Contradiction? Q2 Earnings Up, CFO Out

On the same day Novatel Wireless announces a positive outlook for its second quarter, the company announces that its finance chief has resigned.

As the intimate guardians of their companies’ financial standing, CFOs tend to jump ship when their organization isn’t doing well and shows little chance of improvement. The news about Dan Halvorson’s abrupt departure from Novatel Wireless appears to be an exception to that rule.

On Friday morning the San Diego-based company announced it had raised its earnings projection for the second quarter. Mixed with that positive change was the news that Halvorson, its CFO for three years, is leaving “to pursue another opportunity.” His last day is June 15.

Havlorson could not be reached for comment at presstime. Novatel did not elaborate on Halvorson’s departure and did not immediately return CFO.com’s request for comment.

According to a Novatel press release, the company’s previous guidance of $90 million in revenue for the quarter ending June 30 has been changed to $95 million. Non-GAAP earnings-per-share is expected to be 29 cents to 31 centers per diluted share, ahead of its previous guidance of 20 cents to 22 centers per share. Brad Weinert, Novatel’s acting CEO, attributed the change to a strong demand for wireless data technology.

Despite the company’s positive earnings guidance, Halvorson’s departure appears to deplete the company’s leadership strength. Nearly seven months ago, Weinert, who is also chief operating officer, took over interim chief executive duties to replace Peter Leparulo. Leparulo has kept his position as executive chairman. With Halvorson’s departure, the company is now searching for a new CFO.

Halvorson will be ending a seven-year tenure at Novatel. Before becoming the CFO in March 2004, he held the titles of vice president of finance, chief accounting officer, and treasurer. He previously worked at Deloitte & Touche and PricewaterhouseCoopers. “We thank Dan for all of his contributions in the past as Novatel Wireless has grown and diversified over the last three years,” Weinert said.

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