Ciena (CIEN) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Ciena is benefiting from increasing demand for Packet Optical, Packet Networking and Optical Transport products. Increasing usage of service management software in the global communication market is a key catalyst. Moreover, the company’s efforts to expand in data center connectivity and broaden its reach in the end-to-end optical and data equipment market is commendable. However, Ciena competes against much larger players in the networking industry, which is a major obstacle for the company. Customer concentration has also been a major factor for Ciena. Uncertainty related to government business and macroeconomic volatility is another headwind. Shares outperformed the industry in the last one year.”

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Goldman Sachs Group raised Ciena from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $27.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, January 15th. UBS Group lowered their target price on Ciena from $29.00 to $27.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, December 8th. BMO Capital Markets lowered their target price on Ciena to $25.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, December 8th. Needham & Company LLC lowered their target price on Ciena from $26.00 to $24.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, December 8th. Finally, Raymond James Financial set a $33.00 price objective on Ciena and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $28.48.

Ciena (CIEN) traded up $0.14 during trading on Monday, hitting $22.39. The company had a trading volume of 2,310,464 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,851,447. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27, a current ratio of 1.93 and a quick ratio of 1.68. Ciena has a 12 month low of $19.40 and a 12 month high of $27.98. The stock has a market capitalization of $3,196.87, a PE ratio of 2.81, a PEG ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 1.67.

Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, December 7th. The communications equipment provider reported $0.46 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.50 by ($0.04). Ciena had a net margin of 45.04% and a return on equity of 18.32%. The firm had revenue of $744.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $736.91 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.44 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Ciena will post 1 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Ciena declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, December 7th that permits the company to buyback $300.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the communications equipment provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Ciena news, SVP Rick Hamilton sold 2,526 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.40, for a total transaction of $54,056.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Gary B. Smith sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.55, for a total value of $205,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 212,743 shares of company stock valued at $4,526,441 in the last 90 days. 1.45% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CIEN. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ciena by 6.4% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 10,011 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $151,000 after purchasing an additional 604 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Ciena by 15.9% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 187,277 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $4,686,000 after purchasing an additional 25,663 shares during the period. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky boosted its holdings in shares of Ciena by 17.2% in the 2nd quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 28,002 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $701,000 after purchasing an additional 4,100 shares during the period. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its holdings in shares of Ciena by 500.5% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 327,854 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $8,203,000 after purchasing an additional 273,255 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Ciena by 3.9% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,648,540 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $116,319,000 after purchasing an additional 172,876 shares during the period.

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About Ciena

Ciena Corporation is a network strategy and technology company, which provides solutions that enable a range of network operators to adopt communication architectures and deliver an array of services, relied upon by enterprise and consumer end users. It provides equipment, software and services that support the transport, switching, aggregation, service delivery and management of voice, video and data traffic on communications networks.

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