Wegener in the Red in Fiscal 1Q

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Duluth, Ga.-based cable-equipment vendor Wegener swung to a first-quarter loss Tuesday after sales declined slightly during the period ended Dec.1.

Revenue for the period was $4.8 million compared with $5 million during the same period in fiscal-year 2006. Net losses rose to $962,000 ($0.08 per share) from $643,000 ($0.05) during the prior-year period.

In a prepared statement, Wegner chairman Robert Placek said the losses were caused in part by the limited availability of next-generation MPEG-4 and Digital Video Broadcasting S2 technologies. He added that although backlog in the first quarter was above fourth-quarter levels, “an increased order rate is required to return to profitability.”

He also reiterated Wegner’s guidance that it expects to report an operating loss in the fiscal second quarter, as well.

Wegner president Ned Mountain said in the statement that the company’s new Unity MPEG-4 satellite receiver is expected to be ready for shipment later in the fiscal year. He added that Wegener is also beginning to see increased interest for its SMD 515 Internet-protocol-TV set-top box, which supports both MPEG-4 and HDTV, in several of its markets.

Wegener shares were down three cents each to $1.01 in early trading Tuesday.