Optical components

Optical Stocks Climb Again

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- On top of anecdotal evidence of business being up, the publicly traded optical components companies went nuts Monday, continuing the upward streak that began late last week when Finisar announced unexpectedly strong earnings. (See Finisar Ignites Optics Explosion.)

Bookham Inc. (Nasdaq: BKHM; London: BHM) climbed 47 cents (5.6%) to $8.93, while Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) rose 66 cents (16.2%) to $4.74 and MRV Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: MRVC) climbed 53 cents (14.3%) to $4.23.

And then there was Avanex Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNX), up 39 cents (18.6%) to $2.49. Avanex has nearly doubled its price in the past week. (See What the Heck's With Avanex?.)

Optical love wasn't universal, though, as shares of components giant JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) actually fell by two percent yesterday.

The gains show that investors have been itching to get into these stocks, possibly because they see optical components as one way to play the fiber-to-the-home boom, observers say.

Could there be something more, though? John Dexheimer, partner with private equity fund First Analysis, tossed an intriguing clue while moderating the final panel at Monday's The Optical Society (OSA) Executive Forum 2006, here, a precursor to OFC/NFOEC.

Dexheimer thinks it might be related to Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) building a dark-fiber network, the uses for which have yet to be fully articulated. "Apparently some of the Google millionaires are buying up optical components stocks in anticipation of what Google's doing," he says. (See Google's Own Private Internet.)

Whatever the reasons, the runup has some optics executives worried. After all, the new investors in the stocks might be disappointed to find that the optical turnaround hasn't completed itself yet. "They're all going to expect earnings like Finisar's," one moaned.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Sign In