Broadband Briefs for 05/08/09
• Confirmation of FCC chair delayed again
By Brian Santo
Congress has once again postponed a hearing to confirm the nomination of Julius Genachowski as Federal Communications Commission chairman, this time until after Memorial Day.
Republicans want to link Genachowski’s confirmation with that of a Republican nominee to the Commission, even though Republicans have no candidate yet, reports The Wall Street Journal (story here).
• Liberty Media posts mixed Q1 revenue; shares fall
By The Associated Press
(AP) – Liberty Media Corp. posted a mixed quarter for revenue Friday. Liberty Entertainment Group's revenue climbed 19 percent to $369 million, helped by the acquisition of Liberty Sports Group in March 2008 and growing revenue at the Starz Entertainment channel.
Revenue was up 37 percent to $125 million at Liberty Capital Group, which owns the Atlanta Braves and interests in Time Warner Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. The company attributed the growth to a $38 million uptick in home video sales at Starz Media.
The first quarter saw Liberty Media making a substantial investment in Sirius XM Radio Inc., offering a $530 million loan to the satellite radio provider. In cutting the deal, Liberty Chairman John Malone thwarted an attempt by rival Charlie Ergen, chief executive of Dish Network Corp., to take control of Sirius, which was facing a possible bankruptcy (story here).
• Symmetricom takes goodwill hit
By Brian Santo
Symmetricom reported higher third-quarter revenue but posted a net loss due largely to a charge taken for impairment of goodwill. Revenue was $56.4 million, up 9.5 percent from the third quarter of fiscal 2008. The loss was $46.7 million, driven by $54 million goodwill impairment charges. In the third quarter a year ago, the company posted a $900,000 loss.
Thomas Steipp, president and CEO of Symmetricom, said: “We are encouraged by the progress of our growth initiatives. More than two dozen cable providers around the world are deploying our new cable timing product to enable increased capacity and performance in next-generation cable networks.”
The company is predicting its Q4 revenue should be in the same ballpark as its Q3 revenue, somewhere between $51 million to $58 million.
• VeriSign reports Q1 profit on revenue, lower costs
By The Associated Press
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) – VeriSign Inc., which provides Internet infrastructure services, said Thursday it posted a first-quarter profit on a boost in revenue and lower expenses.
The company earned $65 million, or 34 cents per share, compared with a loss of $8.1 million, or 4 cents per share, during the same period a year prior. Revenue rose 8 percent to $255 million from $235.3 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected profit of 28 cents per share on revenue of $248.7 million. Costs and expenses fell 13 percent to $180.3 million.
Shares of VeriSign rose 87 cents, or 4.2 percent, to reach $21.70 in after-hours trading. During the regular trading session, shares fell 82 cents, or 3.8 percent, to close at $20.83.
• Sunrise Telecom’s net sales down in Q1
By Traci Patterson
Sunrise Telecom reported net sales of $14.2 million for the first quarter of 2009, compared with $21.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2008 and $20.2 million in the first quarter of 2008.
The company’s net loss for the first quarter was $1.46 million, compared with a net loss of $7 million in Q1 2008.
"First-quarter revenues came in slightly better than expected, despite the challenging economic environment," said Sunrise Telecom President and CEO Paul Marshall. "Additionally, we have seen our cost-cutting efforts have a significant impact on our operating expense, which is down to $9.2 million for the quarter compared with $17.4 million in the first quarter last year. I am pleased to expect several good new products to be announced within the next few months."
• Crawford’s fiber network hits Columbia
By Traci Patterson
Crawford Satellite Services has extended its fiber network into Columbia, S.C., with live connectivity via Studio-on-Main. According to Crawford, it is the only full-time production facility in Columbia with a dedicated fiber connection.
Local production company KitchenFish is managing the facility. Crawford, through its Atlanta Teleport, uses domestic and international satellites for global communications, as well as a wide range of fiber networks, such as Level 3, AT&T, T-Systems and Genesis.
“The Columbia, S.C., facility is another important location for broadcasters to utilize,” said Ed Deckert, vice president of teleport and Internet services for Crawford. “This is a hub for the city and state. Those booking Studio-on-Main have a direct connection to Crawford’s local loop providers, and that gives area businesses and government institutions various communications options.”
• Report: Nokia to open Ovi with 20,000 items
By Andrew Berg, Wireless Week
Nokia told Forbes that its new Ovi app store will open later this month with about 20,000 items ready for download. Research In Motion (RIM) and the Google-led Android Marketplace have opened app stores, but with far smaller inventories. RIM opened with a few hundred apps, and Android opened with only dozens.
To date, the most notable competition in the mobile apps segment is Apple’s App Store. In April, Apple recorded its one-billionth download (story here) and a catalog of 15,000 applications.
Apple recently unveiled the new iPhone 3.0 OS (story here) and developer SDK. The new operating system will give developers thousands of new APIs, which some in the industry say will lead to another explosion of application development for the Apple App Store.