JOURNALIST • EDITOR • DIGITAL STORYTELLING
SANTA CRUZ — Although fourth quarter numbers were slightly down from a year ago, Santa Cruz headset maker Plantronics reported record revenues, operating income and earnings per share for fiscal 2014 and said the company was on track to fill the emerging corporate demand for Unified Communications.
“With 27 percent growth in revenue in 2014, Unified Communications continues to be our key strategic focus,” said Ken Kannappan, CEO and president.
Unified Communications is an emerging mobile technology that allows users to integrate communications via telephones, computers and mobile devices and frees people from being anchored in an office or to a single mode of communication.
On a webcast conference call Tuesday with investors and analysts, Kannappan said revenues from UC products were making up a greater portion of overall revenues for the company.
The company’s traditional Core Office and Contact Center products continue to make up more than 50 percent of the company’s overall revenues. Consumer product sales generate 28 percent and Unified Communications, 20 percent. Revenue growth from UC sales climbed 18 percent from the fourth quarter in 2013 to the fourth quarter 2014.
About 98 percent of Fortune 1000 companies plan to migrate to UC at some point, Kannappan said.
The industry, estimated to generate about $1 billion in revenue in 2013, is expected to climb to $2.38 billion in five years, according to industry analysts Frost & Sullivan and Co.
As to the fourth quarter numbers, company officials noted that fourth fiscal quarter numbers were down slightly as expected due to a bump last year in China sales related to the introduction there of hands-free driving laws, which spiked sales for a short time.
The company also announced it had settled a patent infringement suit against an undisclosed company relating to ear bud comfort technology and would be receiving $5.2 million in compensation over the course of the next year.
In other company business, Ernst & Young announced Kannappan was one of 49 company heads to be nominated for entrepreneur of the year for Northern California. The winner is expected to be announced next week.
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 nine 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 $41.67, up 4 cents. The 52-week range is $41.14–$49.84.
FINANCIALS: Fourth quarter 2014 net revenues were $ 209.07 million, compared to $204, 18 million a year ago. Net income was $27.94 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, compared to $28.71 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, a year ago. The company finished the quarter with $335.42 million in cash and investments.
For fiscal year 2014, the company reported $818.61 million in net revenues, with net income of $112.42 million, or $2.59 diluted earnings per share. The prior fiscal year, the company had reported $762.23 million in net revenues, with net income of $106.4 million, or $2.49 diluted earnings per share.
GUIDANCE: For the first quarter of fiscal 2015, the company expects net revenues of $205 million to $215 million and diluted earnings per share of 54-61 cents.