Technology

Do These Top Tech Stocks Get Hurt by the AT&T-DirecTV Deal?

Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) is a company that many analysts on Wall Street believe could be the top beneficiary of the increase in wireless spending, so the AT&T drop-off could come as a surprise. The company is rapidly reducing its losses, and the earnings growth outlook for the next five years is also quite promising. According to Yahoo! Finance, investors can expect Ciena’s earnings to improve at an annual rate of 16.7% for the next five years. The consensus price target is $27.80. Ciena closed Friday at $19.40.

Finisar Corp. (NASDAQ: FNSR) is a leading provider of optical subsystems and components for telecom and data communication applications. The stock has roughly doubled over the past year, fueled by a strong secular demand for optical equipment (driven by the build-out of high-speed LTE networks) coupled with a compelling market share gain story. A slowdown from AT&T could take some of the steam out of what has been a great story. The consensus price target is $29.18, and the stock closed Friday at $23.75.

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JDS Uniphase Corp. (NASDAQ: JDSU) was a 1990s Nasdaq high-flyer that has stayed in the game, but it found the going more difficult in recent years. A drop-off in sales to AT&T is not what the doctor orders at this juncture for the company. It is a leading provider of communications test and measurement solutions and it has approved a share repurchase program of up to $100 million through open market or private transactions. That could bode well for shareholders. The consensus price target is $14.36. Shares ended Friday at $10.97.

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) has been a strong name for tech investors over the past year. The company recently settled its long and ongoing battle with Palo Alto Networks over patent disputes. According to the terms, Juniper will receive an upfront payment of $75.0 million in cash and the remaining $100.0 million in shares from Palo Alto. Concurrent with the recent settlement, both the companies will drop all pending litigation charges against each other. The consensus price target is $28.86. Juniper closed Friday at $24.46.

The mere thought of a slowdown in spending at AT&T may send shudders across many analysts and stocks strategists on Wall Street. One of the key themes for many firms for the rest of the year is an increase in capital expenditures. Less spending from a giant like AT&T is not what many had counted on. There is always the possibility the lower spending is temporary. The major vendors Jefferies mentioned in the report sure hope so.

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