Ciena Beats, But Loses Ground

 |  About: Ciena Corporation (CIEN)
by: Eric Savitz

Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) this morning reported revenue for its fiscal second quarter ended April 30 of $242. 2 million, ahead of the Street consensus of $238.3 million. Non-GAAP profits of 40 cents a share were three pennies ahead of the consensus. (See earnings call transcript.)

The company also said that it continues to expect revenue growth for the October 2008 fiscal year of “up to 27%,” which implies $990.5 million, a little ahead of the Street view of $985.5 million.

Nonetheless, the stock is losing ground. One reason: Standard & Poor’s telecom analyst Ari Bensinger today cut his rating on the stock to Hold from Buy. He notes that both sales and gross margins exceeded his forecast on strong demand for optical gear “with customers needing to handle an increasing use of network bandwidth.” He expects strong industry fundamentals ahead, but also sees higher operating expenses, partly related to the company’s recent acquisition of World Wide Packets, “hampering margin expansion.”

He cut his price target on the stock to $32 from $36.

CIEN today just after 1 p.m. EDT  is down $1.66, or 5.45%, to $28.80.