Plantronics' CEO Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Jan.31.12 | About: Plantronics Inc. (PLT)

Plantronics (NYSE:PLT)

Q3 2012 Earnings Call

January 31, 2012 5:00 pm ET

Executives

Greg Klaben - Vice President of Investor Relations

S. Kenneth Kannappan - Chief Executive Officer, President and Executive Director

Barbara V. Scherer - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Senior Vice President of Finance & Administration

Analysts

John F. Bright - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

Joanna Makris - Mizuho Securities USA Inc., Research Division

Tavis C. McCourt - Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., Research Division

Unknown Analyst

Operator

Good afternoon, my name is Shannon, and I will be your conference operator. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Q3 Fiscal Year 2012 Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Thank you. I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Greg Klaben. Sir, you may begin.

Greg Klaben

Thanks very much, Shannon. Joining me today are Ken Kannappan, Plantronics' President and CEO; and Barbara Scherer, Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration and CFO. I'd like to remind you that during the course of today's conference call, we may make certain forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties as outlined in today's press release. As we've highlighted before, the risk factors in our press release and SEC filings are not standard boilerplate. We update these risk factors every quarter for significant changes, adding and dropping language and changing the order, depending upon the timing and potential impact of the concerns that we foresee. We believe forecasting our results of operations is difficult, and we ask you to focus particular attention on these risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by any such statements. For further information, please refer to the company's forms 10-K, 10-Q, today's press release and other SEC filings.

We will be discussing non-GAAP measures during today's call, and we reconcile these measures in our earnings press release and in our quarterly metric sheet, both available on the Investor Relations section of the Plantronics website.

Plantronics' third quarter fiscal 2012 net revenues were $183.2 million compared with guidance provided on November 1, 2011, of $175 million to $185 million. Plantronics' GAAP diluted earnings per share was $0.71 compared with $0.64 in the same quarter of the prior year. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 is $0.75 compared with $0.66 in the prior year and guidance of $0.60 to $0.70.

The difference between GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share for the third quarter include stock-based compensation charges net of the associated tax impact and a tax benefit from the expiration of certain statutes of limitation.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Ken.

S. Kenneth Kannappan

Thank you, Greg, and thanks to all of you for taking the time to join us. There are 3 key points I'd like to review on our first -- on our third quarter results. The first is our record financial results, the second is our progress on Unified Communications or UC portfolio and our continued success in the growing UC market. And finally, I'll review how Plantronics has embraced Smarter Working.

First, we achieved some key records in the third quarter, including another record quarter of Unified Communications revenue, record operating income and record earnings per share. Our Office and Contact Center revenue grew by a healthy 8% from the same quarter last year, driven by UC and record EMEA revenues, this was partly offset by weakness in the Americas.

Despite growth in our core Office and Contact Center product group, our top line revenue grew by just 1% compared with last year due to the continued weakness in our consumer lines. However, our market share is stabilizing in mobile in the U.S., largely a result of strong sales of our new Voyager Pro HD and Marque M155 Bluetooth headsets.

Second, Unified Communications technology continues to be adopted briskly around the globe, driving our UC revenue growth nearly 90% year-over-year. We continue to see broad adoption of UC across all size of enterprises in all major geographies. Our investments in UC continued to yield solid results. And in the first 9 months of fiscal 2012, we made good progress in differentiating our product line, as well as making huge strides in our corporate marketing and brand positioning.

We also grew our global sales organization to be able to better focus on the new model for UC success. We added hardware and software engineers to better meet the complex needs of the UC market, and we expanded our relationships with system integrators in the UC platform vendors.

I'm very pleased with our improvements for industry-leading product portfolio. Our portfolio delivers all market requirements, including superb sound quality, comfort, style, durability, product reliability, product longevity and ease-of-use. But our solutions have gone well beyond this, breaking new ground by creating context to where intelligent audio endpoints that inform UC systems so that they are more effective, making the UC applications more intuitive and making communications work flow faster. We believe our solution set offers the best value in the market and our customers share with us as well.

Here are few of the top innovations we have announced and all have been favorably received by the market. The Savi 700 Series which connects the calls from a PC, desk phone or mobile phone, and switching between all 3, as well as conferencing among them as required. The Voyager PRO UC HD, the industry's first Bluetooth device with Smart Sensors, the world class sensory noise cancelation technology, Plantronics' latest Voyager Pro is the first Bluetooth device that knows when it's on your head and automatically transfers calls accordingly. This product recently won CNET Editor's Choice.

The Blackwire 435 UC headset, a discrete portable USB corded device featuring a sleek and portable design that makes it very easy and webcam friendly. At CES 2012 in January, the Blackwire 435 headset received accolades in the portable multimedia accessories and headphones category.

The Calisto 800 Series, our award-winning speakerphone, ideal for the home office, this simplifies home communications by working with your landline, computer and mobile phone. The Calisto 835 was honored with the prestigious Best of Innovations Design and Engineering award sponsored by the CEA, Consumer Electronics Association.

The new Calisto 240 USB handset with LCD display and integrated speakerphone is a lightweight portable handset. InstantMeeting, which is an app, it connects you to your conference calls with just one button or one voice command. When organizations adopt it, it helps eliminate the wasted time of people calling in at the start of meetings.

Spokes for Mac is the industry's first software solution to support audio device control for Skype on Mac.

Our new product line for the traditional office includes the CS500 Series of wireless headsets for desktop telephones, featuring an updated design and lightest wireless DECT headset on the market.

For enterprise customers, we introduced the UC Toolkit, an online suite of free resources tailored for IT professionals, we're taking use to successfully deploy and get the most out of Unified Communications.

The overall innovations in our portfolio in enterprise solution set us apart. When you look at the totality of what we've offered, it is a complete solution and has allowed us to position ourselves as a clear leader in the market, giving as major wins for new UC business and contributed to our success in the last quarter, winning the largest financial services firm in China and our largest win in Asia to date.

Like most evaluations for UC headsets, this financial services organization considered multiple vendors, and ultimately chose Plantronics on an exclusive basis.

Third, at Plantronics we are embracing what we call Smarter Working. As we begin working with organizations deploying Unified Communications, we initially saw companies focusing on improving collaboration, communication, remote worker effectiveness and productivity, we're also trying to reduce costs.

More recently, many organizations started looking thoughtfully at the activities our knowledge workers are trying to accomplish and matching work environments to facilitate success, what is being referred to Smarter Working. Smarter Working is made possible with all the new robust UC platforms combined with our headsets to accommodate multi-work environments. Smarter Working opens up new avenues for organizational cost savings, including reduced facility space, productivity gains from allowing employees to work from the locations where they're most effective, reduced telephony costs, and very importantly enhanced job engagement, leading to higher retention of employees and greater output.

In addition, there are vast improvements in collaboration among employees resulting in reduced cycle time for business processes and greater innovation.

At Plantronics, we began our Smarter Working campaign beginning in early 2011 by redesigning and consolidating some of our offices in Europe. Just last month, we completed the redesign of our corporate office in Santa Cruz to fully embrace the Smarter Working concept. Both facilities now have assorted work environments, including open collaborative spaces for larger groups, smaller team work spaces, immersive spaces for working alone and hoteling cubes for out-of-town visitors. In our new flexible workspaces people often move about and reset groups throughout the day without being confined to conventional offices or conference room. Results were already measurable both in dollars savings and improved collaboration and productivity.

On the financial side, we expect to save over a $1 million annually through reduced facility cost, savings on conference calls and by engaging customers and partners with online meetings and desktop sharing. We also reduced travel costs and regained loss travel time thru video meetings. We've also seen a material drop in desktop phones with 75% of employees in Europe having already given up their phones. And in Santa Cruz after one month, about 1/3 having giving up their phones.

Another benefit we were aiming for is improved workforce, engagement and motivation. In Europe, we've seen employee satisfaction rise by 23% a year after the new workspace was implemented. This also allows us to understand the future requirements that our customers will have in designing appropriate solutions for these environments.

Critical success factor for a successful UC deployment and the implementation of Smarter Working is to have the right audio device to enable knowledge workers' seamless communication through varied devices be it desk phone, tablet, PC, Mac or smartphone. Devices need to compensate for varied sound environments. It need to be an intrusive, simple to use, have the capability to move the conversation among devices and the audio quality must be superb. These are all qualities which distinguish Plantronics products in all of our markets. We believe our product portfolio includes a superior product feature set and unmatched level of quality. This has been accomplished with continued investments in design, ergonomics, rigorous environmental and audio testing and reflects our long-standing commitment to excellence.

Calendar 2012 appears to be another promising year for UC. Besides platform upgrades from the major UC vendors which allowed their applications to be readily available on portable devices in Mac computers, enterprise of all size continue to embrace the technology with favorable results. We have a lot of value added in store for the UC ecosystem in calendar 2012, and I look forward to sharing this with you later in the year.

At this point, I'd like to turn the call over to Barbara to provide more insight on our quarterly results.

Barbara V. Scherer

Thanks, Ken. Our Q3 results were strong, with net revenues of $183.2 million, near the high-end of our guidance range and non-GAAP operating income of $42 million, well above our guidance of $36 million to $41 million. That was due primarily to lower operating expenses, which translated to higher operating income and margin.

Non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.75 exceeded the high end of our guidance range which was $0.70. Of that $0.05 EPS outperformance, approximately $0.02 was attributable to a lower than planned tax rate in the quarter and $0.03 to stronger pretax income.

The total net revenues of $183.2 million were up $1.7 million or 1% compared to the third quarter last year, and the key product line comparison to Q3 last year were OCC net revenues of $133.3 million were up $10.4 million or 8%. Net revenues from OCC products grew in all major geographies.

Revenues from UC products grew 87% to $25.2 million. Net revenues from mobile products were down 17% compared to Q3 last year on declines in North America, partly offset by growth in EMEA and Asia-Pac.

Gaming and computer products were down 13% compared to the year ago quarter and Clarity was down 4%.

Sequentially, OCC net revenues were down $3.1 million or 2% with growth in our EMEA region, offset by declines in the Americas, Asia-Pac and Latin America. We believe the decline in the Americas were principally due to slower overall enterprise spending as companies were more cautious about the macroeconomic environment, coupled with some impact from our product transition on CS wireless products. At this point, the transition appears to be largely behind us and the new products have been favorably received.

Mobile net revenues were up $7.7 million or 27%, in line with our expectations for the holiday quarter. Geographically, our mix was 54% domestic and 46% international; compared to 57% domestic, 43% international, in both the September quarter and in the third quarter a year ago.

Non-GAAP gross margin was generally in line with our expectations at 52.8%, down 0.4 points year-on-year and 3.5 points sequentially. Compared to the prior year-ago period, the 0.4 decline was primarily due to slightly higher provisions for excess and obsolete inventory. Sequentially, the change was primarily a result of mix, specifically at 2.3 point decrement due to the higher consumer product mix in the December quarter, and to a lesser extent, due to the product mix within UC. And the balance of the sequential decline was due to higher manufacturing variances and a bit to royalties.

Operating expenses were $54.8 million in the current quarter or 29.9% of net revenue. Compared to our third quarter last year, operating expenses are down $1.2 million, largely from lower professional services fees related mostly to litigation that was subsequently settled favorably in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

Sequentially, operating expenses were $3.3 million lower due to reduced compensation-related costs from our variable pay program and the typical seasonal effect of vacation time taken by employees, as well as reduced discretionary spending throughout the company.

Our non-GAAP operating margin was 22.9% in Q3, 0.5 points higher than in Q3 last year. And our year-to-date non-GAAP operating margin is also 22.9%, near the high-end of our long-term operating model.

Below the operating income line, other income in Q3 was roughly $0.4 million compared to 0 in a year ago quarter. The change is primarily due to higher interest income from our investment portfolio as a result of higher interest rates on certain investments.

Our effective non-GAAP tax rate for the quarter was 23.3% compared to 19.7% in the year-ago quarter. The unusually low rate a year ago was the result of the retroactive reinstatement of the U.S. R&D tax credit during that period, which required that we record a benefit not only for the quarter ending December 2010, but also for the 4 quarter preceding.

The reduction in the tax rate to 23.3% this quarter, from the 26% tax rate that we had been running in the first 2 quarters of the fiscal year, is due to our updated view that our full year effective non-GAAP tax rate should be approximately 25%, not 26% on the strength of our international business.

With the 23.3% rate booked for Q3, our year-to-date non-GAAP tax expense is 25% of year-to-date non-GAAP income before tax.

On a GAAP basis, our Q3 tax rate was 18.3% compared to 13.6% in the prior year quarter. The current quarter GAAP tax rate includes a tax benefit of $1.5 million related to the release of tax reserves due to the expiration of certain statutes of limitation. The year ago rate also included a tax benefit of $1.6 million from tax reserve releases for similar reasons.

As a result of all of the above, our Q3 non-GAAP net income at $32.5 million was roughly flat to Q3 last year. The cumulative benefit of our stock repurchase program was the main factor driving a 12% lower diluted share count versus the year-ago quarter, which combined with our net income for the quarter, resulted in non-GAAP EPS growth of $0.09 or 13%.

In terms of the balance sheet and cash flow, we finished the quarter with $359.5 million in cash, cash equivalents, short- and long-term investments, after spending approximately $45 million on repurchases of our common stock. We generated approximately $31 million in cash flow from operations in the third quarter and continue to have a strong financial position. Of the $359.5 million in cash, cash equivalents and short- and long-term investments, $15.1 million was domestic.

Our day sales outstanding decreased to 54 days from 55 days compared to a year ago, and increased from 52 days sequentially. The increase from the second quarter is primarily driven by holiday seasonality and the associated increase in balances with retailers.

Net inventories were up $1.3 million versus our March year end and down by $2.9 million from September 2011. Non-GAAP inventory turns improved from 5.3 a year ago to 6.0 in the quarter just ended, and from 5.1 in the September quarter.

Turning to our capital expenditures. Our Q3 spending was $5 million or 2.7% of net revenues, bringing year-to-date capital expenditures to $15 million. Our capital expenditures for the entire fiscal year is expected to be approximately $19 million.

Depreciation and amortization expense was $3.5 million in the quarter, down from $3.6 million in the third quarter last year, and our full year estimate is approximately $14 million.

So turning to the outlook. Given the macro environment, we are somewhat cautious about the March quarter. The macro environment remains uncertain, and the market volatility has reflected that. We are cautious about the macro environment due to the impact it is having and may have on our core OCC business.

As we outlined last quarter, we deferred hiring plans and trimmed discretionary spending in Q3, and that contributed to the sequential decrease in spending from Q2 to Q3. We are in the midst of planning for next fiscal year, and while we will increase investment in key areas, overall, we are planning to limit expense growth more so than we would if the macro environment were more robust.

So given that environment and the typical seasonal pattern where revenues from our consumer products decline from the December quarter to the March quarter, we believe total net revenues in the March quarter will be in the range of $175 million to $180 million. The entire range includes an expected negative impact of approximately $1 million for FX, as the dollar is sequentially stronger than it was in Q3, making our euro- and pound-denominated revenues worth relatively less when translated to U.S. dollars. Also, when comparing our estimates for Q4 F'12 to Q4 F'11, FX is also reducing revenue by approximately $1 million as well. $180 million high-end of the revenue guidance range incorporates a sequential increase in OCC revenues, more than offset by a seasonal decline in consumer products. The low-end assumes OCC revenues will be essentially flat and a slightly larger decrease in consumer products. Depending on the revenue mix and other factors, we believe non-GAAP operating income will be approximately $36 million to $39 million, or 20.7% to 21.6% of revenues. The outlook anticipates OpEx levels at 32% to 33% of net revenues, somewhat above Q3 based on normal seasonal OpEx spending patterns, and slightly below our OpEx levels a year ago after adjusting for the onetime $5.1 million litigation benefit we received in that period.

Based on all of the above, we currently expect non-GAAP EPS to be $0.63 to $0.68 on average diluted shares outstanding of approximately 43.2 million. The lower share count mainly reflects the full weighting of repurchases executed year-to-date, as well as additional open market purchases planned in Q4. This estimate assumes that we will not take delivery until the end of Q4 of any additional shares related to the $50 million accelerated share repurchase program announced in August. We do expect to take delivery of such shares by March 27, 2012. The GAAP charges we expect in the coming quarter include approximately $4 million in stock-based compensation expense or $0.07 EPS after tax. We thus expect GAAP EPS of $0.56 to $0.61 for the March quarter.

In summary, we had a solid Q3 which included 8% year-on-year growth in OCC. Revenues from UC products were up 87% from the year-ago quarter, and continue to represent a highly attractive revenue and profit growth sector. We have a leadership market position which we've been investing into, and I believe we are very well-positioned for the growth opportunities we expect to continue to develop over the next several years.

Finally, I just wanted to note that the way we present our non-GAAP measures is new this quarter. The SEC completed it's routine 3-year review of our filings with the comment on our non-GAAP presentation. As a result, we researched best practices and have incorporated those into today's press release and related filing on Form 8-K. Greg and I are happy to answer any questions on the format of change at your convenience.

And with that, I'm going to turn it back over to Shannon, the conference facilitator for the Q&A session.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And your first question comes from the line of John Bright with Avondale Partners.

John F. Bright - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

A solid quarter and guidance as well, particularly the solid quarter on the UC sales growth. The gross margin, if I'm looking at the analyst sheet and I look at December versus December, it looks like you have a higher weighting in OCC in this quarter versus last quarter, yet the gross margin seems to be down. Can you reconcile that for me?

Barbara V. Scherer

Are you referring to year-over-year Q4 or which comparison are you focused on John?

John F. Bright - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

I'm looking at year-over-year. December versus December last year.

Barbara V. Scherer

Right. So we do have more -- so UC revenues are very profitable. As you know and they're around corporate average, but they are lower than traditional OCC and year-over-year, the OCC revenue growth was actually more than 100% from UC. So that had some impact. And then our margins on our mobile products in Q3, this year, were actually a bit lower than they were in Q3 last year.

John F. Bright - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

When you gave the 4-so points associated with gross margin, was that the biggest component of the difference of the mobile side?

Barbara V. Scherer

I don't know, actually. Whether mobile dominates...

S. Kenneth Kannappan

We'll get back to you, John.

Barbara V. Scherer

I can get back to you on the...

S. Kenneth Kannappan

The difference is all kind of slight in all honesty.

Barbara V. Scherer

I think relatively similar, but I don't recall exactly.

John F. Bright - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

That's okay. Can you talk about -- you talked about the economic environment, particularly on the enterprise side. Maybe talk about the sales pattern that you experienced in the corner -- in the quarter versus what you typically experience.

S. Kenneth Kannappan

So in the last quarter, we have, in my mind, a reasonably typical pattern after our call. A typical pattern in the December quarter involves a fairly strong October, it involves a pretty good November and December up until we kind of hit just before Christmas. And then for us it's a very weak Christmas to New Year. I mentioned in the call, we had a little volatility. Before the call, we had one week that was not very strong. But when I look at the quarter as a whole, it really did follow overall a reasonably typical pattern.

Barbara V. Scherer

John, this is Barbara. I just wanted to come back and say, I have looked at the margin change Q3 to Q3, and the larger effect was mobile and the OCC effect was smaller.

John F. Bright - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

Okay. And Ken on the pattern of the sales, what does the pattern look like typically in the March quarter?

S. Kenneth Kannappan

Well, in the March quarter we normally start out with a very weak beginning of January, with the gradual build during the quarter to a very strong March.

John F. Bright - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

Ken, it's a question I've asked, I think, in many calls we've had. What in the UC opportunity assumptions, particularly your attach rate, ASP, margin, have any of those changed in your mind at this point?

S. Kenneth Kannappan

Not really, but you remind me of one point I want to mention. So as long as I got your question again, I want to say that for UC we are unsure yet what the seasonality will be. Many of those rollouts may not follow normal seasonal patterns and as it becomes a larger percentage of our business, that's a factor that affects our view towards results and to how we extrapolate them, so I just kind of want to mention that. Back to your -- the question you actually asked me, we haven't seen any significant changes in our mind. I would say that we continue to see significant price competition of the larger deals. But I think that overall, the business and our assumptions remain very similar to what we've said in the past.

John F. Bright - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

Has the attach rate still been above expectations?

S. Kenneth Kannappan

Yes, the attach rate has remained above the expectations that we originally communicated in our model.

John F. Bright - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

You brought up UC a moment ago. It's a question we've talked about over the recent calls. Do you expect it to sequentially increase into March?

S. Kenneth Kannappan

So I'm not 100% sure we're giving quarterly UC forecast. Let me just ask, are we providing this guidance?

Barbara V. Scherer

No, we generally just commented. And I'd say right now UC has been growing, and in fact, it's accounting last quarter from more than 100% of the growth, and UC continues to look strong and, perhaps, able to buck these macro trends which are putting a little pressure on the traditional OCC side right now.

John F. Bright - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

Okay, final question. Use of the cash that you have, I know most of it is domestic right now. But is a meaningful dividend raise under serious consideration?

S. Kenneth Kannappan

Well, let me comment on that. The reality is that, that's very much a Board decision, and we expect that for the current fiscal year no such consideration will be made. I think we've already announced we declared a dividend in the current quarter...

Barbara V. Scherer

Yes, regular.

S. Kenneth Kannappan

Unchanged. And that was part of the game plan that the Board had. We did a large repurchase and that was going to deplete the cash a little bit, beyond depleting the domestic cash in the current fiscal year. So I think that those things will be discussed with the Board and the plan for the next fiscal year is yet to be decided and communicated.

Barbara V. Scherer

And John, just one thing. Of our total cash, cash equivalents, short- and long-term investments, so that adds up to the $359.5 million. And as of the end of the quarter, just $15.1 million was domestic. So all the rest is international and the line of credit was up to $39.5 million, and that's domestic-based borrowing. So as of the end of the quarter, we're actually in a net negative cash position domestically, if you take the domestic cash less the line of credit. So we really have been deploying the domestic cash flow, the excess domestic cash and some net borrowings all towards stock repurchase over this last year, and are intending to finish that commitment by the end of the current fiscal year.

John F. Bright - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

Barbara, should I think about cash generation similar to the geographic breakdown of sales?

Barbara V. Scherer

Relatively similar. Obviously, we have a higher tax rate in the U.S. We have a much lower tax rate internationally. So it doesn't just map with the percent revenues because of the -- some of the higher expenses that we have here and then the higher tax rate. So it's a lower percent income than the revenue split for domestic.

Operator

And your next question comes from the line of Joanna Makris of Mizuho Securities.

Joanna Makris - Mizuho Securities USA Inc., Research Division

So I understand that you don't want to give quarterly-specific guidance within the OCC segment. But just looking at the traditional OCC space, this quarter represents the third sequential decline in that business. How do you think about sort of the dynamic this year? I mean, could you end the year flat for OCC? What are you seeing in the channel in terms of data points that could suggest stabilization or can further decline? Because obviously the UC growth is nice, and I'm just curious about how you're thinking about the traditional side of the business?

Barbara V. Scherer

Joanna, I just want to check your kind of statement about the third quarter of decline. So we did $132 million in Q4 last year, $131 million in Q1, so down $1 million, net of $136.4 million in Q2. So it's a sequential increase, and then we did $133.3 million. So it was just one quarter that was down there.

Joanna Makris - Mizuho Securities USA Inc., Research Division

Okay. So the traditional OCC, do I have this number right, $114 million going to $108 million. $112 million, $114 million...

Barbara V. Scherer

You're backing out the UC. You're backing up revenue. Okay.

S. Kenneth Kannappan

So let me try to comment on that for a second. So I think that to your general point, clearly we have seen UC growth. We don't believe that the business is cannibalizing the traditional OCC business, but we do believe that the traditional OCC business has been hit by macroeconomic factors. In the most recent quarter, there was some weakness in financial services and some other sectors, including government. And so we think that those factors and how the economy plays are a little bit difficult to predict. We've attempted to do our best incorporating both our assumptions for UC as well as the rest of the business in our guidance for the upcoming quarter. We continue to see that the business is very healthy over the long term, but does have cyclical impact from the economy.

Joanna Makris - Mizuho Securities USA Inc., Research Division

That's helpful. A second question, we're hearing in the channel that the line between consumer and office headset use is blurring somewhat, and it seems like some of your competitors have introduced much lower entry point headsets. Netcom as low as $40 ASP. Are you seeing that trend? And if so, is that bearing or could that bear an impact on gross margins and pricing?

S. Kenneth Kannappan

So let me hit the 2 points separately. First, we absolutely are seeing a general trend of what I would call both bring your own device, BYOD, as well as consumerization of IT, the 2 are similar and interrelated. And we have not seen that in general. Some of the new offerings have been well received in the traditional market, but let me kind of take those through. So first, in terms of BYOD, this started out with -- and it's not necessarily in relation to price point but in relation to preference, people working on various different environments, people decide that they prefer to use an iPhone, they bring it into work and IT, at the end of the day, can't say we're not supporting these devices because these are professionals trying to get things done, and you have to figure out how you're going to try to accommodate them. These are people deciding that they prefer Macs for a variety of reasons. They want to use iPads. They want to use a variety of different devices and tools that they're comfortable with, that they're using for their home, as well as for their work life. And you get companies giving people certain provisioning basket of funds that they can use to outfit their various equipment requirements, where they use it at home or in the work. So we're seeing IT beginning to embrace this. And as a result, IT having great concern that people like us, for example, are going to be able to inter-operate with any device no matter what it is that's in the system. And fortunately, we've been ahead of this curve, and we're in very good shape to support what IT wants us to do in this in role in order to accommodate this. But it also includes our own devices, which can of course be bought in a consumer version, not necessarily as integrated as a business version, but we've seen greater overlap. So we've seen our -- we've talked about the Voyager PRO, which started out with the UC version, and then we came out up with the HD version for our consumers which has still got the sensors in it. It still has a lot of that other capability in the product and the platform. From a consumerization perspective, this is about, in part, even when it is still being provided by IT, IT being very sensitive to the fact that people want products that look cool, that are a pleasure to work with, that are intuitive, that are simple, that maybe even look nice and so forth. And so very often, they have user groups that are involved in selecting products. And in the case of headsets, that includes headsets where they may have a different user group with -- that's not just composed of motivated heavy users, but it's composed of a bigger cross-section in the company, trying to say, what is it the people like and want to use. I think from a standpoint of competitive offerings, these trends as you can understand -- on the one hand, sure, there can be lower-priced products out there. But on the other hand, people still want good products that work well, okay. And very frequently, just because you have those trends, it doesn't necessarily mean that the consumer is paying the bill from the standpoint of a price-sensitivity standpoint. And so, can we have that? Yes. I think that the bigger price pressure we've got is actually the large bid business at the bottom end of the UC market of people who are not using the products frequently rather than from this. Some of the more recent offerings that were kind of designed to be just lower price have been, generally speaking at least at this point of time, not very well accepted because they're offering actually a fairly poor user experience rather than good one.

Operator

And your next question comes from the line of Tavis McCourt of Morgan Keegan.

Tavis C. McCourt - Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., Research Division

Barbara, first just a detail. Can you give me what the cash flow from operations were in the quarter?

Barbara V. Scherer

It's approximately $31 million.

Tavis C. McCourt - Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., Research Division

Great. And then you discussed strength in EMEA and APAC. I wonder if you could dig down a little bit further? I mean, I think probably a lot of us in the call are hearing similar things about EMEA from a lot of our companies and scratching our heads on how can EMEA be a source of strength relative to the U.S. at this point. And kind of what are you seeing there, is it both in the mobile and office business, and especially in the office? What's your level of confidence of that kind of momentum being able to be maintained?

Barbara V. Scherer

Yes. So we did see it both in OCC and in the consumer lines. And within OCC, some very nice strength on the cordless side. And from a channel point of view, no evidence of any channel build up. So frankly, it was surprising that Europe was a bit stronger and the Americas was a bit weaker. In terms of overall level of confidence, I guess I'll just go back to our remarks -- we are cautious about the macro environment and we are cautious about how that may play out into the March quarter, which is why the guidance incorporates OCC, basically globally flat to up a few percent. But historically in good economic environments, this is typically the best sequential quarter for OCC as many companies have new budgets and -- typically the March quarter has really set the pace. But this quarter, we think there's some macro overhangs that are unlikely to make that the case.

Tavis C. McCourt - Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., Research Division

And you mentioned in your share count projection, it doesn't -- you would be getting the shares so late in the quarter from the big tranche that it wouldn't impact this quarter. Can you give us what the pro forma share count would be once you take delivery of those shares?

Barbara V. Scherer

Well, so I just said that we're looking at 43.2 million average for the quarter. So we are planning to retire the rest of them through open market. But that last bit, I mean it will fluctuate with the final trading up to that point, but it's probably around 400,000 shares.

Tavis C. McCourt - Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., Research Division

Great. And then my final question is, I wonder, maybe for Ken our Barbara. Can you kind of just discussed the mobile business model at this point in terms of you guys kind of went to more of an outsourced manufacturing process a few years back? And I think you got kind of modestly profitable as the revenues really ramps over a few years. It seems to have come down to a lower stable level. What kind of profitability is in that business now and what are the prospects for it?

Barbara V. Scherer

Well, it's still -- it has gross margins in the mid-20s. That's about where it's been. We don't do fully loaded P&Ls, I mean there's a lot of commonality between the mobile products. And frankly, some of our OCC products -- when you start getting into mobile professionals and all the ways they work -- there a lot of -- it's not a leverage in certain parts of the category, but we see that category having growth potential out over the year, especially the -- some of the-- sorry, actually for a moment there, I thought about the stereo side. On the other part of our consumer business, which is the PC headsets, but there is good growth opportunity we believe in mobile. And we expect to be continuing to grow with the market, now that our share is stabilized and we've reinvested in the category this year. And we cut back 2 years ago, and then we picked up the level of investment this year, and we saw the shares stabilize from September quarter to December quarter. So we're expecting to grow most likely with the market at this point.

Tavis C. McCourt - Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., Research Division

So, okay. I guess what I was getting at was you're well above any kind of line of demarcation where you would need to be -- you're thinking about kind of how much resources do we actually want to commit to this.

Barbara V. Scherer

Yes, it is definitely a net positive contributor.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And your next question comes from the line of Ryan McDonald [ph] of Northland Capital.

Unknown Analyst

I think on the last call you mentioned that a few of the UC deals were getting moved to the March quarter. I was just curious, are those still on track to start in the March quarter?

S. Kenneth Kannappan

So what we mentioned was that there were a few deals that had moved out in time. And I would say that it's -- how can I phrase this exactly? This is more like a shift in quantity. So actually we did get some of that revenue, in fact, in the December quarter, we think they will continue to occur in the March quarter and continue to be spread out. In addition, as you understand, as other deals coming in, we've -- and some of these are not really macro economic related delays, and we have a continued pattern of people thinking that they're going to do these faster than they actually wind up doing them. And so the answer is, I think while there was some macroeconomic factor behind some of that delay, in general, the biggest factor behind the delays of the UC rollouts tend to be internal issues, and the bigger swing on macroeconomic has been in our non-UC part of the OCC business.

Unknown Analyst

And then can you kind of discuss maybe which of your distributors are having success with deploying UC, either like that more data focused ones or the traditional telecom side?

S. Kenneth Kannappan

So actually, we've seen all types of distributors have success with the UC business. To be sure, some of the ones that are more focused in IT-types of channels, that was kind of already a fit, but we've definitely seen some of our traditional distributors embrace UC and do very well with it.

Operator

There are no more questions in queue. Presenters, do you have any closing comments?

S. Kenneth Kannappan

Shannon, thank you very much, and thank you all for taking the time to listen to the call. And if you have any further questions, of course, we're available.

Operator

That does conclude today's call. You may now disconnect.

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