COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Finisar Corp. will greet financial analysts Oct. 7 for the first time since its $211.7 million acquisition of Optium Corp. in May. The meeting comes as global markets continue to contract as the U.S. banking crisis spreads to Europe and Asia.
Eitan Gertel, former chairman of Optium, who now serves as Finisar's CEO, still anticipates the slowdown will be survivable in the optical communications realm.
"By covering all aspects of optical transport, we are not limited to only the data center or only long-haul transport," Gertel said. "Obviously, in the current conditions, we expect to see some additional OEM consolidation, but no across-the-board slowdown."
The Tuesday meeting at New York's Metropolitan Club comes one month after Finisar reported higher-than-expected first quarter sales and earnings. In the first quarter ending Aug. 3, Finisar reported $128.7 million in sales, beating street estimates of $122 million. Optium's sales still are reported separately, with first-quarter sales of $47.2 million representing an increase of 76 percent from one year ago.
Gertel said that, despite perceptions of a carrier slowdown in the public network, Finisar's growth is not limited to data-center optical components. For example, sales of Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexers, or Roadms, recently hit 1000 units per quarter, reflecting significant increase in demand for a new product line. Optium can leverage its own work in Roadms, as well as designs it acquired from Australia-based Engana Pty. Ltd.
In the next-generation Ethernet camp, Finisar has the development base to play in both 40-Gbit/sec and 100-Gbit/sec camps, though the demand for the slower standard is more immediate.
"We are working on both serial and parallel implementations of 100-Gbit, but networks are still a couple years out," Gertel said. "For 40-Gbit, the client-side modules already are moving well, and we see demand accelerating on the line side."
At the recent ECOC optical components show in Belgium, Finisar demonstrated a 4 x 10-Gbit Coarse Wave Division Multiplexing transceiver module that can transmit data over 10-km distances. The module is designed to meet the emerging 40GBASE-LR4 standard of the IEEE's 802.3ba task force on high-speed Ethernet.
Gertel said that the optical component realm still may undergo a long-anticipated new round of consolidation, but that he feels confident Finisar has unique characteristics to weather the storm. The company is the only large optical components player to own its manufacturing lines. It also has an internal group to develop physical- and data-link layer ICs for its modules, though there is no intent to offer semiconductors directly in the merchant market.