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Why Arista Networks Stock Climbed 4.88% in March

By Keith Noonan - Updated Apr 7, 2020 at 4:46PM

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The network-hardware stock managed to recover some ground lost in February despite pressures created by the coronavirus.

What happened

Shares of Arista Networks (ANET -1.55%) climbed 4.88% in March, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence . The company's stock bounced back from a roughly 13.5% drop in February despite steep sell-offs for the broader market.

^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts

Arista reported fourth-quarter earnings in mid-February and issued first-quarter guidance that helped push the networking company's stock down double digits in the month. While the broader market struggled in March from the novel coronavirus pandemic, investors saw value in Arista and poured back into the stock.

A network of lines and person icons.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The network-technology specialist published a press release on March 9 detailing the Arista-OSFP-LS -- a new optical line system module designed to help increase bandwidth between data caters. The company's stock climbed in the day of trading following the unveiling, but it's unclear how much of those gains stemmed from the new optical solution and to what extent the gains on the day were driven by positive momentum for the broader market. Regardless of the exact dynamics of the contributing factors, the new technology announcement and rebound momentum after substantial sell-offs in February allowed the stock to gains post gains in March's historically volatile month of trading.

Now what

Arista is scheduled to report first-quarter results after the market closes on May 7 and expects sales to be between $522 million and $532 million, with the midpoint of that target representing a roughly 11.5% decline compared with the prior-year period. The company expects a non-GAAP (adjusted) gross margin of approximately 63% and an adjusted operating margin of roughly 34% for the March quarter.

Arista Networks stock trades at roughly 20 times this year's expected earnings.

Keith Noonan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Arista Networks. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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