They're also quick to say that any number of economic twists or catastrophes could derail that prediction completely. (Gee, thanks.) But at a time when most companies aren't making any long-term predictions, Finisar is saying it might deliver good news by the end of the year.
"We think the upcoming quarter ended April 30 probably marks the low point of this correction," chairman Jerry Rawls said on Thursday's earnings call.
That's solely for Finisar, mind you. The company isn't predicting that all of telecom (or datacom) is poised for recovery.
Finisar shares were up a penny (3.9%) to 27 cents in after-hours trading.
It's worth noting that Finsar said something similar three months ago. In reporting second-quarter earnings, the company said its fourth quarter, in April -- what's now the "low point" -- could see revenues tick upward due to recent qualifications on a variety of products. (See Finisar Sees Hope.)
One difference this time is that Finisar claims it's got ordering data to back up its optimism.
"We have seen in recent weeks an increase in our order rate, and actually a pretty impressive increase in our order rate. All of that indicates to us that maybe this thing is bottoming out," said Rawls. "It's too early to call this the end, but we have a number of optimistic signals in our business."
Other signals include qualifications of products -- including line- and client-side 40-Gbit/s transponders -- into new customers, an event that normally translates to revenues in one quarter, CEO Eitan Gertel said.
Even so, Finisar is lowering its near-term forecasts just like everyone else. (See Components Companies Face a Chilly Winter.)
The company says fourth-quarter revenues will be between $115 million and $128 million, missing the analyst consensus compiled by Reuters Research of $135 million.
For its third quarter, which ended Feb. 1, Finisar reported revenues of $136 million, pretty much matching the company's warning of a month ago. (See Finisar Reports Q3 and Finisar Preps Layoffs.)
The question did come up: Why is Finisar predicting a down quarter if orders are doing so well? Rawls replied that the company has to be conservative with its predictions, given the unpredictable economy. "What we've got to have is 13 weeks" of good orders to make a quarter, he said.
Separately, Rawls listed some products Finisar will be showing at OFC/NFOEC late this month:
- 120-Gbit/s parallel optics product, which should be sampling at about the same time.
- 100-Gbit/s Ethernet optical link.
- 16-Gbit/s Fibre Channel link.
- 43-Gbit/s dual quadrature phase-shift keying (DQPSK) transponder for telecom.
For its third quarter, Finisar reported net losses of $47.4 million, or 10 cents per share. Non-GAAP net income was $2.3 million, rounding to zero cents per share. Analysts were expecting a small loss that would also have rounded to zero cents per share.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading