In its outlook for the quarter, Sierra Wireless also said it expects to lose $800,000 US or three cents per share in the first quarter on revenue of $40 million US. The revenue forecast was ahead of the average analyst estimate of $37 million US according to Thomson Financial.

“Our focus for 2006 is to continue to execute on our new product pipeline and the business development activities related to bringing these new products to market,” Jason Cohenour, president and chief executive, told a conference call with analysts.

“While we are pleased with the progress we have made, we also recognize that a lot of hard work and continued strong execution is required before we achieve the goals that we’ve set for ourselves.”

The Vancouver-based company, which keeps its accounts in U.S. dollars, said it earned $911,000 US or four cents per share in the three months ended Dec. 31. That compared with a profit of $7.3 million or 28 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $37.6 million from $58.8 million.

The average analyst estimate according to Thomson Financial had been for the company to lose six cents per share on $35 million in revenue.

For all of 2005, Sierra Wireless lost $36.5 million or $1.44 per share on revenue of $107.1 million. That compared with a 2004 profit of $24.9 million or 96 cents per share on sales of $211.2 million.

Cohenour attributed the improvement at Sierra Wireless to its focus on its PC card and notebook computer business.

“With the announcements from several leading laptop manufacturers and their plans to embed 3G wireless wide-area capability inside their laptops, the opportunity for sales of embedded modules has potentially increased significantly,” he said.

“We believe we are well positioned to capture a leading position in this market as a result of our extensive experience in embedding several generations of wide-area wireless modules inside mobile computing platforms.

Sierra Wireless announced earlier this month its embedded module has been chosen to provide mobile broadband connectivity on a new HP Compaq laptop computer.

It did not provide financial details of the deal.