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Fiber Optics Expands on Wall Street

Photonics Spectra
May 2017
JUSTINE MURPHY, SENIOR EDITOR, justine.murphy@photonics.com

A January 2017 report by analysts Zion Market Research expects the global fiber optics sector to grow by about 5 percent annually over the next five years, reaching approximately $3.72 billion by 2022; this market segment hit about $2.75 billion in 2016. Zion attributes this growth to increasing awareness of data security concerns, as well as heightened demand for smartphones.

The progression of the fiber optics market segment is evident on Wall Street, too.

Fiber optic companies are among the fastest-growing investments, thanks to the high demand for faster, more dependable networks and systems.

Fiber optic companies are among the fastest-growing investments, thanks to the high demand for faster, more dependable networks and systems.

“Fiber optic companies are among the fastest-growing [stock market] investments in the telecom industry,” according to TheStreet Inc., which offers information and analysis of global financial markets, the economy, sector trends, investment and financial planning. In late March, Investor’s Business Daily, which provides investing tools and educational resources for stock market trading, ranked the “telecom-fiber optics group” sixth out of 197 industry groups.

Optical fiber component manufacturers and suppliers, such as manufacturer Oclaro Inc., are driving the fiber optics sector toward growth, given the demand for this technology. TheStreet found that since last summer, Oclaro’s stocks are up 69 percent; the company’s shares hit a six-year high of 10.97 on Feb. 21.

“Revenue increased 14 percent from the first quarter of fiscal 2017, and 64 percent from the same quarter last year,” said Oclaro CEO Greg Dougherty. Specifically, the company’s revenue topped about $154 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2017 — up from $94 million at the same time last year.

“Demand for our newer 100 G and beyond products [is] driving this excellent growth,” he said.

Finisar Corp. and Ciena Corp. are other fiber optics manufacturers and suppliers that are shining. Finisar stock is up 56 percent since last summer, according to TheStreet — NASDAQ reports the company’s stock hovering around 28.80 as of late March, with Ciena stock up about 26 percent since last summer and shares recently fluctuating around 23.60.

According to The Motley Fool — a global company that provides news and information, investing tools and educational resources for stock market trading — industry trends are shifting toward more fiber optic expansion. Fiber optics companies are “a good way for investors to tap into the expansion of high-speed cable internet connections across the U.S. and around the world.”

Driving financial growth in the fiber optics field is the heightened demand for higher-speed, more dependable communications. China is boosting this need, as many network equipment and component suppliers, including Cisco, Ericsson, Samsung and Siemens, are based there. However, the demand is international, particularly as internet and other web companies are upgrading to faster optical fiber networks in interconnect and cloud-computing data centers. The high demand for higher speed mobile data traffic is also a driver.

Zion Market ResearchWall Streetstock marketTheStreet Inc.Investor’s Business Dailyglobal financial marketstelecomOclaro Inc.Greg DoughertyFinisar Corp.Ciena Corp.NasdaqThe Motley Foolfiber opticsAsia-PacificEuropeAmericasCommunicationsdata centersmobile data trafficInternetFiber Optics Special Section

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