Optical networking specialist Infinera
But today, with a weekend to digest or distort the news, the stock is swooning by 3% as the broader market marches onward and upward. That would make sense if archrivals Cisco Systems
In the immortal words of Linda Perry: What's going on?
For one, Infinera is not consistently profitable. The $0.04 non-GAAP loss per share this quarter was smaller than expected, but the problem is that analysts expect losses from time to time. Stocks like that often bounce around the charts for no apparent reason as traders and investors both large and small re-evaluate their take on inconsistent results.
No, seasonality is not an acceptable excuse unless you're a holiday-bound retailer. Everyone else gets dinged in the market for a lack of steady profits, and that includes Infinera.
But if you're willing to look past the occasional bump and bruise, you should see that Infinera is on a very healthy track. Rolling margins have shown steady improvement since bottoming out at the end of 2009. The sales growth story is somewhat less clear-cut but still positive in a big way.
With a five-star CAPS rating (out of five) and thumbs-up votes from 98% of more than 1,600 players, Infinera is the most respected stock in the high-speed networking sector. The company has been a Rule Breaker since 2007, and the Fool owns shares through four different real-money portfolios. My own "outperform" call in CAPS is currently losing points, but I remain confident that Infinera will raise my all-star CAPS ranking over time.
There's a lot of love for this stock, and for good reason: Infinera is currently a cheap way to give your portfolio exposure to larger networking trends. In the long run, Infinera is a play on the higher bandwidth demands imposed by ever-expanding mobile networking traffic and increased use of cloud computing.
While Mr. Market waits for Infinera's rolling earnings to turn reliably positive, you can see these low prices as a tremendous buy-in opportunity.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Infinera is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. The Fool has created a bull call spread position on Cisco Systems. The Fool owns shares of Infinera. Alpha Newsletter Account, LLC owns shares of Cisco Systems. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.