Ciena Posts Net Loss, Warns of More Losses

Optical-networking concern Ciena Corp. said it lost almost $2 billion in its fourth fiscal quarter, as compared to earning money in the year-ago quarter. The Linthicum, Md.-based company also said it would see more operating losses in the near-term.

Ciena’s net losses totaled $1.8 billion or $5.51 a share, versus net earnings of $25.8 million or $0.09 per share in the year-ago fourth quarter. When one-time charges to write down assets and higher research expenditures are excluded, the company earned $17.1 million or $0.05 a share, which is in line with the average analyst estimated as provided by Thomson Financial/First Call.

Ciena’s revenues, meantime, rose 27 percent over the year-ago period to $367.8 million.

“Given the difficult telecom environment, we are very pleased with Ciena’s performance in 2001,” company President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gary Smith said in a statement.

In the short-term, “given the uncertainty in the market and the resulting unpredictability of quarterly revenues, our sustained investment strategy means that we will incur operating losses,” Smith also said.

That announcement was unexpected, judging by First Call’s analyst survey, which had Ciena earning $0.05 a share in its next quarter.

“Ciena intends to use the current market uncertainty to our advantage by pursuing a strategy of sustained investment in our business,” said Smith. “Where others in the industry have elected to cut dramatically in attempts to preserve cash and merely survive the market downturn, we can continue to invest in strategic areas such as research and development and sales. We believe through sustained investment, particularly in these critical areas, we can extend our technology leadership and expand our market presence, firmly establishing ourselves as a winner when the market recovers.”

News Around the Web