What happened

Shares of several fiber-optic communications companies jumped at least 9% on Monday after analysts at Rosenblatt Securities said China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) has started work on its Metro upgrade.

So what

Included among the biggest gainers as of 2:30 p.m. EDT yesterday were Oclaro (NASDAQ:OCLR) (up 10.1%), Applied Optoelectronics (NASDAQ:AAOI) (up 12.1%), Finisar (NASDAQ:FNSR) (up 10.3%), and Acacia Communications (NASDAQ:ACIA) (up 10.7%) -- with all viewed by investors as possible beneficiaries of China's fiber network upgrade cycle.

Fiber optic cable closeup.


Now what

The update shouldn't come as a complete surprise. Last Wednesday, Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang initiated coverage on Oclaro with a buy rating and $12-per-share price target -- a hefty premium to Oclaro's current price of $9.37 per share.

"We believe that China Mobile's Phase 12 60T procurement and China Telecom's Metro upgrade are likely to begin in June and September/October, respectively, which should help reignite industry demand and push OCLR back to its normal revenue levels by the end of this year," Zhang explained at the time. "We believe China's optical demand can resume its growth in 2018 with more metro-level upgrades."

In the end, if that prediction proves accurate, I suspect the recent gains enjoyed by investors in each of the above-mentioned optical communications companies could be just the beginning.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.