Ciena shares tumble on wider-than-expected 4Q loss


LINTHICUM, Md. (AP) — Shares of Ciena Corp. tumbled 11 percent Thursday after the computer networking equipment maker posted a wider-than-expected loss for its fiscal 2009 fourth quarter and full year as costs offset strong revenue results.

The Linthicum, Md.-based company reported a loss of $26.7 million, or 29 cents per share, on $176.3 million in revenue for the three months ended Oct. 31. The compares with a loss of $25.4 million, or 28 cents per share, on $179.7 million in revenue in the year-ago period.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported a smaller loss of 12 cents per share for the fourth quarter. But that still missed Wall Street’s average estimate for a loss of 7 cents per share, though revenue topped analysts’ $167.7 million forecast.

Ciena said a single, North American-based customer accounted for 19 percent of total quarterly revenue and 20 percent of full-year sales.

Ciena said it expects first-quarter revenue to come in as much as 5 percent above fourth-quarter levels, implying sales of $185.1 million, which would easily top analysts’ average estimate of $171.7 million. The company’s projection excludes the contribution from Nortel Networks Corp.’s global optical networking and carrier ethernet businesses, which Ciena is acquiring.

“While cautious customer spending seems likely to continue as we enter 2010, our fourth-quarter order flow gives us confidence in our ability to deliver sequential revenue growth in our fiscal first quarter 2010,” said Gary Smith, Ciena’s CEO and president, in a statement.

For the full year, Ciena posted a loss of $581.2 million, or $6.37 per share, on $652.6 million in revenue. That compares with earnings of $38.9 million, or 42 cents per share, on $902.4 million in revenue for fiscal 2008.

Ciena’s shares were down $1.45, or 11 percent, at $11.78 in afternoon trading.