News bites: II-VI sees quick gains from Finisar buy

Optical components maker II-VI beat Wall Street's earnings per share estimate for the fourth quarter in a row. The company reported earnings of $0.73 a share on revenue of $787 million during the second quarter of its fiscal year 2021. About 62% of its revenue came from the communications market, where it sells a wide range of products – things like optical amplifiers, subsystems and coherent optics – to vendors like Ciena and ZTE.

The company is realizing gains from its 2019 Finisar acquisition at a much quicker rate than expected. "We are well ahead of our plan to achieve our 3-year $150 million total synergy target set for the Finisar acquisition in September of 2019," said Chuck Mattera, the company's CEO, on today's earnings conference call. II-VI is a year ahead of its original target, in fact. "We're 12 months ahead of schedule, and we are now increasing our 3-year total synergy target to $200 million," Mattera added.

II-VI's executives noted that among its telecom service provider customers, new system installations had been slowed by the pandemic but the demand for high data rate coherent transceivers is still strong as so many new and existing networks needed more bandwidth capacity.

Laser (match)makers

More optical networking consolidation: MKS Instruments made an offer worth $6 billion in cash and stock for laser specialist Coherent Inc. on Monday. That followed an offer of $5.7 billion made by Lumentum on January 19. In its earnings release a week ago, Lumentum CEO Alan Lowe noted that a combination with Coherent would "broaden and diversify the customers and markets in our revenue mix and aligns us with important trends in microelectronics for next-generation consumer devices, 5G and other communications systems, the transition to electric vehicles, and the need for photonics in the life sciences and aerospace and defense market." Coherent is looking hard at the MKS offer and we'll see what happens next.

Sling's free streams

While Vidgo has eliminated free trials altogether, competing OTT-TV service provider Sling TV is leaning in the other direction with "Sling Fling," a promo that provides free access to the service (more than 100 channels, plus Showtime) during prime time (5:00 p.m. – midnight ET) through Valentine's Day. Talk about a cord-cutter lover's dream.

Fiber to the top of the world

From the department of far-flung broadband… the Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative Inc. (ASTAC) has fired up Internet service with 25 Mbit/s downstream and 5 Mbit/s upstream for the Alaskan cities of Utqiaġvik, Wainwright, Point Hope and Nuiqsut. ASTAC said that since 2018 it has installed over 62 miles of fiber networks connecting almost 2,200 locations. It estimates that 85% of the residences in the North Slope Burrough now have fiber access. If you're curious, it's 46 degrees below zero in the North Slope area today and I hardly think it matters if that's Fahrenheit or Celsius.

In other news...

Have a good evening, lawyer cats.

Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Light Reading's Jeff Baumgartner contributed to this report.

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