In the eternal poker game that is the market, earnings season is the time when the players lay their cards on the table. Yesterday, telecom equipment maker JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ:JDSU) got called, and it had to admit that all it was holding was a pair of twos: Two cents in operating losses for the second quarter of fiscal 2005, and an expectation of another two-cent loss in Q3.

And that's the good news.

This erstwhile tech darling, now fallen to penny-stock levels along with telecom-industry compadres like Nortel (NYSE:NT), Lucent (NYSE:LU), and Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN), spun its results as hard as it could. It pointedly directed analysts toward operational results and away from its numbers under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The analysts who bothered to pull aside the curtain, however, saw that the company's net loss under GAAP was even worse than its operational numbers: -$0.03.

JDS Uniphase added insult to penury by declining to even guess at what its GAAP loss might be next quarter. In offering up a "non-GAAP" estimate but demurring on GAAP, the company gave the following true, but misleading, explanation: GAAP results incorporate "restructuring and related costs, acquisition-related costs, amortization of purchased intangibles, reductions of goodwill and other long-lived assets, and gains and losses on investments, the likelihood and amount of which are uncertain at this time."

So, the company believes it can predict its revenues and operating earnings with accuracy, but when asked about various costs that might hurt those results, JDS Uniphase's crystal ball suddenly clouds up, and the future becomes oh-so-very "uncertain." That's rather strange, and even more so when you consider that the company just finished announcing Q1 results that were worse than expected because of "an unanticipated decline in revenues from a major customer."

Perhaps JDS Uniphase should just come right out and say, "We don't have a clue what will happen next quarter. Deal with it," as opposed to, "Here's the good news, but we can't predict the bad stuff." Better companies than JDS Uniphase have gone the quiet route -- Coke (NYSE:KO), Gillette (NYSE:G), and The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO), to name three. Perhaps JDS Uniphase should just exit the predictions game and join them.

Relive a classic Foolish debate on JDS Uniphase in:

Fool contributor Rich Smith holds no position in any of the companies mentioned in this article.