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Merrill Keeps 'Sell' on Ciena

Merrill Lynch reiterates sell on Ciena (CIEN).

Analyst Tal Liani says the $73.5 million in second-quarter sales were as expected, however, management's forecast of flat to down sales of $65 million to $75 million for the July quarter provides yet another data point that the telecom equipment sector remains challenged, and that a calendar second-quarter 2003 carrier spending increase looks unlikely.

Liani believes sales will not show much sequential improvement through the rest of fiscal 2003 (Oct). He sees Ciena as a survivor given its healthy balance sheet, yet his estimates show losses through fiscal 2005. He expects that with continued weak sales and losses, Ciena will weaken over time.

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