Weak forecast gives Juniper investors the jitters and its stock falls

Weak forecast gives Juniper investors the jitters and its stock falls

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Juniper Networks Inc. offered a weak forecast for the third quarter that came in below market estimates, sending its stock down more than 7% in extended trading today.

The company said lower spending by cloud computing clients in a weak economy is to blame for “continued weakness in bookings.”

Earlier, Jupiter had reported solid second-quarter results, with earnings before certain costs such as stock compensation of 58 cents per share, beating the market’s forecast of 54 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter increased 13% to $1.43 billion, just ahead of Wall Street’s target of $1.42 billion. All told, Juniper posted a net profit of $24.4 million, down from a profit of $113.4 million one year earlier.

“We delivered better than expected results during the June quarter as our teams continued to execute well and we benefited from improved supply,” said Juniper Chief Executive Rami Rahim (pictured).

However, the CEO conceded on a conference call with analysts that cloud service providers have been reducing their orders for network infrastructure gear such as routers and switches. Of course, that translates into lower sales for Juniper.

“We are currently facing some near-term order weakness from our cloud and to a lesser degree our service provider customers,” Rahim said on the call.

Juniper is a major supplier of computer networking hardware such as routers and Ethernet switches. It’s one of the main rivals to Cisco Systems Inc., and, like that company, also has a sizable business selling network management software for enterprises.

The weakness Juniper is facing meant that executives had to temper their expectations for the third quarter. The company forecast revenue of around $1.38 billion, plus or minus $50 million. That’s some way below Wall Street’s forecast of $1.48 billion.

The lower revenue will have a direct impact on Juniper’s profitability. As a result, executives are calling for third quarter earnings of 54 cents per share, below Wall Street’s consensus estimate of 62 cents.

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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