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Local Tech Wire

MORRISVILLE, N.C. – (Nasdaq: TKLC), one of the world leaders in messaging and other telecommunications services, sent a strong message of its own to Wall Street before dawn Thursday.

Its quarterly earnings report topped analysts’ expectations for both revenues and earnings.

The news sent Tekelec shares up 10 percent Thursday morning. Shares traded at $16.30 in the afternoon, up $1.45. They had reached as high as $16.40. In late afternoon, the rally resumed with shares climbing to $16.53, up 11.3 percent for the day.

At the close, TKLC hit $16.86, up $2.01 or more than 13.5 percent higher for the day.

Anayst firm Barclays Capital reacted by raising its target share price to $17.

"For 2011, we believe improving bookings should support sales growth. We establish estimates of $493M / $1.15. Our price target moves to $17," the firm said, according to financial news Web site SmartTrend.

The Morrisville-based firm, which works with telecommunications providers worldwide, reported earnings of 28 cents per year minus one-time expenses and charges, a 4 percent increase.. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 23 cents. The profit of nearly $16 million was $2 million higher from the same period a year ago.

Tekelec’s revenues also climbed 3 percent to $123.5 million, which beat expectations by more than $15 million. In the same quarter last year, Tekelec reported revenues of $119.9 million.

For the coming year, Tekelec said it expected revenues of between $470 million and $480 million with earnings of between $1.10 and $1.15 per share.

Orders in the fourth quarter climbed to $162.4 million, up 1 percent from 2008.

For the year, Tekelec increased its profits to $1.04 per share, up 11 percent from 2009. According to Tekelec, the annual earnings is a record for the firm.

“We are very pleased with our operating results, and in particular, with the strength of our orders for the fourth quarter,” said Chief Executive Officer Frank Plastina.

“Our orders for the quarter were up 1% compared to 2008. For the last six months of the year, orders were up 4 percent over the same period in 2008 and we generated a book-to-bill ratio of approximately 1.10 to 1 during the second half of 2009.

“Our strong financial performance during the fourth quarter and full year of 2009, including year-over-year revenue growth for the quarter and year, along with record earnings per share of $1.04 for the full year, reflect our disciplined approach to bringing value to our customers and shareholders despite the difficult competitive and financial climate,” he added.

Tekelec shares closed Wednesday at $14.85, up 15 cents. Its 52-week high is $19.68, reached last summer. Its 52-week low is $11.25.

Also Thursday, Tekelec announced that Bill Everett, its chief financial officer, is retiring. ()