Following its merger with Nortel's MEN division Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN, news, filings) in the spring of 2010, Ciena has been working feverishly to put the combined business on a solid footing. Today they reported fiscal third quarter revenues that were on the low end of guidance at $435.3M, whereas analysts had projected the midpoint. However, they did manage to pull out positive adjusted net earnings of $0.08 per share on the back of a favorable product mix and reduced operating expenses.
Guidance for the fiscal fourth quarter for revenues of $440-460M was also appreciably lighter than analysts had forecast. Macroeconomic headwinds have most equipment makers battening down a few hatches these days, not that many were open yet from the last storm. Early premarket numbers are up, suggesting that the street wasn't really banking on those revenue projections. Adjusted gross margins are expected, as usual, to be in the low 40s, while adjusted operating expenses will be just under $180M.
Now that they're not talking Nortel integration milestones quite so much, it's rapidly becoming time for Ciena to step up and show us something. The numbers have been in such flux that projections have been more hand waving than analysis for over a year now, but things should be settling down just as substantial commercial 100G deployments start to come into play.
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