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Ciena Falls to New 52-Week Low

May 23, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Shares of optical systems maker Ciena Corp. were pounded to a new low Thursday after the company reported disappointing fiscal second-quarter sales and warned that revenue could drop further in the ongoing third quarter.

The outlook was not well-received by investors, who sent the stock down 6.5 percent, or 42 cents, to $6.02 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock fell as low as $5.90 earlier; the previous low of $6 was reached May 7.

Before the market open, the Linthicum, Md.-based optical networking company reported a fiscal second-quarter loss of $612 million, or $1.86 a share, on revenue of $87 million. A year ago, the company posted a loss of $51 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $425 million.

Ciena had been expected to lose 21 cents a share on revenue of almost $96 million, according to a Thomson Financial/First Call survey of analysts.

Company officials said the per share loss would have been between 19 cents and 23 cents, excluding one-time charges and if certain items had been at more normal levels.

Ciena’s sales plunged as telephone companies cut spending on long-haul communications transport systems. The loss in the second quarter includes $121 million in restructuring charges associated with job cuts, lease terminations and writedowns of property equipment and other items.

In addition, the loss also includes a charge of $223 million for excess inventory related with long-haul transport products and purchase commitments with suppliers.

In a morning conference call, company officials said they expect third quarter revenue to be flat or down from the second quarter, with a per share loss between 17 cents and 19 cents, which would exclude one-time items.

On that basis, analysts had projected the company would lose 17 cents a share on revenue of about $96 million.

Meanwhile, shares of merger partner ONI Systems Corp. were down 6.2 percent, or 28 cents, to $4.23 on the Nasdaq.

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