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Ciena (CIEN) Touches 52-Week High: Will the Rally Continue?

Zacks Equity Research

Shares of Ciena Corporation CIEN scaled a new 52-week high of $39.01 in yesterday’s trading session, before closing a tad lower at $38.38. Over the past year, the stock has gained 77.8% compared with 49.9% growth recorded by the industry.

What’s Driving the Outperformance?

Ciena’s ability to successfully strategize for business diversification, drive innovation and leverage its global scale of operations has augmented its market position. The networking technology provider has made substantial long-term investments over the years to address customer needs in high-growth markets and applications.

Ciena is a big player with more than 40% market share in the global webscale data center interconnect market. Demand drivers for the company’s business remain strong, particularly as the cloud providers continue to invest in network infrastructure assets to drive their business.

The company has taken a positive stance toward Asia-Pacific on the back of expanding growth drivers in the region and strength in key markets. It expects to witness solid growth, especially in India. Moreover, initiatives related to fiber densification, such as 5G and Fiber Deep, are expected to drive new investment strategies from service providers and cable operators, auguring well for Ciena’s future business growth.

Ciena expects the Adaptive Network, including programmable infrastructure that leverages its industry-leading WaveLogic, to be accretive to earnings in the upcoming quarters. The company announced that the Blue Planet business will operate as its own division, entering fiscal 2019. The strategic move should increase its capacity to support consumption models by allowing software business to operate independently of hardware.

Furthermore, Ciena announced that Gigaclear Networks — a leading provider of full fiber rural broadband connectivity in the United Kingdom — has deployed a 100G transport network across multiple locations powered by its optical and intelligent software solutions. This will enable Internet service providers to provide coveted services to residential and enterprise customers.

The company also announced that Southern Cross Cable Network has deployed its WaveLogic Ai tunable coherent optics and the 6500 T-Series solutions to address the demand for seamless connectivity across the board. Ciena’s market-leading 6500 T-Series Packet-Optical platform significantly increases network scalability and accelerates the transition to open, virtualized, SDN-based architectures.

Ciena looks ahead to enhancing revenues and profitability in fiscal 2019 and beyond with the state-of-the-art solution offerings. With continued growth impetus and core focus, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock is anticipated to touch new 52-week highs in fiscal 2019.

Stocks to Consider

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Finisar Corporation FNSR, Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. UBNT and Juniper Networks, Inc. JNPR, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.               

Finisar has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 12%.

Ubiquiti has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 14%.

Juniper has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 5.5%.

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