January 27, 2010 / 9:32 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Celestica earnings sag, but says outlook brighter

* Says customer demand on the rise

* Sees Q1 revenues $1.45 bln-$1.60 bln

* Sees Q1 adjusted EPS $0.15-$0.21

* Adjusted Q4 EPS $0.21 vs $0.28 (Recasts, adds details, comments from conference call. In U.S. dollars unless noted)

VANCOUVER, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Contract electronics maker Celestica Inc (CLS.TO) (CLS.N) posted a 24 percent drop in adjusted quarterly earnings on Wednesday as the markets it sells into, notably telecoms, remained under pressure from the recession although the worst looked to be over.

Celestica, whose biggest customer is BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd RIM.TO, said demand from its customers in a number of markets ,including consumer, business, healthcare and server, was improving in the current quarter.

“We are very encouraged by the wide range of new revenue growth opportunities across all of our major markets with existing and new customers,” Chief Executive Craig Muhlhauser said on a conference call.

The company expects revenue of between $1.45 billion and $1.60 billion in the first quarter of 2010 — the first time since 2005 that Celestica will show year-over-year revenue growth in its first quarter.

It expects adjusted net earnings per share of between 15 cents and 21 cents in the same period.

Although Celestica wasn’t giving an earnings and revenue forecast for the rest of this year it said it expects “to continue to deliver modest year-over-year revenue growth and EPS growth in each quarter of 2010”, based on recent contract wins and customer demand.

Shortly after markets closed on Wednesday Celestica reported net earnings of $49.5 million, or 21 cents a share, for the three months to Dec. 30, down from $65.2 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue was $1.66 billion, down from $1.94 billion. Research In Motion contributed 21 percent of fourth-quarter revenue, Celestica said.

Analysts had expected Celestica to post earnings of 18 cents a share on revenue of $1.65 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Toronto-based company said it had changed the way it calculates some non-GAAP figures, including adjusted net earnings, to allow for easier comparison with its competitors. Had analysts used the same calculation, their forecast would have been largely in line with what Celestica reported.

Celestica’s GAAP net earnings came in at $31.1 million, or 13 cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, a turnaround from a massive net loss of $822 million, or $3.58 a share, a year earlier.

The loss had included an $850.5 million writeoff for all of the company’s remaining goodwill.

Celestica’s shares finished 14 Canadian cents firmer at C$10.54 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1=$1.07 Canadian Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Rob Wilson

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