Jim Duffy: JDS Uniphase: No light at the end of the tunnel

Just when there seemed to be light at the end of this long, dark, scary telecom tunnel… just when things looked to be turning the corner… just when some of us thought we had bottomed out, and companies like Cisco Systems Inc. and Nokia Corp. were wading back into the acquisition waters…

JDS Uniphase.

Yes, the name alone is enough to send cold shivers down the spines of even the most resilient and heavily padded industry players, watchers and investors.

JDS Uniphase.

The mere mention of the company conjures up images and sounds of doors being slammed shut on rooms marked RECOVERY… of happy, peaceful drives through the countryside ending in deadly plummets from a cliff… of a giant rumbling locomotive suddenly snuffing out the light at the end of that tunnel…

JDS Uniphase.

The maker of fibre-optic components last month reported a fourth-quarter loss of US$7.9 billion, and a US$50.6 billion loss for the year. The company also disclosed that it is laying off 7,000 more people over the next three months, on top of the 9,000 already let go since last June.

Sixteen thousand people cut loose in five quarters.

On top of that, JDS Uniphase does not yet see any signs of a recovery on the horizon. It expects first quarter 2002 revenue to come in below previous forecasts and is not providing guidance for the first quarter or for future periods.

So for those of you expecting things to turn around even a little bit… for those of you encouraged by the few acquisitions over the past month… for those of you wanting to believe that that light at the end of the tunnel is an opening, a way out, repeat to yourselves…

JDS Uniphase.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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