Ciena Climbs as Results Top Forecasts

Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) jumped US$15.06 to$91.88 in morning trading Thursday — a 20 percent leap — after beating analyst estimates for thefirst quarter ended January 31st, and issuing an upbeat outlook for the restof the fiscal year.

“Ciena continues to see robust growth opportunities across its family ofnext-generation intelligent optical networking products,” said chairman andchief executive officer Patrick Nettles. “We believe Ciena’s strong growthand good order visibility in an otherwise uncertain carrier spendingenvironment results from our exclusive focus on next-generation opticalnetworking equipment.”

The Linthicum, Maryland-based company said that revenue rose more than 130 percent from a year earlier, to $352.0 million.

Income before payroll tax on stock-option exercises totaled $54.1 million, or 18 cents per fully diluted share, up from $9.1 million, or 3 cents, a year earlier and ahead of analyst per-share estimates of 15 cents.

Ciena also raised its revenue growth projection for the current year.

“We expect our business willcontinue to grow faster than the overall market, provided we executesuccessfully,” Nettles said.

“We now believe we will be able to achieve 2001revenue growth of between 95 to 105 percent over last year, which translatesinto a revenue range of between $1.67 to $1.76 billion for fiscal year2001,” he added.

Ciena president and chief operating officer Gary Smith said the company ispositioned to “successfully navigate and grow,” even as companies cut back ontechnology spending.

According to Smith, the company’s focus on next-generation equipment means that it stands “to be a primary beneficiary as carriers shift spending awayfrom legacy equipment to intelligent optical networks that will enable themto lower capital and operating costs.”

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