| Acterna Corp. |
1 Milestone Center Dr.
Germantown, Md. 20876
Year founded: 1959
Revenue: $680.35 Million
Net Income/Loss: ($408,160,000.00)
Earnings per share: ($2.12)
Stockholder equity: ($842,499,000.00)
Auditor: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Assets: $406.16 Million
Market capitalization: n/a
52-week high: n/a
52-week low: n/a
Chairman : Hank Bonde
President and CEO: John R. Peeler
Local employees: 500
Description: Acterna's biggest division makes equipment for testing telecom and cable networks to make sure they work before installation. Those services were in greater demand when the networks were expanding, but now the best-performing part of the company makes systems that test high-speed Internet networks. Itronix, a division that made specialized personal computers, was sold in September to Golden Gate Capital for $40 million to raise cash and help Acterna focus on the communications-testing business.
Developments: In the past year Acterna's biggest accomplishment was filing for bankruptcy protection, then getting out. With its customers no longer installing new equipment in their networks as the telecommunications industry collapsed, Acterna had to pare down quickly to survive. During its fiscal year ending March 2003, Acterna's loss broadened to $408 million from $375 million. Revenue dropped to $680 million from $1.07 billion. The company tried several rounds of layoffs, but finally in May decided the fastest route to financial health was to shed most of its debt in bankruptcy. It emerged five months later, in October, a private company with three-quarters less debt—from $940 million to $190 million—and with creditors as new owners. They include investment firms J.P. Morgan Chase and Angelo Gordon. With much less debt, Acterna said it was able to turn a profit during its third fiscal quarter but declined to specify the amount. The company is hoping to increase its sales by offering products that test some of the newer technologies installed in telecommunications networks, including super-fast Ethernet connections, networks that deliver voice calls over the Internet, and fiber-optic networks. Acterna has gone from 6,000 employees at its height three years ago to about 1,700 now.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
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