Industry News

Oclaro Stock Challenged by Soft Demand, Forcing Sell-Off

Valerie C. Coffey

May 10, 2013—Tier-1 photonics component and system supplier Oclaro (San Jose, Calif., U.S.A.) has announced a sell-off of company assets to fund continued operations and repay loans. At its quarterly earnings call on May 7, CEO Alain Couder addressed the company’s net loss of $41.6 million for the quarter, saying the company is working on product-line divestiture opportunities, as well as due diligence with several businesses.

The company also announced a one-year short-term bridge loan of $25 million from Providence Equity Capital Markets, in addition to existing loans from Wells Fargo Bank and Silicon Valley Bank. Revised credit agreements with the existing banks specify that the proceeds from any sale of operating segments, product lines or assets must be applied to the loans.

Said Couder: “Our financial results were at the lower end of guidance for the third quarter, in the face of continued softness in the telecommunications market.  Our sales declined further than expected, which drove a higher loss compared with the prior quarter.” Oclaro’s new fiscal year begins in July 2014, in which the company hopes to break even through restructuring and continuing introduction of new products to the market.

The stock market responded to the latest developments by dropping the firm’s stock price 25 percent to the Nasdaq’s junk-stock breaking point of $1.00 at closing on May 8. This brings the firm’s market capitalization to below $100 million.

Oclaro stock rose to a high of $1.08 in response to the release of several new products at this week’s LASER World of Photonics trade show and conference in Munich, Germany.

Among the offerings, Oclaro announced the launch of an 80 W fiber-laser pump module that features emitters with improved efficiency, as well as a 1060 nm distributed-feedback (DFB) seed laser for ultrafast fiber and solid-state industrial sources. Oclaro also announced the release of a 633 nm red laser diode with 100 mW of single-transverse-mode power for the biomed, inspection and measurement markets. Another high-power 638 nm 150 mW high-power red laser diode was also announced for laser display applications.

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