February 21, 2012 / 3:43 PM / 5 years ago

Ciena lowers 1st-quarter sales outlook

(Reuters) - Ciena Corp slashed its first-quarter sales expectations, hurt by delays in recognizing revenue as its customers take time to close deals, sending the network gear maker's shares down as much as 7 percent.

In December, Ciena, which competes with Juniper Networks, Alcatel-Lucent and Infinera, had forecast first-quarter revenue largely below estimates, but assured investors that the impact from the Thailand floods would be minimal.

"We continue to experience longer customer deployment and revenue recognition cycles as a result of our greater mix of international and solutions-oriented sales," Chief Executive Gary Smith said in a statement.

This trend had a more significant effect than previously anticipated, and resulted in revenue recognition delays on a few solutions-oriented projects with new customers, especially in international markets, he added.

The company, which counts AT&T and Verizon among its top customers, now expects revenue of about $415 million, compared with its prior outlook of $435 million to $455 million.

Analysts were looking for revenue of $447.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S -- a revision from the $454.3 million that they had expected when the company provided its first-quarter outlook in December.

Shares of the company fell to $15.83 in early morning trade on the Nasdaq, but recouped some losses to trade at $16.13.

The stock has gained 72 percent in value since its year low on October 4, excluding Tuesday's losses.

Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane

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