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October 30, 2008

ClearOne Reports Financial Success as Audio Conferencing Industry Gains Momentum

By Michelle Robart, TMCnet Editor

With all the recent focus on improving the environment and cutting back on traveling to save money and reduce carbon footprints, it comes as no surprise that the audio conferencing industry is experiencing success even during a looming recession. 
As travel costs soar, people are becoming more aware of the benefits of audio conferencing. Business owners are significantly cutting back on corporate travel and looking for alternative ways to conduct meetings and collaborate.
One audio conferencing systems provider that is doing well despite the current troubled economy is ClearOne (News - Alert) Communications. The company today announced its financial earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 ended September 30, 2008.
According to the company, for the first three months of fiscal 2009, revenues increased from $9.4 million to $10.3, a 9 percent rise from the same quarter last year.
In addition, ClearOne reported gross profits of $6.6 million, or 65 percent of revenues, an increase from last year’s $5.1 million, or 54 percent of revenues.
Operating income grew to $1.8 million from an operating loss of $1.1 million in the same quarter last year, which included the gain of a $1.8 million accrual for a contingent liability. The company’s net income rose to $1.1 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, compared to last year’s net loss of $924,000, or $0.08 per diluted share.
Zee Hakimoglu, president, chief executive officer and chairman of ClearOne, said that given the current state of the economy, his company is very pleased with this quarter’s financial results.
"Gross profit, both in dollar amount and as a percentage of revenue, significantly improved in the quarter due to product cost efficiencies, lower inventory obsolescence reserve requirements and lower unfavorable manufacturing variances than in last year's first quarter,” explained Hakimoglu.
ClearOne reported cash, cash equivalents, and investments of $13.3 million and no long-term debt on the quarter’s closing date of September 30, 2008.
In the first fiscal quarter of 2009, ClearOne used close to $6.8 million of the cash to buy back 1,342,620 of its shares in a tender offer.
Committed to being a "green" organization, ClearOne develops and sells audio conferencing systems and other related products for audio, video, and Web conferencing applications. With over 25 years of experience with connecting people, ClearOne helps people share ideas in an audio environment that mimics face-to-face interactions.
With effective audio conferencing, users can work together without ever having to step foot on another jet runway. Audio conferencing helps businesses make faster decisions and reduce environmental damage.

Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart

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