Ciena Co. (NYSE:CIEN) – Stock analysts at William Blair lifted their Q2 2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Ciena in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. William Blair analyst D. Netis now forecasts that the communications equipment provider will post earnings of $0.26 per share for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $0.25. William Blair has a “Buy” rating on the stock. William Blair also issued estimates for Ciena’s Q3 2019 earnings at $0.48 EPS and Q4 2019 earnings at $0.48 EPS.
A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Citigroup lifted their price target on shares of Ciena from $30.00 to $32.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and set a $29.00 price target (up from $25.00) on shares of Ciena in a research report on Friday. ValuEngine raised shares of Ciena from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price target on shares of Ciena in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. Finally, MKM Partners lifted their price target on shares of Ciena to $32.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and twenty-one have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ciena has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $29.60.
Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, March 6th. The communications equipment provider reported $0.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.07 by $0.08. Ciena had a net margin of 27.76% and a return on equity of 14.10%. The business had revenue of $646.14 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $641.77 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.17 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its stake in Ciena by 47.3% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 7,488 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $157,000 after purchasing an additional 2,403 shares during the last quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Ciena during the fourth quarter valued at $225,000. Corient Capital Partners LLC bought a new stake in Ciena during the fourth quarter valued at $230,000. Aristotle Atlantic Partners LLC bought a new stake in Ciena during the fourth quarter valued at $244,000. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in Ciena during the third quarter valued at $246,000.
In related news, SVP James E. Moylan, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of Ciena stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.13, for a total value of $52,260.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Gary B. Smith sold 8,000 shares of Ciena stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.23, for a total transaction of $185,840.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 228,743 shares of company stock worth $4,934,751. Corporate insiders own 1.38% of the company’s stock.
Ciena announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, December 7th that allows the company to buyback $300.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the communications equipment provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
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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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