Eurobites: Ciena Sees Growth Ahead in Europe

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: rugged phone maker gets new boss; Blue Label seeks 35% stake in South Africa's Cell C; Macron plays it laissez-faire on Orange/Bouygues deal.

  • Optical networking equipment maker Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) is confident that conditions will get better in Europe next year, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the company's recent earnings call. "I think Europe… could show improvement, certainly in the second half of the year," said Gary Smith, the company's CEO, during the call. Ciena expects revenues to grow at a rate of between 8% and 9% in its current fiscal year (which ends in October), having reported a sales increase of about 7% for the one that recently ended. Even so, investors had been expecting an even more bullish forecast, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, and Ciena's stock closed 17% down on Thursday. "Demand trends are actually improving and all of the growth drivers are in place," said Michael Genovese, an analyst with MKM Partners, in a research note.

  • Bullit, the UK company that builds "rugged" smartphones for major brands such as JCB and CAT, has poached itself a new CEO from the Virgin Group, reports the Daily Telegraph. Peter Stephens will join Bullitt in the new year, and is charged with increasing distribution of Bullitt's products through deals with mobile operators. The company's three founders, Richard Wharton, Colin Batt and Dave Floyd, will remain on Bullitt's board.

  • In South Africa, Blue Label Telecoms has offered to buy a 35% stake in Cell C for 4 billion rand ($263 million), reports Bloomberg, in a move that could help extend the coverage of the nation's third-largest mobile phone company.

  • Emmanuel Macron, France's outspoken economy minister, has said he does not oppose in principle the reduction in the number of operators in the French market from four to three, reports Reuters. His comments come in the wake of news that Orange (NYSE: FTE) was in preliminary talks about buying a stake in rival Bouygues Telecom . (See Eurobites: Orange in M&A Talks With Bouygues – Report.)

  • Ireland's eir (formerly eir ) has appointed Tim Spence its new managing director of customer operations, effective from early January. Spence has been with eir since 2012.

  • Almost one in five UK households with a broadband service use Netflix, according to research from Parks Associates. According to Parks, 18% of UK broadband households have paid to use Netflix during the past 30 days, compared with 20% that used the free iTV Player service and 33% that used the BBC’s free iPlayer service. "The results in the UK and in other European markets show that paid OTT video streaming services are now a fixture in this video entertainment landscape," said Parks Research Director Brett Sappington in this press release.

  • Dominique Leroy, the CEO of Belgium's Proximus , has been recognized for her leadership skills by Harvard University, through its annual Leadership Prize. According a company statement, Proximus has embarked on a "transformation process to become more efficient, agile and customer-centric" under her guidance.

  • Say goodbye to lost-pet misery! Possibly. Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) has unleashed (see what we did there?) the Petpointer, a device that attaches to your pet's collar and, should it go missing, uses the power of GPS to transmit its whereabouts to your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Alternatively, you could play it old-school and stick sad-looking posters on lamp-posts or just stand in the wrong place and bellow your pet's name repeatedly, attracting bemused looks from passers-by.

    Archie, the Eurobites dog: Doesn't have a Petpointer; does have a wizard's hat
    Archie, the Eurobites dog: Doesn't have a Petpointer; does have a wizard's hat

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    Susan Fourtané 12/31/2015 | 11:32:40 PM
    Re: Poor Thing Kruz, Minnie is probably one of the most famous pets in the whole Internet. :D And a very fit and healthy one with all the daily exercise he does with Mitch. I love the 5 minutes run at high speed she does after the walks. Happy New Year! -Susan
    Kruz 12/31/2015 | 6:25:56 PM
    Re: Poor Thing Minnie is so 2015, the list is long for 2016. Happy new year!
    Susan Fourtané 12/31/2015 | 12:08:26 PM
    Re: Poor Thing Kruz, you mean going to meet Minnie? .Susan
    Kruz 12/31/2015 | 5:54:19 AM
    Poor Thing Poor thing, what if it actually wanted to escape a horrible owner?
    Susan Fourtané 12/31/2015 | 12:12:23 AM
    Re: Poor Archie Thank you, Mitch!
    Mitch Wagner 12/30/2015 | 10:18:39 AM
    Re: Poor Archie An apocalypse by dog slobber! 

    Happy New Year to you as well, Susan.
    Susan Fourtané 12/30/2015 | 8:07:00 AM
    Re: Poor Archie Continents collapsing ... The destruction of the universe ... A big headache for you and Paul, indeed. You'd better keep them well apart. Happy New Year, Mitch and Paul! It was a pleasure to share thoughts on the Telecoms and beyond with you this year. -Susan
    Mitch Wagner 12/14/2015 | 10:12:01 AM
    Re: Poor Archie If Archie and Minnie meet it will mean the destruction of the universe. 
    Susan Fourtané 12/13/2015 | 1:49:15 AM
    Re: Poor Archie Have you ever envisioned an Archie and Minnie meeting? If Archie gets lost while wearing that hat he surely will get noticed. No GPS needed. -Susan
    Mitch Wagner 12/11/2015 | 11:58:09 AM
    Re: Poor Archie I'm wearing that exact hat right now.
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