Tekelec projects caution, M&A shopping for 2009

Tekelec joins Acme Packet in projecting growth in 2009. The company beat Wall Street analysts' expectations for its fourth-quarter and year-end financials, but expected purchasers to hold off on buying gear in the first half of 2009.

While orders fell 14 percent in Q408 compared to Q407, Tekelec reported a backlog of $412 million in orders; up from $369 million as of Sept. 30 and indicating strong demand going into 2009. Tekelec earnings hit $0.27 per share, $0.03 higher than Wall Street predicted. Reported earnings for 2008 were $460.6 million with positive cash flow of $106 million.

Cash and cash equivalents of $209.4 million at the end of 2008 translates to a war chest that could be used to acquire other companies in 2009. And the company has a healthy stock, so it could offer an attractive stock and cash deal to privately held companies.

For its own part, Tekelec is taking a cautious approach for the first half of the year, noting that customers have told Tekelec they'll be holding off on buying gear in the first half of 2009.

For more:
- WRAL LocalTech Wire blogs happiness.
- News & Observer offers a more cautious assessment. Article.

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