Sycamore’s Slow Road To Nowhere

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Sycamore Networks, once the shining star of the optical boom has fallen on hard times. With new orders as scarce as a winning performance from Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the company has been on a slow road to nowhere. The demand for its core optical long haul products remains stuck in a rut, and despite some wins at the GiG-BE project, the company is going no where. The company received the worst kind of news – a possible delisting from Nasdaq – sometime in the near future? Why? Because the company has delayed its 10-Q filing, and could be out compliance. The delay is because the company is conducting an internal investigation into certain option grants “granted during the period from 1999 to 2001, including whether additional stock compensation expenses should have been recorded during the period under review.”

Folks who were at Supercomm earlier this month, tell me that the Sycamore booth was pretty quiet and, unlike in years past, the booth staff was fairly low-level folks . . . young systems engineers, a few sales people. The DellOro Group at their SuperComm breakfast predicted an 8-12% growth rate this year for telecommunications – except optical long haul. That would decline. That’s not good news for Sycamore. So isn’t it time to reinvent. The company had so much cash on hand at the time the bubble popped, that one could see them trying something to reinvent and move into different directions. But the company has done nothing. The company is currently trading at the value of its cash and other assets. That’s stock market saying: Sycamore, the business is worth nothing.

If nothing, they could attempted a makeover and become a holding company ala Zhone and tried. But they are not even trying. Light Reading has been more scathing in its take on this lack of inactivity at the company. While your shareholders curse this plight, many of your executives — both former and active — have done well. They sit with millions in the bank, snugly ensconced in McMansions on the New England seacoast, happy to have left your path many years ago, when the stock was still trading in triple digits.

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Jesse Kopelman

I’m not sure you can have McMansions on the New England coast. McMansions are things you find in modern developments (my parents live in a house that is on the cusp of being a McMansion in 10 year old development in Central PA). If you have a big house on the New England coast it is probably over 100 years old and is just a plain mansion.

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