Packet-optical vendor Ciena is set to report fiscal third-quarter earnings Thursday morning, with Wall Street expecting the company to make good on CEO Gary Smith's earlier prediction that the second half of the year would be better than the first. (See Ciena Soars on Strong Demand.)
Those earlier comments came as many market watchers were already becoming concerned about potentially weaker capex by Tier 1 service providers in the latter part of the year, so Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN)'s report could be a bellwether for the rest of the sector.
Ciena had earlier forecast between $585 million and $615 million revenue for the third quarter, and the Wall Street estimate of around $600 million split the difference. Though the vendor was fairly reliant on AT&T in past quarters, it recently announced a trio of major international deals with Telia Company , Openreach and -- through partner Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) -- Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS). (See TeliaSonera Overlays With Ciena, Eurobites: BT Adds Ciena to Ethernet Roster and SDN at Heart of Telstra-Ericsson Deal.)
Like other vendors from the optical and Ethernet sectors, Ciena has done much in recent months to strengthen its offerings for a packet-optical convergence that finally appears to be taking hold with customers. The company announced a new packet-optical metro platform in June, and has also been pressing on the network programmability front with the development of a multi-layer WAN controller. (See Ciena Stirs Up the Metro Market and Ciena Introduces Management Tools to Make Networks Flexible.)
— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading