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Foundry Falters, Readies IPv6 Wares

Foundry Networks, maker of high-end networking hardware, will look to offset a sub-par quarter with the introduction of new gear next week that supports the emerging IPv6 standard.

After missing analysts' expectations, Foundry stock dropped nearly $4 in after-hours trading Thursday night after closing at $14.15 per share. The stock recovered a bit Friday, to a price just above $11 per share in early trading. Though the company reported revenue of $104 million and earnings of 14 cents per share, analysts had expected 17 cents per share and $113 million in revenue. Foundry's failure to warn of its fiscal shortcomings was noted by analysts during a contentious question-and-answer period following yesterday's conference call to report results.

According to Foundry, a number of deals it was close to closing "slipped" past the quarter's deadline, leading to the sub-par results. The company also said it had lower-than-expected results from sales to Japan.

Next week, the company is expected to announce new hardware-based IPv6 modules for its BigIron MG8 backbone switch and NetIron 40G router. Unlike other offerings that support IPv6 through software tweaks to existing hardware, Foundry's hardware-based products will offer full wire-speed connectivity, said Bob Schiff, director of marketing for Foundry's enterprise business unit.

The emerging IPv6 protocol standard offers numerous improvements over the current IPv4 infrastructure, including a 128-bit address space. According to Schiff, customers in Europe are already starting to make IPv6 a part of their RFPs, and it won't be long before U.S. customers follow suit.

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