Updated from 6:09 p.m. ET Wednesday

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations by 4 cents a share, and the company said it still expects 2001 revenue growth of 95% to 105%. The optical networking equipment maker also named Chief Operating Officer Gary Smith president and chief executive of the company.

The company posted second-quarter earnings, excluding acquisition charges, taxes and amortization, of $65.4 million or 20 cents a share, compared with $55.1 million, or 18 cents a share, in the same period last year. According to

Thomson Financial/First Call

, analysts expected second-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter rose to $425.4 million from $185.7 million last year.

The company also expects to earn around 72 cents to 75 cents for the year, "provided we continue to successfully execute and macro economic conditions do not change dramatically."

Ciena, which makes optical networking equipment that is used by phone and Internet service providers to transport and direct traffic over fiber cables,

first projected in February its targets for continued growth despite the slowing condition in the industry.

TheStreet.com's

Scott Moritz wrote a story examining

the edge that Ciena has over its rivals.

Last night, computer and printer maker

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

posted earnings, before items, of 18 cents a share for the fiscal second quarter, a few pennies above the

Thomson Financial/First Call

consensus estimate of 15 cents, following lowered guidance from the company one month ago. The company earned 43 cents in the year-ago period.

The company said second-quarter revenue was $11.6 billion, down from $12 billion in the year-ago period. The company also warned that revenue for the next quarter would likely come in flat to down 5% from the current quarter.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

Chairman and Chief Eexecutive Jack Welch said at a news conference on Thursday he was optimistic GE's acquisition of

Honeywell International

(HON) - Get Report

wouldn't be delayed by the

European Commission's

concerns about competition.

"I think our teams are working together constructively. I don't anticipate a major difficulty," Welch reportedly said, according to

Reuters

. He added, however, that approval of the deal was taking longer than originally expected.

Last week, European regulators sent GE a statement of objections regarding the acquisition, including concerns that GE would be able to bundle its products and monopolize the aircraft engine and related markets. The commission must decide by July 12 whether to permit the $40 billion deal to proceed, require modifications or reject it outright.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Ames Department Stores

(AMES)

, the discount retailer, reported a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss, as bad weather hurt its sales in March.

The company said its loss for the quarter was $27.7 million, or 94 cents a share, compared with a loss of $29.1 million, or 99 cents a share, in the same period last year. Analysts on average expected a loss of 90 cents a share for the quarter. First-quarter sales fell to $793.7 million from $830.7 million last year.

Kmart

(KM)

posted a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss, compared with a profit a year earlier, as costs from liquidating inventory and efforts to improve store operations hurt the company's results.

Excluding a charge for employee severance and a voluntary early retirement program, the low-price chain reported a loss of $10 million, or 2 cents a share. Analysts expected a first-quarter loss of 7 cents a share.

Kmart reported earlier that sales in the 13-week period ended May 2 totaled $8.337 billion, up 1.7% from sales of $8.195 billion a year ago, while same-store sales rose 1.7% in the quarter.

Venator

(V) - Get Report

, which operates Foot Locker and Champs Sports stores, posted first-quarter income that was in line with analysts' expectations.

First-quarter earnings rose to $34 million, or 24 cents a share, from $27 million, or 20 cents a share, last year, ahead of the consensus estimate of 23 cents a share. Sales for the quarter rose 4%.

After Wednesday's Close

Clothing retailer

AnnTaylor

(ANN)

posted first-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share after the market closed Wednesday, beating analysts' estimate of 34 cents a share, but below the 55 cents a share in the year-ago period. The company reaffirmed its second-quarter earnings guidance of 28 cents to 32 cents a share -- the consensus estimate is currently 29 cents a share -- and said it was comfortable with its fiscal-year earnings guidance of $2.24 to $2.28 a share. Analysts expect earnings of $2.08 a share.

Same-store sales for the first half of the year will likely be in the low-single-digit range, the company said. Last week, AnnTaylor reported higher same-store sales for April.

CacheFlow

(CFLO)

, a producer of Web site performance-enhancing products, said its fourth-quarter loss widened from the year-ago period. CacheFlow reported a loss of 35 cents a share on sales of $21.5 million for the latest quarter, compared with a loss of 20 cents a share on sales of $12.8 million in the year-ago period. The consensus estimate for the last quarter was for a loss of 39 cents a share.

Additionally, the company said it expects first-quarter revenue to come in flat with the fourth quarter, but CacheFlow projected 10% to 15% sequential revenue growth in subsequent quarters.

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Miscellany

Krispy Kreme

(KREM)

, the doughnut maker, is moving today from the

Nasdaq to the

New York Stock Exchange and trade under a new ticker symbol, KKD.

After Wednesday's Close

Pharmaceutical producer

American Home Products

(AHP)

said Wednesday night that it expects to seek marketing approval for its experimental product, BMP-2, by late 2001. BMP-2 is a treatment for long-bone fractures. The treatment is applied directly to the fractured area to repair the bone and stimulate bone growth.

Photography equipment maker

Polaroid

(PRD)

-- best known for its instant photography products -- announced Wednesday that it would sell an office and manufacturing site in Waltham, Mass., for $70 million. The company is selling the property to generate cash and reduce its debt.

7-Eleven

(SE) - Get Report

, the convenience store chain, reported same-store sales for April that rose 3.8% from the same time last year. The company reported a first-quarter profit on April 24.

Analytical-instrument maker

Thermo Electron

(TMO) - Get Report

said Wednesday evening that it hopes to achieve earnings growth of 15% to 20% in 2002 and 2003. The company, which recently posted a loss of $45 million for the first quarter, also reiterated its earnings guidance of $1 a share for fiscal 2001. Additionally, the Massachusetts-based company said it would "substantially reduce" the number of facilities it operates around the world over the course of the next three years.

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