February 17, 2011 / 9:27 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 3-Brocade beats Street, shares rise

* Q1 EPS, excluding items, 12 cts vs Street’s 10 cts

* Sees Q2 EPS, excl items, 10 cts; tops Street by a penny

* Shares up 5 pct after hours (Adds revenue outlook, background on CERN deal, Cisco)

NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Brocade Communications Systems Inc BRCD.O reported quarterly results and outlook that beat Wall Street expectations, sending its shares up 5 percent, despite worries it may experience the same problems afflicting bigger rival Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O).

Brocade, which has been struggling to boost sales following its acquisition of Foundry Networks, said on Thursday fiscal first-quarter profit fell to $27 million from $51 million.

Excluding items, earnings fell to 12 cents per share from 19 cents a year earlier. Analysts on average expected 10 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also forecast second-quarter earnings, excluding items, of 10 cents a share for the current quarter. That was a penny above Wall Street’s average estimate.

Brocade competes with Cisco, Juniper Networks Inc (JNPR.N) and other network equipment makers that sell routers and switches.

Cisco last week shocked tech investors with low margins and a weaker-than-expected outlook. It blamed the shortfall on customers being in between adopting new switching products and on budget tightening by some of its public sector clients.

    Brocade, by contrast, said it was assuming federal spending, along with macro-economic conditions, would improve.

    Its first-quarter revenue rose 1 percent year-on-year to $546 million, and it forecast second-quarter revenue of $545 million to $555 million, up 9 percent to 11 percent from a year earlier

    The company said clients were investing in data center networking to adopt “virtualization” and “cloud computing,” increasingly popular technologies that allow companies to manage data more efficiently.

    One key deal in the quarter was the sale of its high-end core router, “MLXe”, to CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

    Brocade shares rose 5 percent to $6.33 in extended trading after closing at $6.02 on the Nasdaq. Its shares have suffered in the past quarter from concerns it was having trouble integrating Foundry Networks, which it bought for $2.6 billion in 2008. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Richard Chang, Bernard Orr and Steve Orlofsky)

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