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Wunderlich Downgrades Brocade, Spooked By Guidance Warning

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Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. BRCD announced that its F2Q16 sales could would likely miss expectations, especially for Fibre Channel [FC] storage area networking [SAN]. Wunderlich’s Matthew S. Robison downgraded the rating for the company from Buy to Hold, while reducing the price target from $10.50 to $9.00. The analyst commented that Brocade’s organic recovery could still be a couple of quarters away.

Brocade said non-GAAP EPS was now expected to be $0.21-$0.23 on revenue of $518-$528 million, down from its earlier guidance was $0.22-$0.24 and $542-$562 million, respectively. Analyst Matthew Robison mentioned that the shortfall was on account of FC SAN and that the “warning looks like economic slowdown.”

“Brocade also saw weakness in service provider and federal for Ethernet,” Robison wrote. He added that Ruckus Wireless Inc RKUS, which is being acquired by Brocade, recorded 1Q16 non-GAAP EPS and revenue ahead of expectations.

Concern Related To Product Cycles

Although significant product cycles are underway, they may not contribute significantly to results until FY17. “With OEM channel inventory down, we were encouraged to view the upcoming Gen6 Fibre Channel upgrade cycle as something to invest in rather than wait for. We have changed our mind,” Robison commented.

He added that it could be late summer before Gen6 was fully qualified by major OEMs, and there was lack of clarity related to how successful the company’s IP Fabric switch would be at serving demand for non-FC SAN.

May 2016WunderlichDowngradesBuyHold
Apr 2016Argus ResearchUpgradesHoldBuy
Mar 2016RBC CapitalAssumes`Sector Perform

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