Ciena Stock Rises; Telecom Giant Is Upgraded With Higher Price Target at Morgan Stanley

Ciena has built a `meaningful lead' over its competitors that will help the provider of telecom equipment and services boost its market share, according to Morgan Stanley.
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Ciena Corp. (CIEN) - Get Report shares climbed Wednesday after an analyst at Morgan Stanley upgraded the telecommunications-equipment and -software provider.

The stock of the Hanover, Md., company at last check climbed 2% to $42.39 after analyst Meta Marshall boosted the firm's rating on the telecom giant's stock to overweight from equal weight.

Marshall wrote that Ciena has "multiple levers" with which to reach its goal of boosting earnings by 20%, according to Bloomberg.

The Morgan Stanley analyst also lifted the firm's price target on Ciena to $50 a share from $47.

Morgan Stanley cited Ciena's favorable leverage position and "meaningful cash flow" as factors that should help drive earnings at the telecom company.

Ciena also enjoys a "meaningful lead" over its competitors that will help the company boost market share over the next couple of years. The telecom giant's "competitive positioning" should provide a big boost in the short-term, the analyst wrote.

Analyst sentiment on Ciena is fairly bullish, with 18 buy ratings, two holds and two sells, according to Bloomberg. The average price target is $50 a share.

Ciena's stock price has rallied 20% in the month through Tuesday, rising from $34.69 a share on Dec. 10.

Helping spark the rally, Ciena CEO Gary Smith in mid-December forecast "robust" demand for the company's products and services in 2020.

Despite the increase in its stock price, Ciena is still worth buying, Marshall said. "We are willing to pay a little more for quality."