Telecom Stocks Catch a Bid

They’ve been down so long they may have forgotten which way is up, but some telecom stocks may be starting to remember.

The Nasdaq is up 10% off its April lows, but that pales in comparison to some of the gains logged by telecom equipment stocks. Corning , Ciena , Broadwing and ADC Telecom are up 50% off their spring lows. Tellabs is up nearly 30%, and Nortel and Lucent are up 20% each.

After years of steep losses, the sector is beginning to narrow its losses, if not show profits again, and investors are taking notice.

ADC Telecom reported a profit of 27 cents a share late Wednesday, reversing a 23-cent loss in the year-ago quarter, and the company forecast continuing profitability. The stock was up slightly Thursday after a 10% run-up ahead of the report.

Ciena slipped 1.6% Thursday after reporting a loss of 13 cents a share, an improvement from a 16-cent loss in the year-ago quarter, on a 39% jump in sales. The stock rose 10% Wednesday ahead of the report.

Thanks to growing demand for services like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), telecom service providers appear to have begun spending again, and investors are taking note.

The broader market treaded water Thursday ahead of Friday’s May jobs report. Economists are looking for a gain of 175,000 jobs.

The Nasdaq rose 9 to 2097, the S&P gained 2 to 1204, and the Dow added to 3 to 10,553. Volume declined to 1.81 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.81 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 19-13 on the NYSE, and 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 57% on the NYSE, and 63% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 187-19 on the NYSE, and 98-41 on the Nasdaq.

It was a big day for acquisitions. surged 19% on news that it will be acquired by eBay , and StorageTek rallied 16% on Sun’s buyout offer. Dot Hill fell on worries about its storage partnership with Sun.

Citrix and Lawson fell on their acquisitions.

Amkor soared 19% on a Lehman upgrade.

Cray gained 6% on news that it had regained Nasdaq listing status.

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