Sycamore to Hand Out $289M

Sycamore Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SCMR) has long since faded from the radars of many people in the carrier networking sector, but the former optical trailblazer is still around and still cash rich.

But that's about to change.

In a statement issued early Thursday, Sycamore announced that its board decided Wednesday (Sept. 19) to pay a special dividend on Oct. 11 of $10 in cash per share to investors who own stock on Oct. 1. The company has 28.88 million shares in circulation, so its cash reserves will be depleted by $288.8 million.

According to its statement, it ended July with cash, cash equivalents and short and long-term investments of $439.4 million.

Sycamore also stated that its revenues for the financial year to the end of July totaled $57.3 million, but it didn't report any earnings as it's still assessing the value of its assets with a view to calculating impairment losses that could affect its fourth-quarter and full financial year earnings (though any resulting non-cash charges are expected to be small, not more than $2 million).

Sycamore's share price ended Wednesday at $14.66, giving it a market capitalization of $423.4 million.

Industry watchers have long wondered what Sycamore, which has been targeting the bandwidth management systems market for the past few years, might do with its cash, with talk some years back that it might make some acquisitions to buy its way into new technology markets. (See Sycamore Intros Bandwidth Manager and Will Sycamore Call It a Day?) But it didn't. Instead, it got embroiled in a stock option probe, executed a reverse stock split, cut staff and generated quarter after quarter of relatively low revenues and net losses, and used up small bites of its cash reserves. (See Sycamore Loses $5M in Q3, Sycamore Reverse-Splits, Sycamore Cuts 30% and Sycamore Settles SEC Case.)

So what next? Will Sycamore just keep trundling along in the same manner but with a lot less cash in the bank? Or have the company's executives decided that it's time to call it a day, cash in their chips and do something else?

We should find out after Oct. 11.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

gtchavan 12/5/2012 | 5:20:44 PM
re: Sycamore to Hand Out $289M Imagine they shut their doors tomorrow.
digits 12/5/2012 | 5:20:44 PM
re: Sycamore to Hand Out $289M

Cash handout attracts investors - SHOCK!

In pre-market trading Sycamore's share price is up nearly 20% to $17.50.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:20:43 PM
re: Sycamore to Hand Out $289M

Its funny...the dividend is taxed as ordinary income while the increase in stock price is taxed as capital gains.

This is a wonderful little scam for the shareholders to get a boatload of money back out of the stock as the instrinct value of the company just fell by $288M but the shareholders get a price increase (so get both the capital gain and the dividend if played correctly).

But nothing actually happened that made the company "better".  In fact, it is "worse".



Sign In