INFN Q2 results

Here’s the second quarter release:…

Revenue increased 25% from a year ago and non-Gaap EPS increased 16% from a year ago.

Just gave it a brief read, but I did not like this statement by Fallon:

"While I am very pleased with our second quarter and year to date financial results, demand is softening in certain areas of our business and we face a difficult near-term revenue outlook,"

That sounds like another stock hit tomorrow to me, but we will see, I have a pretty bad track record of guessing what the Market will do.

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That sounds like another stock hit tomorrow to me, but we will see, I have a pretty bad track record of guessing what the Market will do.

Stock is halted in after hours trading. I expect INFN to gap down 20% or so when it resumes trading.


It’s currently down about 25% in AH trading.

Their non-GAAP numbers don’t look too bad, but I’m increasingly starting to think this might be a company that should be based on GAAP, which are down considerably YOY. Also, as pointed out above, they’re guiding for lots near term headwinds. Just a bad combination.

Here are their numbers in non-GAAP:

Revenue (millions)	Q1		Q2		Q3		Q4
2012			104.7		 93.5		112.2		128.1
2013			124.6		138.4		142.0		139.1
2014			142.8		165.4		173.6		186.3
2015			186.9		207.3		233.2		260.0
2016			244.8		258.8
EPS (non-GAAP)	        Q1		Q2		Q3		Q4
2012			(0.10)		(0.16)		(0.07)		(0.05)
2013			(0.06)		(0.01)		0.10		0.00
2014			0.03		0.11		0.11		0.13
2015			0.16		0.18		0.22		0.21
2016			0.19		0.21

Current (2016 Q2 Earnings):

Revenue Growth (millions)
2015 Q2 TTM Revenue = 754.1
2016 Q2 TTM Revenue = 996.8
Year Over Year Revenue Growth = 32.1%, last quarter 32.7%

EPS Growth (Non-GAAP)
2015 Q2 TTM Earnings = 0.58
2016 Q2 TTM Earnings = 0.83
Year Over Year EPS Growth = 43.1%, last quarter 58.8%

P/E (Check Current Price) = 12.51/0.83 = 15.1

1YPEG = 15.1/43.1 = 0.35

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Well I listened to the call and it was more of the same. As I posted over on MDP. Tomorrow the sun will shine, we just have to get this infinite capacity engine to market that will be the ticket. Lots of opportunity out there, bright future but not in the near term.
After years of this same rhetoric it is becoming increasingly stale.
I have held INFN for 8 years but I think I am done. You can’t get those years back, time to move on.


This is a broken company. I have no faith in management.


What’s really strange, to me, is that Google has announced that it is providing what really sounds like Infinera’s network in Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham, and Atlanta, and San Antonio, and Salt Lake City, and Nashville.

San Antonio: 1.4 million people
Nashville: 600,000 people
Atlanta: 5.5 million people
Charlotte: 790,000 people
Raleigh/Durham: 1.2 million people
Salt Lake City: 190,000 people

That has to be (at least) a billion dollar contract. And some optics provider has to be on the receiving end of that contract. Right?

I was sure Google’s silent partner was Infinera. It was the basis of my investing thesis, that at least we could count on these Google revenues. And that the Google networks would inspire other companies to start buying optical gear.

So what happened?

Possibility #1: Google has given this contract to one of Infinera’s competitors: Ciena or Huawei or Alcatel or Cisco or Ericsson or somebody else. That’s definitely a possibility. But who got the contract? Somebody got it. Some optic company, or optic subsidiary, should be looking at massive revenues in 2016. If not Infinera, who?

Possibility #2: Google has decided to build out its optical network in-house. Google is filled with bright and arrogant people, and very smart engineers. How hard can it be to build out an optical network? Just buy the parts and throw it out there.

Possibility #3: Google has not yet bought any of the optical equipment for its new fiber roll-out. And it’s “gone dark” on Infinera, giving them the silent treatment, and not telling them what they are going to do. Maybe in order to drive down the purchase price? Maybe to drive down the whole company so they can acquire it on the cheap?

Listen, the telco sector is filled with liars and knaves. I would not piss on them if they were on fire. AT&T announces they are building a network just like Google’s. Verizon announces they are building a network just like Google’s. I’ll believe it when you do it!

But who is to say that Google, “Do no evil” Google, is always the nicest company in the world?

Yes, I believe Google is going to build out its network. And they are certainly bragging about what a great network it’s going to be. I’ve never heard such bragging!

But if you ask Google, hey, when will I be able to order Google Fiber in Charlotte? No comment.

Anyway, I bought today. And I’ll be sitting on a 30% loss tomorrow. Ouch! But I am holding on to this stock.

And damn I want to know who is building Google’s network!


1YPEG = 15.1/43.1 = 0.35

Yep, that last year of earnings is pretty meaningless now. Down 31% AH. Back to April 2014 prices.

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One thing about the ICPs mentioned on the call is they don’t buy with a lot of lead time. They wait until they need it, and as luck would have it, Infinera has it available. They (Infinera) actually built their business to support this model. It is now a blessing and a curse. A blessing because they have the ability to delivery product when needed. A curse because they lost a lot of visibility into the next quarter by not having any lead times.

Infinera caters primarily to the ICP and IX (Information Exchange) customers. Their buying behavior has become “unpredictable”, and with it Infinera’s ability to guide.

I do have a few other thoughts on the “soft patch” they’re seeing. I shared those notes on the private boards and copied them here, unedited:

Steve, some really fine notes. Many thanks for taking them.

INFN believes that is happening in some areas right now particularly in Europe with the culprits being Alcatel, Coriant, and Huawei.

I could be mistaken but I thought I actually heard them mention Coriant and ADVA. ADVA reported earlier this week. They did record revenues last quarter, but, at the cost of profitability. Margins were really abysmal. I imagine Coriant is doing the same thing.

One thing ADVA and Coriant have in common is they both use Acacia for their components. Acacia is a new IPO and has been manufacturing Silicon-based PICs. Silicon-based PICs have limitations but ADVA is already trying to figure out how to address some of those limitations by joining a research institute that seeks to incorporate a laser directly onto silicon. In my view this is the true competition of Infinera’s PIC.

It seems to me that ADVA and Coriant are sacrificing margins for market share gain. Coriant is privately held and may be funded well enough to do so. I’m not quite sure what ADVA will do if they have a prolonged period of tanking their margins.

One other thing that got me to thinking is we may be seeing a lull not only because customers are waiting for the ICE, but could also be waiting to see what comes next in the world of this

ADVA, Coriant and Acacia are members of this project. So are Juniper, Lumentum and Nokia. The charter of this project is to come up with common standards in the field of optical hardware so that operators can fill in their optical network needs using swappable (and compatible) systems. If this project comes to fruition system houses that assemble final product from components and modules will either need to either morph into something else (like acquiring a component manufacturer) or go out of business. The good news here is Infinera is vertically integrated and will do well in this space because morphing into a “component” manufacturer would be easy for them to do. The playing field would be leveled and those with the best product (like Infinera’s ICE) will take the lion share. Infinera just recently joined the TIP perhaps seeing such an outcome as a possibility.

I also think Acacia’s recent IPO splash onto the scene is causing some folks to pause and take a look at what is happening there - that along with the TIP. I could rationalize this may be why demand is “soft” (we’re entering a period of wait and see with these developments). If that is the case there will be winners and losers, that is for sure. I do share Tom’s sentiment in thinking Infinera will be one of the winners. Infinera already has a ton of advantages (vertical integration, highest customer sat numbers and 4-years of an IP lead) and is well positioned if this becomes the place the industry goes.



Thanks for your thoughts Kevin! Good stuff.

One happy thought for me is the CEO bought $1.2 million worth of shares on May 5th, and the CFO bought $300,000 worth of shares on the same day.

I’m not sure why they would make such an impressive investment while harboring such negative feelings about the near term outlook.

It’s bizarre, and disheartening, that the market can get so spooked with a couple of words like “soft” and “challenging.” And while I did not listen to the whole conference call, and I have yet to see a transcript, I don’t think the company actually reduced its estimates.

We haven’t actually had any bad news yet! Just vague warnings that they’re might be bad news in the future. Q1 was good, but they warn us about Q2. Q2 was good, but they warn us about Q3.

Meanwhile the numbers are good, somebody is building Google’s network this year, and our two top guys are backing up the truck to buy more shares.

It’s all a bit strange!


oh they don’t give guidance


Listen, the telco sector is filled with liars and knaves. I would not piss on them if they were on fire. AT&T announces they are building a network just like Google’s. Verizon announces they are building a network just like Google’s. I’ll believe it when you do it!

I don’t know how Google is doing, but AT&T had a come to Jesus moment when Google announced Austin a couple of years ago.

While AT&T and Google are focusing on selling to the haves, there is at least one co-op in South West Minnisota taking fiber to the home. It is not Gigabit speed, but I understand it is pretty quick and it is rural.

Having spent some time in the outside plant I have marveled that the telecoms have dragged their feet getting fiber in the ground and copper out. Fiber is stone reliable copper is not.


Q3 guidance INFN sees 180-190 M vs 273.21 Capital IQ consensus.
Q3 eps to be +/- “a few pennies” vs .21 est.


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That has to be (at least) a billion dollar contract.

Let’s assume that Google gave the contract for INFN in their network for the pieces that INFN can contribute. And lets assume that they need to invest $1B to build that network for all that you mentioned. How much of that $1B would below to INFN?

I don’t really understand their business but I am assuming INFN is just a piece of any network and you wouldn’t expect them to get all the investment.


Google Fiber launched in CLT this week in the first neighborhood. I know one of the Outside Plant Construction company’s PMs on the program. Expectation is that the build out will be completed in the next 12-18 months

Google Fiber launched in CLT this week in the first neighborhood. I know one of the Outside Plant Construction company’s PMs on the program. Expectation is that the build out will be completed in the next 12-18 months.

Google Fiber’s network wont include that many 100G switches per city. It is the OLTs that will be deployed in volume in a city. These are systems that are supplied by the likes of Nokia, Adtran, and Calix (i dont know which ones)

INFN DTNX would be used in Google’s long haul networks

Back after the March quarter results, I wrote up why I was exiting INFN. I was maybe overly excusing about Skyworks but I sure nailed INFN! They looked like about as clear a sell as I’ve seen. A lot of people on the board were unhappy with what I wrote and decided to stay with Infinera. Great story, hard to change your mind. Here we are a quarter later>

Here are excerpts from what I wrote back then. I’m not italicizing so it will be easier to read.


Now let’s look at Infinera. Their gross margin was also 50.2%. However, while Skyworks kept 36.8% of their revenue as operating margin, Infinera kept only 12.3%. That means they spent 37.9% of their revenue on operating expenses, while Skyworks spent just 14%. They spent 2.7 times as much as Skyworks! Two-point-seven TIMES!

To put it another way, Infinera took the money they had left after cost of goods sold, and they spent over 75% of it on SG&A expenses and R&D.

Skyworks, on the other hand, took the money they had left after cost of goods sold, and they spent less than 28% of it on SG&A expenses and R&D.

As Foolish Erik said a year and a half ago:

Infinera has so far been pouring far more money out the door than they are making through sales, with all of it going into the quest to grow the company’s sales and profitability. After 15 years of operations they are now $590M in the hole. Yes, that’s half a billion dollars. They achieved positive cash flow from operations two years ago, and were bottom-line profitable only last year.

(Now Saul back again). In a way, Infinera still has the attitude of a start-up company:

“We have a great future! Let’s just spend all the money we want to, and take lots of stock-based compensation, and simply raise more money if we need to. Operating margins aren’t really important. Earnings are okay if we make them but we’re here to have fun. Stockholders don’t matter.”

However, it’s no longer the story stock with such a great story and “a great future” that it doesn’t have to worry about earnings. Now it’s a regular company and is being evaluated according to its real earnings.

the Infinera speaker seemed like a deer caught in the headlights. It was all “if” and “maybe” and “we hope” and “uncertain” and “difficult to predict” and “will depend on whether” and “lumpiness” and ……

He didn’t know when business would pick up again.
He wasn’t sure when Metro would kick in.
He had no idea why the large Transmode customer wasn’t ordering.
He didn’t know when that customer would start to reorder again.
It sounded as if he didn’t even know whether that customer had switched to another supplier, and was gone for good.

I continue to be optimistic in regard to the Transmode acquisition.

Optimistic? What does that mean!? At this stage?

He was predicting only 11% Operating Margins next quarter.

The midpoint of our projected guidance translates to a non-GAAP operating margin of 11% plus or minus…

11% for non-GAAP operating margin is terrible! And GAAP operating margin will be even less!

In closing, I remain very optimistic about the state of our business. Our customer base is healthy and broadening. Success in the short term will largely be dependent on the timing of our customers making investments in network upgrades particularly in metro and data center. While there is some uncertainty on this timing, we consider our customers making these investments a when rather than an if decision…

…among certain customers we are seeing signs of spending lumpiness, driven by uncertainty around the timing of their investments. While it is difficult to predict how long these dynamics could affect our results over the short term, the strong bandwidth demand environment… gives us confidence in our medium- and long-term outlook.

As we have stated in recent quarters, while we expect to continue to outgrow the long-haul market, our ability to continue to significantly outgrow the overall market will depend on the success of the new products we released late last year and synergies associated with selling Transmode’s products into the historic Infinera customer base.

They released the products last year, and here it is the first of May and they don’t know if they will be successful yet?

The level of trial and eval activity, along with some early customer wins, suggest that we are on the right track with these new products, though it inevitably takes time to translate these positive signals into significant revenues.

… while we are experiencing a convergence of local and macro issues that we do not see as indicative of any longer-term trends, it is challenging to predict the timing of customer spending in our industry and to determine whether this is a one quarter dynamic or one that might persist further into 2016.

We currently project non-GAAP gross margin in Q2 to be 48% …

We currently anticipate non-GAAP operating expenses to be $95 million …as we balance the need to invest in key areas that will allow us to maximize our market share opportunity with ongoing profitability. (They are worried about maintaining profitability???)

Yet people said “Let’s give them a chance.”


I do understand that the best time to buy is when there is blood in the streets, but sometimes there’s blood for a good reason. One of the points that I appreciate about Saul is that he is that he realizes that only a certain percentage of anyone’s ideas work out. I agreed with Saul’s rationale last quarter, but I held on due to the insider purchases and the hope that they could somehow get traction with their Transmode customer.

As I view the situation today:

  1. I have not found any information related to the Transmode customer relationship.

  2. I don’t know why all the earnings outlook negativity when INFN was supposed to be bagging Google.

  3. There is a possibility of an alternative technology with silicon PICs.

  4. It is possible that customers are waiting on the Telecom Infra Project.

  5. INFN has not had the will to convert revenue to profit.

  6. I remain perplexed by the large insider purchases.

I REALLY hate to leave this at this time, but there are other growth stories that look less risky to me (e.g. Shopify, Silver Spring Networks). If you guys that are staying or staying and doubling down do well, God bless you. You really have earned it. As for me, I plan on selling tomorrow and heading to greener pastures.