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Ciena Stock Goes Nuts on NSN Takeover Talk

Ciena Corp.’s (CIEN) options volume experienced four times the average turnover on Tuesday as investors speculated the telecom gear maker is ripe for a takeover, namely by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).

But Reuters, citing a source “close” to NSN, said the joint venture of Nokia and Siemens AG is not planning an offer for Ciena. If NSN made such a move, however, it would gain the North American footprint it covets and needs, especially since it lost the auction for Nortel Networks’ optical network and carrier Ethernet unit.

BusinessWeek said almost 65,000 calls giving the right to buy Ciena shares changed hands at 4 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, 11 times the four-week average and quadruple the number of puts giving the right to sell. In layman’s terms, Ciena’s stock saw record activity on Tuesday.

Yet, even as investors got pumped up, analysts remained calm. For one thing, if the merger talk was serious, Ciena’s shares would have soared a lot higher, one observer said. For another, NSN is struggling financially and only has about $1 billion for an acquisition – not enough for a Ciena transaction. Ciena’s market cap stands at about $1.12 billion.

Ciena’s stock was trading 2.32 percent higher late Wednesday morning at $12.14.


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