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Ciena Reports Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2018 And Year-End Financial Results

Ciena Corporation (NYSE: CIEN), a network strategy and technology company, today announced unaudited financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and year ended October 31, 2018.

  • Q4 Revenue: $899.4 million, increasing 20.8% year over year
  • Q4 Net Income per Share: $0.34 GAAP; $0.53 adjusted (non-GAAP)
  • Share Repurchases: Repurchased approximately 1.3 million shares of common stock for an aggregate price of $36.2 million during the quarter

“We achieved outstanding financial results in our fourth quarter and fiscal 2018 due to continued execution of our proven strategy,” said Gary B. Smith, president and CEO, Ciena. “The combination of our innovation strength, successful interception of market trends and sustained ability to take share and outperform the market, along with a thriving industry environment, gives us tremendous confidence in both the near and longer term outlook for our business.”

For the fiscal fourth quarter 2018, Ciena reported revenue of $899.4 million as compared to $744.4 million for the fiscal fourth quarter 2017. For fiscal year 2018, Ciena reported revenue of $3.09 billion, as compared to $2.80 billion for fiscal year 2017.

Ciena’s GAAP net income for the fiscal fourth quarter 2018 was $64.0 million or $0.34 per diluted common share, which compares to a GAAP net income of $1,160.1 million, or $7.32 per diluted common share, for the fiscal fourth quarter 2017. For fiscal year 2018, Ciena’s GAAP net loss was $(344.7) million, or $(2.49) per diluted common share, as compared to a GAAP net income of $1,262.0 million, or $7.53 per diluted common share for fiscal year 2017.

Ciena’s adjusted (non-GAAP) net income for the fiscal fourth quarter 2018 was $81.0 million, or $0.53 per diluted common share, which compares to an adjusted (non-GAAP) net income of $48.5 million, or $0.32 per diluted common share, for the fiscal fourth quarter 2017. For fiscal year 2018, Ciena’s adjusted (non-GAAP) net income was $210.6 million, or $1.39 per diluted common share, as compared to an adjusted (non-GAAP) net income of $177.7 million, or $1.14 per diluted common share for fiscal year 2017.

Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2018 Performance Summary

The tables below (in millions, except percentage data) provide comparisons of certain quarterly results to prior periods, including sequential quarterly and year over year changes. A reconciliation between the GAAP and adjusted (non-GAAP) measures contained in this release is included in Appendix A and B to this release.

GAAP Results (unaudited)
Q4 Q4 Change
FY 2018 FY 2017 Y-T-Y*
Revenue $ 899.4 $ 744.4 20.8 %
Gross margin 44.3 % 43.7 % 0.6 %
Operating expense $ 302.2 $ 269.9 12.0 %
Operating margin 10.7 % 7.5 % 3.2 %
Non-GAAP Results (unaudited)
Q4 Q4 Change
FY 2018 FY 2017 Y-T-Y*
Revenue $ 899.4 $ 744.4 20.8 %
Adj. gross margin 44.7 % 44.2 % 0.5 %
Adj. operating expense $ 277.7 $ 240.9 15.3 %
Adj. operating margin 13.9 % 11.9 % 2.0 %

* Denotes % change, or in the case of margin, absolute change

Revenue by Segment (unaudited)
Q4 FY 2018 Q4 FY 2017
Revenue % Revenue %
Networking Platforms
Converged Packet Optical $ 646.4 71.9 $ 506.4 68.0
Packet Networking 66.5 7.4 92.5 12.5
Total Networking Platforms 712.9 79.3 598.9 80.5
Software and Software-Related Services
Platform Software and Services 56.6 6.3 35.9 4.8
Blue Planet Automation Software and Services 10.7 1.2 5.9 0.8
Total Software and Software-Related Services 67.3 7.5 41.8 5.6
Global Services
Maintenance Support and Training 67.4 7.5 56.2 7.5
Installation and Deployment 39.3 4.4 33.5 4.5
Consulting and Network Design 12.5 1.3 14.0 1.9
Total Global Services 119.2 13.2 103.7 13.9
Total $ 899.4 100.0 $ 744.4 100.0

Additional Performance Metrics for Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2018

Revenue by Geographic Region (unaudited)
Q4 FY 2018 Q4 FY 2017
Revenue % Revenue %
North America $ 555.3 61.7 $ 440.5 59.2
Europe, Middle East and Africa 123.1 13.7 110.7 14.9
Caribbean and Latin America 53.0 5.9 43.5 5.8
Asia Pacific 168.0 18.7 149.7 20.1
Total $ 899.4 100.0 $ 744.4 100.0
  • Three 10%-plus customers represented a total of 33.1% of revenue
  • Cash and investments totaled $953.4 million
  • Cash flow from operations totaled $68.0 million
  • Average days’ sales outstanding (DSOs) were 79
  • Accounts receivable balance was $786.5 million
  • Inventories totaled $262.8 million, including:
    • Raw materials: $67.5 million
    • Work in process: 9.5 million
    • Finished goods: $188.6 million
    • Deferred cost of sales: $48.1 million
    • Reserve for excess and obsolescence: $(50.9) million
  • Product inventory turns were 6.4
  • Headcount totaled 6,013

Share Repurchase Program

During fiscal year 2018, Ciena repurchased approximately 4.3 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $25.86 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $111.0 million. Highlighting its ongoing commitment to returning capital to shareholders, Ciena today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a new program to repurchase up to $500 million of its common stock, replacing the previous targeted repurchase plan.

Ciena may purchase shares at management’s discretion in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions, in transactions structured through investment banking institutions, or a combination of the foregoing. Ciena may also, from time to time, enter into Rule 10b5-1 plans to facilitate repurchases of its shares under this authorization. The amount and timing of repurchases are subject to a variety of factors including liquidity, cash flow, stock price, and general business and market conditions. The program may be modified, suspended or discontinued at any time.

Supplemental Materials and Live Web Broadcast of Unaudited Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2018 Results

Today, Thursday, December 13, 2018, in conjunction with this announcement, Ciena has posted to the Quarterly Results page of the Investor Relations section of its website certain prepared remarks of management and related supporting materials for its unaudited fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal 2018 results.

Ciena’s management will also host a discussion today with investors and financial analysts that will include the Company’s fiscal first quarter 2019 outlook. The live audio web broadcast beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern will be accessible via An archived replay of the live broadcast will be available shortly following its conclusion on the Investor Relations page of Ciena’s website.

Notes to Investors

Forward-Looking Statements. You are encouraged to review the Investors section of our website, where we routinely post press releases, SEC filings, recent news, financial results, supplemental financial information, and other announcements. From time to time we exclusively post material information to this website along with other disclosure channels that we use. This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on current expectations, forecasts, assumptions and other information available to the Company as of the date hereof. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Ciena’s expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future and can be identified by forward-looking words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “should,” “will,” and “would” or similar words. Forward-looking statements in this release include: “The combination of continued execution against our strategy and robust, broad-based customer demand resulted in outstanding fiscal third quarter performance.”; “With our diversification, global scale and innovation leadership, we remain confident in our business model and our ability to achieve our three-year financial targets.”

Ciena’s actual results, performance or events may differ materially from these forward-looking statements made or implied due to a number of risks and uncertainties relating to Ciena’s business, including: the effect of broader economic and market conditions on our customers and their business; changes in network spending or network strategy by customers; seasonality and the timing and size of customer orders, including our ability to recognize revenue relating to such sales; the level of competitive pressure we encounter; the product, customer and geographic mix of sales within the period; supply chain disruptions and the level of success relating to efforts to optimize Ciena’s operations; changes in foreign currency exchange rates affecting revenue and operating expense; the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, changes in estimates of prospective income tax rates and any adjustments to Ciena’s provisional estimates whether related to further guidance, analysis or otherwise, and the other risk factors disclosed in Ciena’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on September 5, 2018 and its Annual Report on Form 10-K to be filed with the SEC. Ciena assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information included in this press release.

Non-GAAP Presentation of Quarterly and Annual Results. This release includes non-GAAP measures of Ciena’s gross profit, operating expense, income from operations, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), Adjusted EBITDA, and measures of net income and net income per share. In evaluating the operating performance of Ciena’s business, management excludes certain charges and credits that are required by GAAP. These items share one or more of the following characteristics: they are unusual and Ciena does not expect them to recur in the ordinary course of its business; they do not involve the expenditure of cash; they are unrelated to the ongoing operation of the business in the ordinary course; or their magnitude and timing is largely outside of Ciena’s control. Management believes that the non-GAAP measures below provide management and investors useful information and meaningful insight to the operating performance of the business. The presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures should be considered in addition to Ciena’s GAAP results and these measures are not intended to be a substitute for the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP. Ciena’s non-GAAP measures and the related adjustments may differ from non-GAAP measures used by other companies and should only be used to evaluate Ciena’s results of operations in conjunction with our corresponding GAAP results. To the extent not previously disclosed in a prior Ciena financial results press release for the relevant period, Appendix A and B to this press release set forth a complete GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation of the non-GAAP measures contained in this release. – CT Bureau

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