Financial Contrast: Ciena (CIEN) & Westell Technologies (WSTL)

Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) and Westell Technologies (NASDAQ:WSTL) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

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28.0% of Westell Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.4% of Ciena shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 24.2% of Westell Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Ciena and Westell Technologies, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ciena 0 3 20 0 2.87
Westell Technologies 0 0 1 0 3.00

Ciena currently has a consensus price target of $30.05, indicating a potential upside of 19.44%. Westell Technologies has a consensus price target of $6.00, indicating a potential upside of 88.09%. Given Westell Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Westell Technologies is more favorable than Ciena.

Volatility and Risk

Ciena has a beta of 1.38, meaning that its share price is 38% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Westell Technologies has a beta of 1.44, meaning that its share price is 44% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ciena and Westell Technologies’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ciena $2.80 billion 1.30 $1.26 billion $1.49 16.89
Westell Technologies $62.97 million 0.79 -$15.94 million ($0.32) -9.97

Ciena has higher revenue and earnings than Westell Technologies. Westell Technologies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ciena, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Ciena and Westell Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ciena 27.76% 14.10% 6.20%
Westell Technologies 0.62% 7.42% 6.11%

Summary

Ciena beats Westell Technologies on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ciena

Ciena Corporation provides hardware, software, and services that support the transport, switching, aggregation, service delivery, and management of voice, video, and data traffic on communications networks worldwide. The company's Networking Platforms segment offers hardware networking solutions optimized for the convergence of coherent optical transport, optical transport network switching, and packet switching. Its products include 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and the 5430 Reconfigurable Switching System, Waveserver stackable interconnect system, CoreDirector Multiservice Optical Switches, and OTN configuration for the 5410 Reconfigurable Switching System, as well as Z-Series Packet-Optical Platform; 3000 family of service delivery switches and service aggregation switches, and the 5000 family of service aggregation switches, as well as 8700 Packetwave Platform and the Ethernet packet configuration for the 5410 Service Aggregation Switch; and 4200 Advanced Services Platform, 5100/5200 Advanced Services Platform, Common Photonic Layer, and 6100 Multiservice Optical Platform. This segment also sells operating system software and enhanced software features embedded in each of its products. The company's Software and Software-Related Services segment offers network management solutions, including the OneControl Unified Management System, ON-Center Network & Service Management Suite, Ethernet Services Manager, Optical Suite Release, and Planet Operate; and Blue Planet network virtualization, service orchestration, and network management software platform, as well as related installation, support, and consulting services. Its Global Services segment provides consulting and network design, installation and deployment, maintenance support, and training services. The company sells its products through direct and indirect sales channels to network operators. Ciena Corporation was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Hanover, Maryland.

About Westell Technologies

Westell Technologies, Inc. is a provider of in-building wireless, intelligent site management, cell site optimization and outside plant solutions. The Company’s set of products and solutions are designed to manage network performance for carriers, integrators and other network operators. The Company operates in two segments: In-Building Wireless (IBW) and Communication Solutions Group (CSG). The Company’s segments are engaged in the design, development, assembly, and marketing of a range of products and solutions. The IBW segment solutions include distributed antenna systems (DAS) conditioners, digital repeaters and bi-directional amplifiers (BDAs), and system components and antennas, all used by wireless service providers and third-party hosts to fine tune radio frequency (RF) signals. The Company’s intelligent site management solutions include a suite of remote monitoring and control devices.

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