Alvarion posted relatively flat sales and widening first-quarter losses despite a rise in WiMAX revenues.

The company posted a net loss of $852,000 in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $601,000 last year on a 1 percent increase in revenue, which hit $67.9 million in the first quarter. Although WiMAX shipments held steady at $40.6 million, the company’s WiMAX-related revenue rose almost 30 percent to $50.9 million on sales recognized from prior shipments.

However, WiMAX shipments fell 30 percent on a sequential basis. The company attributed the drop to the ongoing credit crunch and regulatory hurdles.

“We have not seen any diminished interest in WiMAX as a technology, but we have seen projects delayed due to availability of financing, as well as due to hesitation on the part of well-funded companies intent on conserving cash. A few other deployments have been postponed or put on hold, mainly for regulatory reasons unrelated to the economy. As a result, WiMAX shipments declined 30 percent sequentially from the record level of Q4,” said Tzvika Friedman, president and CEO of Alvarion.

The company expects order patterns and shipments to improve next quarter, but it forecast widening losses due to a sequential decline in revenue because of weak sales earlier in the year. Based on expected revenue between $54 million to $62 million, the company expects per-share results to range between a loss of 3 cents and 9 cents before any one-time charges.

However, the company said things should improve after the second quarter. Friedman cited order backlog and unrecognized revenue from prior shipments totaling more than $100 million. He also expects overall market conditions to improve for the company.

“… Many customers are planning multi-year network build-outs; we have recently won new projects; we are well positioned to take market share from weak competitors; government stimulus programs are targeting broadband as a key area for economic development; additional licenses are expected to be granted in key regions during the next 12 months; and new vertical markets such as video surveillance and traffic management are gaining traction and represent incremental opportunities,” Friedman said.

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