Ciena shares climb after Nortel delays auction

AP News
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Posted: Nov 16, 2009 2:44 PM

Shares of Ciena Corp. headed higher Monday as Nortel Networks Corp.'s announcement Friday of a delay of the auction of its optical unit was seen as positive for the company.

Ciena Corp., based in Linthicum, Md., has offered $521 million for all of Nortel's optical networking and carrier ethernet businesses, including the rights to technology that enhances the speed and capacity of current fiber optic networks by as much as 10 times.

Ciena makes telecommunications and network equipment. On Monday, Morgan Keegan analyst Simon Leopold said Nortel's delay of the auction may signal that "the process did not elicit any additional qualifying or attractive bids."

The analyst, who rates Ciena "Outperform," said he thinks the company's shares would appreciate if it wins the auction under the bid, or if it walks away empty-handed.

"However, if Ciena significantly increases its bid to win the auction, its stock could come under pressure considering the integration risk and increased likelihood that it needs to raise cash in the capital market," the analyst wrote.

Ciena's shares rose 70 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $13.07 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in the 52-week range of $4.98 to $16.64.