Light Reading

Infinera Earnings & Metro Expectations on Tap

Dan O'Shea

Is Infinera ready to tackle a 100G metro market that at least one other vendor says is already ramping up? That is likely to be one of the questions that comes up as the optical vendor conducts its first-quarter earnings call Wednesday afternoon.

Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) has been at work on a version of its PIC for the metro market. Although it has been vague about where a metro product may stand, Infinera CEO Tom Fallon likely will be pressed on Wednesday's call for details about the company's plans for a metro version of its DTN platform.

Infinera has taken a decidedly glass-half-full view of the 100G market, saying that, despite much contract activity in the last year, it is not expected to peak for another few years. That suggests the metro 100G market remains in an even more nascent state. However, Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) has said that the metro market for 100G already is ramping up this year (See Infinera: We're Fine, Thanks…, Infinera Shifts Up a Gear, and Ciena Fans 100G Metro Flames.)

Infinera is coming off a fourth quarter in which it reported decent earnings, but during which it became apparent that it had missed out on a major 100G contract from Verizon Communications, which went with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) instead. Earlier in the first quarter, Infinera was able to report some better contract news with a win at Windstream Communications. (See Analyst: Infinera Loses VZ Deal to AlcaLu and Windstream Taps Infinera for National Buildout.)

Wednesday's call also will mark the quarterly earnings call debut of Infinera CFO Brad Feller, who slid into that job March 1 after former CFO Ita Brennan left the company. Analyst consensus seems to be that Infinera will be upbeat about the first quarter, even though it is typically the slowest quarter. Some analyst estimates for quarterly revenue are around $140 million, which would represent a 12% increase of the first quarter of 2013.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
4/23/2014 | 11:41:52 PM
Re: Ciena Very Optimistic
I didn't see the graph, but I think it all depends on those price points, clearly Tier 1 and larger Tier 2 customers already have 100G needs in their core, but as access speeds and gear increase so will the metro.  How quickly will depend on the cost efficacy for the customers which will partially depends on economies of scale, the more you make the cheaper you tend to be able to make them.  Which means you'll have both low margin big customers and larger margin smaller customers, the more the merrier.  Personally, I see it happening sooner than later.

User Rank: Light Sabre
4/22/2014 | 6:08:47 PM
Ciena Very Optimistic
I took a look at Ciena'a post about 100G, which showcased a graph by Infonetics Research that paints an extremly optimistic picture of 100G.  I'm not quite sure what to believe though; on one hand it seems a bit skewed, and on the other we all know how fast tech moves.  I can't find fault in Infinera's stand on the situation.
User Rank: Lightning
4/22/2014 | 4:12:17 PM
premature speculation
The company just produced a PIC for metro in the fourth quarter of 2013.  It would be impossible for them to announce anything new in system development just three months later.  Maybe Q4 of 2014 would bet the next major point at which you would expect to hear about a system at best.  Here is what David Welch said in January:


The volume on the long-haul market from all of our customers continues to grow consistent with what they have told us in the years past. And we have seen a slowdown in the volume of data in the long-haul. For Infinera's play in the metro, we do supply our current product for high capacity metros and we are deployed in high capacity metros today. What we will continue to do is build out our capabilities in our feature set in order to impact that, and we should be in a good position to impact that as 100-gig becomes a strong player within the metro space. 100-gig will be a significant player in themetro space in the late '15 beginning '16 type of timeframe.
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