Last year, the voice and data networking specialist lost $0.05 per share on $319 million in sales. This time, it's a $0.20 profit per share instead, on 7% higher revenue of $343 million, for the first quarter.
CEO Bob Mao said that his three main goals were year-over-year revenue growth (check), fatter profit margins (check), and "strong cash generation" ($39 million operating cash flow versus negative $59 million -- another check). Investors appreciated the difference and sent 3Com shares on a quick 4% rocket ride skyward after the news.
Mind you, all is still not well in Marlborough, Mass. 3Com is a paltry two-star stock in Motley Fool CAPS, in a cutthroat sector that includes dueling giants like Juniper Networks
If 3Com can present reliable GAAP profitability from now on, this would be a good time to join the bandwagon. But is "price-performance leadership to value-conscious enterprise customers" good enough to make this dream a reality? One profitable quarter does not make a turnaround, and the last GAAP profit report happened years ago.
And that will take a better customer list. Cisco can boast of large customers like Monsanto