Analyst: Networking Will Finish Year Strong

Trends in network equipment awards suggest that the remainder of the year could be stronger than expected for vendors, an analyst at SG Cowen said.

Last month, gear sellers announced 49 contract wins with carriers worldwide, three more than in September and 11 more than August.

Lucent , which recently surprised many by ending a three-year streak of quarterly losses, had 10 deals.

The Murray Hill, N.J., company is increasing stability in the overall telecom market, with metro optical, voice-over Internet protcol and broadband access and wireless data transfer appearing the most promising.

Meanwhile, Nortel Networks notched six wireless deals and five in CDMA technology.

Cisco Systems last week also beat its quarterly expectations, citing strong orders from U.S. carriers, including Verizon , and government customers.

“The quality and quantity of deals bodes well for a seasonably higher (fourth-quarter),” SG Cowen telecom analyst Christin Armacost wrote in a note to investors this morning.

Other industry watchers agree that orders are moving in the right direction, however, several more quarters of positive results are needed before the telecom equipment slump can be declared over.

Second-tier firms must also begin to show improvement as well.

On of those, 3Com, helped its balance sheet today, although with a business deal, not an an equipment order.

The company has sold its former headquarters and research and development buildings in Santa Clara, Calif., for $62 million in cash, according to a regulatory filing. The buyer was not named.

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