Cable modem/CMTS

Arris: Solid Q4, But Slow Start to '09

Q4 in line
As for the fourth quarter, Arris posted revenues of $294 million, up 17 percent year-over-year, in line with analyst expectations and buoyed by a surge of CMTS orders late in the year from Comcast, Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), and some other MSO customers. In the fourth quarter, Comcast accounted for almost 42 percent of Arris revenues. Liberty and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) each accounted for 10 percent or more of Arris's revenues in the quarter.

Non-GAAP net income was 25 cents per diluted share, versus 16 cents in the year-ago period. Arris recorded a GAAP net loss of $1.09 per diluted share due to a goodwill impairment of $157 million. (See Arris Reports Q4.)

Overall, Arris shipped 33,000 downstream CMTS ports in the quarter, up 12 percent sequentially, and saw its international CMTS revenues rise to 36 percent, thanks to deployments in parts of Germany, Eastern Europe, and Japan, where 40 MSOs are now using Arris's CMTS gear. In the quarter, Arris passed the $1 billion revenue milestone for installations of the C4 CMTS, the company's flagship. Arris got its hands on the C4 in 2002 via its $45 million acquisition of Cadant Inc.

Shipments of Docsis consumer premises equipment (CPE) -- which include standalone modems and embedded multimedia terminal adapters (E-MTAs) -- were just south of 1.6 million units, flat versus third-quarter figures. That total included only a "small number" of new Docsis 3.0 units, Stanzione said, noting that he expects broader adoption of wideband CPE "to begin in earnest later in the year."

New 'Compact' Docsis 3.0 CMTS
On the call, Arris revealed that it is working on the "C4c," a compact Docsis 3.0-based CMTS that uses C4 linecards. That product, which was demonstrated this week in Colorado Springs at the CableLabs Technology Forum (an event off-limits to the press), will address the needs of smaller systems that don't require as many ports as the chassis-sized C4.

Arris has not said when it expects to submit the new device to CableLabs for qualification testing. The C4 has achieved Bronze-level qualification, meaning it's gotten the seal of approval for Docsis 3.0 features such as IPv6 and downstream channel bonding. Upstream channel bonding is supported in the Silver level of CMTS qualification. (See Cisco, Arris & Casa Make the CableLabs Grade and CableLabs Accelerates Docsis 3.0 Testing .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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