Will This Downgrade Hurt Ciena (CIEN) Today?

Story updated at 10 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- RBC Capital downgraded Ciena (CIEN) to "sector perform" from "outperform" Friday.

Shares of Ciena fell 0.3% to $22.35 in morning trading.

The analyst firm set a price target of $28 for the company. RBC analysts noted that while Ciena is gaining market share its higher sales have yet to boost its earnings.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CIENA CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CIENA CORP (CIEN) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 68.08% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 42.22% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$37.16 million or 18.73% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, CIENA CORP's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 20.08%.
  • 45.65% is the gross profit margin for CIENA CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of CIEN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CIEN's net profit margin of -2.98% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CIEN Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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Quant Ratings Upgrades Ciena to a 'Buy,' but the Charts Look Mixed