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Ciena swings to profit but still falls short

Ciena Corp. swung to a profit in its fourth quarter but earnings were less than expected, as revenue from optical transport networking declined.

For the quarter ended Oct. 31, Ciena posted a profit of $36.6 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $13.8 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding special items, the company said it earned 44 cents a share.

Revenue rose to $716.2 million from $692 million a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings per share of 47 cents. The company guided for revenue in the range of $700 million to $730 million.

Growth in its largest operating segment, networking platforms, was tepid, given that revenue from optical transport fell 65% to $5.8 million.

Gross margin expanded to 44.5% from 43.8% in the year-ago quarter.

For the current quarter, the company said it expects revenue in the range of $615 million to $645 million, in-line with analysts expectations for $634 million.

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