Weak Ciena forecast drags down telecom gear makers

NEW YORK (AP) ? Shares of network equipment providers fell Thursday after a disappointing forecast from Ciena Corp.

Ciena, which makes networking equipment for telecommunications equipment, saw its shares tumble $3.26, or 19.5 percent, to end the session at $13.46. The plunge wiped out two months of gains.

Among other companies, close competitors were the hardest hit. Finisar Corp.’s stock fell $1.46, or 9.5 percent, to close at $13.95. JDS Uniphase shares dropped 68 cents, or 5.8 percent, to $11.07.

Larger companies affected included Alcatel Lucent SA, down just short of 2 percent, and Ericsson, down 4.1 percent.

Earlier Thursday, Linthicum, Md.-based Ciena reported a wider loss than expected for its fiscal third quarter. The company also said it expects revenue of $455 million to $480 million for its fourth quarter, which was shy of the $500 million analysts expected.

“The tone of the global economy has clearly grown increasingly more cautious over the past couple of months,” said CEO Gary Smith. That means its taking longer than expected to reap the benefits of design wins, he added.