i2 takes off; Redback posts first profit

i2 Technologies plowed past analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Wednesday, raking in $17.1m (£10.60m), or 19 cents a share, on sales of $175.3m. It also announced a 2-for-1 stock split

First Call consensus expected the maker of supply chain management software to earn 16 cents a share in the quarter. i2 shares rallied up 25 1/4 to 215 ahead of the earnings report before gaining another $7 as share in after-hours trading.

In the year-ago quarter, it made $4.1m, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $113.6m.

For the year, i2 earned $30.1m, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $571m compared to a profit of $12.8m, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $369.2m in fiscal 1998.

"Our growth was driven by i2's solutions for intelligent eBusiness, which make our customers more responsive to their customers' requirements, more efficient in managing their supply chains, and more profitable by improving their decision-making capabilities," said CEO Sanjiv Sidhu in a prepared release.

In the quarter, licensing revenue increased 50 percent to $110.5m up from $73.8m in the year-ago quarter. Total services and maintenance for the fourth quarter increased to $64.7m compared to $39.8m in the fourth quarter of 1998.

Company officials said the stock split will take effect on February 17 for all shareholders of record on February 3. i2 shares hit a 52-week high of 218 in December after falling to a low of 17 3/4 in April.

Eighteen of the 20 analysts tracking i2 shares maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation. Analysts expect i2 to earn 69 cents a share in fiscal 2000.

Among other technology companies reporting earnings Wednesday: Redback Networks posted its first profitable quarter in company history Wednesday, earning $2m, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $26.1m. First Call consensus expected the network-equipment maker to earn 1 cent a share in its fourth quarter.

Redback shares closed off 4 3/8 to 206 ahead of the earnings report. In the year-ago quarter, Redback lost $2.6m, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $4.5m.

"Redback has taken some bold steps and achieved several major milestones during the fourth quarter of 1999, including recording our first profit," said CEO Dennis Barsema in a prepared release. "While the North American demand for broadband access and services continues to drive major Redback installations, we have begun to see significant deployments in Europe and Asia as well."

Last quarter, Redback lost $600,000, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $20.6m. Its shares peaked at 214 earlier this month after falling to a low of 32 1/2 in June.

First Call consensus expects Redback to earn 25 cents a share in fiscal 2000. Ten of the 11 analysts tracking the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

Cirrus Logic managed to sneak past analysts' estimates in its third quarter Wednesday, earning $6m, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $150.8m. First Call consensus expected it to earn 2 cents a share in the quarter.

Its shares closed up 3/4 to 14 3/4 ahead of the earnings report. Including charges and gains including a $34.3m profit from the sale of Phone.com shares, Cirrus Logic earned $27.9m, or 40 cents a share, in the quarter.

In the year-ago quarter, it lost $92.5m, or $1.50 a share, on sales of $153m. Three of the four analysts watching Cirrus Logic rate the stock either a "buy" or "strong buy."

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