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Tellabs Axes Product, Cuts Jobs

Ray Le Maistre
2/1/2013
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Having seen its sales crash by more than 18 percent in 2012, transport equipment vendor Tellabs Inc. is slimming down even further in an effort to stabilize itself. Tellabs is discontinuing development of its SmartCore 9200 router, which was announced only 16 months ago, following an analysis of customer demand, market conditions and potential returns. The product had not yet started to ship to customers but sales had been expected this year. (See Tellabs Smartens Up Its Routers.) As a result, the company is cutting its headcount again, this time by 300. The vendor announced a couple of headcount reduction rounds during 2012. (See Tellabs Cutting More Jobs.) Instead, the company (like just about every other network equipment vendor still in business) is turning its attentions to the potential of software-defined networking (SDN) and says it will "demonstrate new software-defined networking (SDN) and self-optimizing networks (SON) capabilities at Mobile World Congress in February." The news comes as Tellabs reports full-year 2012 revenues of US$1.05 billion, down 18.1 percent compared with 2011. Full-year net loss was $172 million, slightly better than a year earlier. Its fourth-quarter revenues were $242 million, down 23.5 percent from a year earlier and worse than expected. The Data products division had a particularly bad quarter, with revenues down more than 48 percent to $52.2 million due to poor sales of the vendor's 8800 and 8600 routers, which are pitched at mobile backhaul networks, and the 8100. Fourth-quarter net loss (including all costs) was $23.2 million. Before one-time costs, the company reported a net profit of $3 million for the quarter, slightly better than expected. And the first quarter of 2013 isn't shaping up well. Tellabs expects to report revenues of $205 million to $220 million, way below the Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $241.6 million. As a result, the company's share price is dipping in pre-market trading, down 5.3 percent to $2.16. — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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