents per diluted share, a year ago. The company finished the quarter with $429 million in cash and investments.
GUIDANCE: For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, the company expects net revenues of $200 million to $210 million and diluted earnings per share of 52-58 cents.