Ciena share price soars as profits multiply

One of Ottawa’s largest telecom employers reported a large jump in fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on the strength of higher sales.

Maryland-headquartered Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) said Thursday that it recorded a GAAP profit of $72.6 million for its fiscal year that ended Oct. 31, up from $11.7 million a year earlier (all figures in USD).

Revenues climbed to $2.6 billion from $2.4 billion.

“Our strong fiscal 2016 results demonstrate our increasingly differentiated performance versus our competitors, marking Ciena's seventh consecutive year of growing faster than the overall market as well as steady improvement in our operating leverage, profitability and cash flow,” said Ciena president and CEO Gary Smith in a statement.

“We believe that the combination of our leading technology, strategic investments, global scale and business diversification will enable us to continue to take market share and drive operating leverage in fiscal 2017.”

The company’s share price was up more than 13 per cent to $24.46 on the NYSE in Thursday afternoon trading.

Ciena is regarded as a success story by Ottawa economic development officials, who say the company’s Kanata facility is the firm’s largest engineering centre.

Ciena arrived in Canada’s capital through its $773.8-million purchase of Nortel’s metro Ethernet networks division in 2010. That acquisition gave it about 1,000 local employees, a figure that’s grown to some 1,500 staff in recent years, according to OBJ’s Book of Lists. That makes it one of the city’s largest private-sector employers.

Last year, the company announced it was moving into a 173,000-square-foot campus in Kanata North that includes a former Blackberry building.