Is Ciena Making a Turnaround?

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Networking equipment manufacturer Ciena Corp. (NAS: CIEN) reported a worse-than-expected fiscal-fourth-quarter loss, nevertheless with rising revenues. Let's take a closer, Foolish look at what's up with Ciena.

Figuring it out
The Maryland-based company reported a 9% rise in fourth-quarter revenue to $455.5 million. However, the company stayed in the red, albeit with a narrower net loss of $22.3 million, as compared to a net loss of $80.3 million in the previous year's quarter. The company managed to trim down net losses primarily because it witnessed a huge jump in revenues in its high-margin division that sells packet-optical switching equipment.

As a welcome change, Ciena also managed to generate $42 million in cash from operations as compared to the previous year's negative operating cash flow of $20 million.

In comparison, rival Juniper Networks (NYS: JNPR) had an uptick in its latest third-quarter revenue, by 9% to $1.1 billion, but unfortunately saw its profits drop 38% to $83.7 million mainly due to higher operating and interest expenses.

A chance of some green?
Ciena, which has benefited a lot through orders from top customers such as AT&T (NYS: T) and Verizon (NYS: VZ) , continues to benefit from carriers' increasing need to expand their network infrastructure in order to keep up with the growing demand for bandwidth. However, the company has also continually incurred net losses for many quarters since October 2008. The company also has a gigantic debt of $1.4 billion to service on its balance sheet.

The Foolish bottom line
Ciena has been struggling to save its bottom line and, going by the trend, it could very well go into the green in the next few quarters. However, the company would have to shore up revenues and keep costs under control. It will be interesting to see how the next few quarters turn out for the networking company. What do you Fools think? Let us know by leaving your comments in the box below. Also, don't forget to stay up to speed with the latest on Ciena by adding it to your watchlist. It's free.

Keki Fatakia does not hold shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

At the time this article was published

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