Weak end demand across several markets helped cause Celestica Inc. to report a net loss of $72 million during the fourth quarter of 2001.
For the quarter which ended Dec. 31, the Toronto, Canada, EMS provider suffered a net loss of 33 cents per share. The company, however, managed to exceed analysts' consensus estimates by four cents.
In the year-ago quarter, Celestica generated a profit of $84 million, or 38 cents a share. In the recent quarter, Celestica's sales dropped 29% to $2.4 billion from sales of $3.4 billion in the year-ago quarter.
For the year which ended Dec. 31, Celestica reported a net loss of $40 million, or 26 cents per share. In 2000, Celestica posted a profit of $207 million, or 98 cents a share. The company's sales in the fourth quarter increased 3% to $10 billion from sales of $9.7 billion in 2000.
Celestica, along with many EMS providers, is struggling to improve profits and sales in the current recession. Celestica executives said the company's focus on operating efficiency helped them during the recent quarter.
"We were able to deliver operating margins that were
unchanged from 2001 and finished the year with a very strong balance sheet," the firm noted.
Celestica's fourth quarter inventory dropped by $291 million as the company posted inventory of $1.3 billion compared to $1.6 billion in the year ago quarter.
Celestica executives expect the company's first quarter, which ends in March, to generate revenue in the range of $2.1 billion to $2.5 billion and adjusted net earnings per share between 25 cents and 32 cents. Consensus earnings per share estimates from analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call for the March quarter is 30 cents.