NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of optical networking specialist Ciena (CIEN), which reports second-quarter earnings Thursday, have outpaced those of several of its peers for most of 2015. And odds are, that pattern won't change anytime soon.
Ciena -- at around $24 per share -- is up some 24% on the year, against flat gains for the broader averages. Further, it has tripled the 7% gains of the iShares North American Tech-Multimedia Networking ETF (IGN) -- home to the likes of Cisco (CSCO) and Juniper Networks (JNPR).
And as evidenced by how quickly the average analyst earnings estimate for the just-ended quarter continues to climb, it would be foolish to sell Ciena shares -- at least not until the Hanover, Md.-based fiber optics company shows meaningful signs that its growth is slowing.
A growth deceleration is not something that's expected for Ciena -- not for several years, at least. The analysts' consensus is that its annual earnings will grow at a 16% average rate over the next five years, including a projected 35% surge for fiscal year 2016, when they see earnings climbing from $1.11 per share to $1.50 per share.
What stands out in these projections? In the past three months, the average analyst estimate for fiscal 2016 has been raised twice. At the start of the just-ended quarter, estimates were $1.45 per share. It was raised to $1.47 and $1.50 in the two months that followed.