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Ethernet equipment

Ciena's Q4 Beats the Street

Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) continued its earnings momentum today by beating analysts' expectations in its fiscal fourth quarter. (See Ciena Reports Q4.)

For the three months ended October 31, the optical equipment vendor reported earnings of $30.4 million, or 30 cents a share, on revenues of $216.2 million. That compares with earnings of $13.1 million, or 14 cents per share, on sales of $160 million in the year-ago quarter.

Ciena's quarterly revenues grew 5.5 percent sequentially and 35.2 percent year over year, beating Wall Street expectations. Analysts expected quarterly sales of $211 million, according to Thomson Financial .

Excluding certain one-time and non-cash items, Ciena reported fourth-quarter earnings of $50.3 million, or 48 cents per share. That beat analyst expectations for profits of 42 cents per share.

Gross margins for the quarter were strong, at 50.5 percent. That beat Ciena's forecast of the mid-40s and analyst expectations of 46.7 percent. For the 2007 fiscal year, Ciena reported earnings of $82.8 million million, or 87 cents a share, on revenues of $779.8 million. That compares with earnings of $600,000, or 1 cent per share, on sales of $564.1 million in fiscal 2006.

Ciena has now reported 15 consecutive quarters of sequential revenue growth. The company's stock has responded to that trend, rising more than 50 percent this calendar year.

But despite today's positive news, the vendor's outlook for "20 percent annual revenue growth in fiscal 2008" fell short of analyst expectations. A 20 percent hike would take Ciena's fiscal 2008 revenues to about $936 million, whereas analysts were, on average, predicting $945.4 million.

As a result Ciena's share price was flat at $42.12 in early trading Thursday morning.

In the fourth quarter Ciena benefited from revenue recognition at previously announced customers BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and India's Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) , and signed new deals with AboveNet Inc. (NYSE: ABVT) and Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (VSNL) (NYSE: VSL). (See VSNL Chooses Ciena.)

The vendor also announced today a new contract at BT to supply Ethernet access equipment for the carrier's 21CN initiative. The announcement expands Ciena's current relationship with BT, which is already deploying the firm's CN 4200 and CoreDirector as part of its 21CN project. (See Ciena Takes ANDA Into 21CN.)

Ciena also announced the appointment of James E. Moylan Jr. as its new CFO. Moylan previously served as EVP and CFO at Swett & Crawford, a private equity-owned wholesale insurance broker. Moylan replaces Joseph Chinnici, who quit in April. (See Ciena's CFO Quits.)

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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Ryan Lawler 12/5/2012 | 2:57:24 PM
re: Ciena's Q4 Beats the Street Analysts were "disappointed" by the 20 percent revenue forecast... Are they just being greedy? Is there reason to expect Ciena to continue to posting 30 percent or better revenue growth going forward?
Ryan Lawler 12/5/2012 | 2:57:24 PM
re: Ciena's Q4 Beats the Street Analysts were "disappointed" by the 20 percent revenue forecast... Are they just being greedy? Is there reason to expect Ciena to continue to posting 30 percent or better revenue growth going forward?
Belzebutt 12/5/2012 | 2:57:23 PM
re: Ciena's Q4 Beats the Street Quick question: does Larry the Monkey force the writers to crank start discussions about their own articles, or do you do it of your own free will? "Just so you know" (wink wink), these questions sound canned.
Ryan Lawler 12/5/2012 | 2:57:23 PM
re: Ciena's Q4 Beats the Street Quick question: does Larry the Monkey force the writers to crank start discussions about their own articles, or do you do it of your own free will?

If you do a search of my message board posts, you'll notice that I tend not to jump-start discussions on my own stories.

In this case, I'm honestly curious: Is Ciena's giving a conservative estimate of future revenue growth -- 20 percent vs. analyst consensus 22 percent -- really cause for the stock to fall 10 percent so far today?

Personally, it seems a bit of an overreaction to me, especially considering they will most likely beat that estimate. (Note: I believe they forecast 20 percent growth for fiscal 07, as well, and ended up at 35 percent.)
Ryan Lawler 12/5/2012 | 2:57:23 PM
re: Ciena's Q4 Beats the Street Quick question: does Larry the Monkey force the writers to crank start discussions about their own articles, or do you do it of your own free will?

If you do a search of my message board posts, you'll notice that I tend not to jump-start discussions on my own stories.

In this case, I'm honestly curious: Is Ciena's giving a conservative estimate of future revenue growth -- 20 percent vs. analyst consensus 22 percent -- really cause for the stock to fall 10 percent so far today?

Personally, it seems a bit of an overreaction to me, especially considering they will most likely beat that estimate. (Note: I believe they forecast 20 percent growth for fiscal 07, as well, and ended up at 35 percent.)
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 2:57:23 PM
re: Ciena's Q4 Beats the Street
Current P/E ratio makes a high growth ratio required to get to a reasonable PEG.

20% growth nets a PEG over 2. That seems very high given Ciena's up and down history.

seven
rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 2:57:23 PM
re: Ciena's Q4 Beats the Street As a reader and with no horse in this argument, I feel there's nothing wrong with the author or another LR editor jump-starting a thread.

Psychologically, it is much easier for a reader to "reply" to an existing post than to "start a discussion".

What's the big deal?

odo

materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 2:57:23 PM
re: Ciena's Q4 Beats the Street Anyone on Wall St. is either being greedy or fearful. Its their job, how they allocate capital. In this case, the changed expectation in 08 from continued 35%-ish growth, to 20%, calls for a revised valuation.

The rule of thumb is the growth rate times the coming year's earnings. If CIEN is to earn a buck in 08, and they have a 35% growth rate, their stock should fetch in the area of $35. If that number falls to 20%, then it should fetch around $20. It is all a rough rule of thumb to gauge what the company could earn in say, 5 year's time.

The really interesting point is where the "billions and billions" of dollars John Chambers sees being invested in video are going. If you believe him (which I don't), the trajectory should be up. This is in essence the real problem.
mellonHead 12/5/2012 | 2:57:21 PM
re: Ciena's Q4 Beats the Street if you are a student of the conf calls over the last
couple of years you will definitely know they have become very conservative in their estimates after 3
missed quarters. If you are a long term investor it is hard to argue with their ability to grow revenue & earnings the last 2 years. ($26/share was a buying opp. some months back).

Bigger question for a very conservation CFO like Joseph Chinici (sp?): what the hell is he doing getting caught with a $13M loss in SIV investments ?

mellonhead.



Stevery 12/5/2012 | 2:57:19 PM
re: Ciena's Q4 Beats the Street The deal is I remember when LR writers would NEVER be the first to jump-start discussions on their own articles

That also corresponded to a time when there were plenty of stupid racist/ethnist/tribal comments too.

Putting the conversation in the correct direction is just fine by me. Anybody can still post on any other topic and derail the thread into something completely unrelated. Sorta like this post.
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