Anyone's Guess

2:50 PM --The Total Access 5000 might represent a good chunk of the future for Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN). But given how uncertain "the future" is these days, it's not surprising that Adtran said very little about the product during its earnings call this morning.

The access and aggregation box has been approved at 60 carriers, including the top eight in the United States. (See Embarq Selects Adtran TA 5000.) But Adtran is skittish about predicting a growth curve for the product. CEO Thomas Stanton made some comments that implied kind of a linear ramp-up, as opposed to a sudden surge in any particular quarter -- but he admitted that was a guess.

He's basing that, though, on the broad interest Adtran claims to be seeing in the product. "There are a lot more inputs into it than just one customer that can substantially change the order flow," he said.

Analysts managed to pin down a revenue estimate: The TA 5000 was between 5 and 10 percent of Adtran's revenues in its fourth quarter, which ended in December.

Adtran is predicting its first-quarter revenues will be flat or slightly down compared with the fourth quarter -- which I'm guessing will mean "slightly down." That's a mild disappointment; analysts polled by Reuters Research expected first-quarter revenues of $113.2 million, compared with the fourth quarter's $112.4 million. (See Adtran Reports Q4.)

Other tidbits from the call:
  • HDSL business was surprisingly good, driven probably by wireless backhaul. Up 15% compared with Q4 last year.
  • Sales of the 1100 disappointed, but Adtran had already anticipated that. There's a regulatory hangup with Teléfonos de México (Telmex) that's expected to clear up soon.

Adtran shares started the day down slightly and shot upwards during the earnings call. Adtran was trading up 51 cents (3.5%) at $15.00 at this writing.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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