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Tekelec Reports $16.5 Million Loss For First Quarter

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MORRISVILLE, N.C. — Shares in telecom gear manufacturer


(Nasdaq: TKLC) dropped 13 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday on news of a $16.5 million loss for the first quarter of 2006.

The firm's stock fell to a new 52-week low of $10.18.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast a 14-cent per share profit on revenues of $145 million.

Tekelec reported a 23 percent drop in revenues, to $107.5 million, from $138.9 million for the same quarter in 2005.

The loss amounted to 25 cents per share.

Tekelec reported a $17.5 million profit, or 24 cents a share, for the opening quarter of last year.

Before the earnings announcement, Tekelec dropped 54 cents, to $11.69. Its 52-week high is $21.15.

Tekelec recently completed a review of its finances and with Wednesday's filing believes it is in compliance for continued listing on Nasdaq. The company had faced the threat of delisting.

In a statement, Tekelec Chief Executive Officer Frank Plastina said he would not offer financial guidance for the second quarter or all of 2006.

"However, we do not believe that the first quarter results reflect a trend in our revenues, gross margins, operating income or earnings per share or are representative of the performance we expect for the second quarter or second half of 2006," he said. "In fact, we currently expect an improvement in each of these periods relative to the first quarter of 2006. We currently estimate that revenues from our Telecom business for the full year 2006 will increase on a year-over-year basis compared to Telecom revenues of $486.5 million in 2005."

Tekelec did report a 14 percent increase in orders for the quarter, to $138.6 million, compared to 2005. Its order backlog is up 30 percent from a year ago to $604.5 million.

Changes in how the company books revenues, which were made as Tekelec restated recent earnings, led to the company deferring $21.9 million in quarterly revenue since not all equipment in purchase orders was shipped.

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