Ciena's stock takes downward turn during its 3Q earnings conference call

Ciena's stock ping-ponged on the morning of its fiscal third quarter earnings call with investors. (Ciena)

Ciena turned in solid profit and revenue numbers in its fiscal third quarter earnings report Thursday morning, but then it's stock nosedived during the conference call with analysts.

Ciena's stock was initially up 9.2% to $44.99, but it slipped by as much as 6.9% Thursday morning during the call, according to a story by MarketWatch.

Ciena Chief Financial Officer James Moylan said on the call that fiscal fourth quarter adjusted gross margin was projected to be 42% to 43%, which was down from 44.7% in the third quarter, according to MarketWatch.

For the fourth quarter, Ciena expects revenue in a range of $945 million to $975 million, while analysts have projected $956.2 million.

For the fiscal third quarter that ended July 31, Ciena's earnings were 71 cents per share, up 48% from a year earlier, with revenue rising 17% to $960.6 million. In the same quarter a year ago, Ciena earned 48 cents a share on sales of $819 million.

Ciena's non-GAAP gross margin was 44.7% versus the 42.6% estimate while operating margin was 16.2% compared to a 13.6% estimate.

"We delivered another quarter of outstanding financial results as we benefit from our strong competitive position within the industry and continue to gain market share," said Ciena President and CEO Gary Smith, in a prepared statement. "Looking ahead, fiscal 2019 will be an extraordinary year for Ciena, including substantial revenue growth and increased profitability."

RELATED: Ciena sends Blue Planet out on its own

Across its networking platforms, which includes optical and packet networking, Ciena reported revenue of $796 million versus $677 million a year ago. Software and services revenue, which includes Blue Planet, was $48 million compared to $41 million last year. Global services came in at $116.7 million compared to $100 million.