JDS Uniphase posts loss as legal case hits numbers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? JDS Uniphase Corp. on Tuesday posted a quarterly loss as the company took a hit from what it described as an “unfavorable” legal decision that caused it to set aside $7.4 million and count it against earnings.

The company’s net loss was $5.8 million, or 3 cents per share, versus net income of $100,000, or breakeven, during the year-ago period.

Excluding items such as the $7.4 million for a penalty and interest as part of the legal case, the company earned 18 cents per share. Analysts expected 13 cents per share on that basis, according to FactSet.

The Milpitas-based company’s technology is used by communications companies to test the quality of their networks. JDSU also makes optical transponders and other optical equipment used for sending information over fiber optic cables.

JDSU did not provide details on the legal case, other than to say that during its fiscal first quarter, which ended Oct. 1 and about which JDSU reported Tuesday after the markets closed, the company received “an unfavorable arbitrator’s decision in a legal dispute unrelated to operations in the current or future quarters.” JDSU said that the litigation is ongoing and that it is fighting to have the penalty thrown out.

Revenue for the quarter was $420.8 million, up from $405.2 million in the year-ago period. Analysts expected $414.9 million, according to FactSet.

“I am very pleased with our operating results during this period of macroeconomic uncertainty,” Tom Waechter, JDSU’s CEO, said in a statement. “Although revenue levels are being restricted by these global headwinds, the mix of our highly innovative and differentiated products continues to grow with a favorable impact on gross margin. This combined with strong cost controls allowed us to significantly exceed expectations for operating margins.”

Shares rose 53 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $12.01, in extended trading after the results were reported, after falling 52 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $11.48, during the regular trading session.