Netgear Q4 rides Wi-Fi router, mesh networking upgrade cycle

Netgear CEO Patrick Lo said demand for its premium networking products is strong amid remote work​ and school​ arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic​.

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Netgear saw a 45% sales surge in the fourth quarter amid strong demand for new Wi-Fi 6 routers and mesh networking gear.

The company reported fourth quarter earnings of 99 cents a share on revenue of $367.1 million, up 45% from a year ago. For 2020, Netgear reported earnings of $1.90 a share on revenue of $1.26 billion, up 25.7% from a year ago.

Wall Street was looking for fourth quarter non-GAAP earnings of 84 cents a share on revenue of $346.3 million.

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Netgear CEO Patrick Lo said demand for its premium networking products is strong amid remote work and school arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lo said there is "rapid growth of a new premium segment that is defined by a Wi-Fi 6 mesh system with tri-band architecture." Netgear, which is layering services on top of its hardware, also added 68,000 paid subscribers in the fourth quarter to end with 437,000.

Recent products include:

Netgear saw connected home sales surge 60% in the fourth quarter and SMBs were going for the company's ProAV and work-from-home gear.

As for the outlook, Netgear said first quarter revenue will be between $300 million and $315 million with non-GAAP operating margins between 8% and 9%. Netgear said there remains a lot of uncertainty in the market as well as transportation delays at its Southern California main distribution center.

For the first quarter, Wall Street analysts were modeling revenue of $313.3 million.