Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ciena is benefiting from increasing demand for Packet Optical, Packet Networking and Optical Transport products. Increasing usage of service management software in the global communication market is a key catalyst. Moreover, the company’s efforts to expand in data center connectivity and broaden its reach in the end-to-end optical and data equipment market is commendable. However, Ciena competes against much larger players in the networking industry, which is a major obstacle for the company. Customer concentration has also been a major factor for Ciena. Uncertainty related to government business and macroeconomic volatility is another headwind. Shares outperformed the industry in the last one year.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. B. Riley lowered their price objective on shares of Ciena from $30.50 to $28.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, December 5th. Raymond James Financial set a $33.00 price objective on shares of Ciena and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Piper Jaffray Companies cut shares of Ciena from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and increased their price objective for the company from $20.76 to $22.00 in a research note on Friday, December 8th. BMO Capital Markets lowered their price objective on shares of Ciena to $25.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, December 8th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC lowered their price objective on shares of Ciena from $26.00 to $24.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, December 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $28.48.

Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) opened at $22.39 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27, a quick ratio of 1.68 and a current ratio of 1.93. Ciena has a 12 month low of $19.40 and a 12 month high of $27.98. The firm has a market cap of $3,196.87, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.89, a PEG ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 1.67.

Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 7th. The communications equipment provider reported $0.46 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by ($0.04). The business had revenue of $744.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $736.91 million. Ciena had a net margin of 45.04% and a return on equity of 18.32%. Ciena’s revenue was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.44 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Ciena will post 1 earnings per share for the current year.

Ciena declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, December 7th that permits the company to repurchase $300.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the communications equipment provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Ciena news, CEO Gary B. Smith sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.46, for a total value of $179,680.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP James E. Moylan, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.00, for a total transaction of $46,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 222,743 shares of company stock worth $4,752,121. 1.45% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ciena by 15.9% during the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 187,277 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $4,686,000 after acquiring an additional 25,663 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Ciena by 15.5% during the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 70,070 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $1,538,000 after acquiring an additional 9,389 shares during the period. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP lifted its holdings in shares of Ciena by 21.5% during the 3rd quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 2,594,285 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $56,996,000 after acquiring an additional 459,190 shares during the period. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Ciena by 3.9% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,648,540 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $116,319,000 after acquiring an additional 172,876 shares during the period. Finally, Peregrine Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ciena by 13.9% during the 3rd quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC now owns 1,297,632 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $28,509,000 after acquiring an additional 158,060 shares during the period.

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Ciena Company Profile

Ciena Corporation is a network strategy and technology company, which provides solutions that enable a range of network operators to adopt communication architectures and deliver an array of services, relied upon by enterprise and consumer end users. It provides equipment, software and services that support the transport, switching, aggregation, service delivery and management of voice, video and data traffic on communications networks.

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