As most companies on Wall Start continue talking Q2 earnings, telecom equipment maker JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ:JSDU) remains a phase or two ahead. It's all ready to report its fiscal Q4 numbers, wrapping up its fiscal year on Wednesday afternoon.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or waffle? The 15 analysts tracking JDS give it five buy ratings, nine holds, and a sell.
  • Revenues. On average, analysts expect to see sales growth of 6% to $338.2 million.
  • Earnings. Profits are predicted to rise to $0.04 per share.

What management says:
CEO Kevin Kennedy characterized last quarter's performance as "stronger than expected." But as fellow Fool Anders Bylund later explained, that was a bit of backhanded compliment. Despite growing its sales 15% year over year, JDS continued to lose money (as calculated under GAAP.) Worse, even if it maxes out its revenue guidance range of $325 million to $345 million on Wednesday, that would still represent only a little more than half of last quarter's growth rate.

What management does:
On the plus side, sales are rising, and with rising sales come the advantages of scale. Gross margins have been rising as well for six quarters running. The operating loss margin is shrinking, as is the net loss (the apparent drop in the net last quarter was due to one-time items.) Compared to rivals like Agilent (NYSE:A), Tektronix (NYSE:TEK), and Finisar (NASDAQ:FNSR), however, JDS's position remains precarious. Those competitors manage to earn operating profits; JDS does not.





























All data courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data reflects trailing-12-month performance for the quarters ending in the named months.

One Fool says:
Did I say JDS can't earn a profit? I meant a profit under GAAP. The real bright spot in the last quarterly report was Kennedy's announcement that: "For the first time in more than five years, we achieved positive free cash flow."

Granted, the firm remains in the red on free cash flow for the last nine months (with a loss of $43 million), and for the trailing 12 (a loss of $67 million) -- but one quarter at a time, right? At least the company's on the right track now. Let's just hope it stays there on Wednesday.

How did JDS do last quarter? Here's a big hint:

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Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above.