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Optical networking veteran JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU ) just reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of $0.15 per share on $439 million in sales. Next to analyst targets of $0.12 per share and $423 million, that's a robust outperformance on both the top and bottom lines. Shares jumped as much as 7.9% in pretty heavy after-market action on the news.
Management still reserves the right to err on the side of caution, issuing revenue guidance just below the reigning Street view. Still, the sum of past and future works out to good news this time. This welcome burst of positive energy even ignited a mini-rally in optical gear stocks: Ciena jumped as much as 2.1% after hours and Finisar bounced 3.9% at best.
Of course, both of these stocks lost far more in Tuesday's regular trading than they gained after the closing bell. It's fair to say that investors in this market still have plenty of raw nerves jangling around.
In particular, the report didn't include any glowing remarks about healthy orders from the telecom sector. That key segment is overdue for a rebound, but neither JDSU's reported results nor its next-quarter outlook tipped us off that she'll be coming 'round the mountain anytime soon.
So we're all still waiting on the big telecoms to put their backs into network build-outs. Both AT&T and Verizon have built nationwide 4G LTE networks already, but they must keep improving their wireless services lest they become overwhelmed by a rising tide of smartphone and tablet users. Resting on their laurels just isn't good enough.
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