Carrier Upgrades Help Juniper To Solid Q4

Juniper's fourth quarter profit was actually down 1.1 percent from the fourth quarter of a year ago: $131 million at 24 cents per share as opposed to $132.5 million at 25 cents per share from the year-ago quarter. But that was due to higher stock-compensation costs and one time charges, Juniper explained. Without those, earnings were actually up year over year, to 32 cents per share for the quarter, compared to 26 cents per share predicted by analysts.

Juniper also reported revenue of $941.5 million for the quarter, up 1.9 percent from the year-ago quarter thanks to a 14 percent jump in service revenue to offset a 0.9 percent decline in product sales.

Juniper in part attributed its gains to a service provider boost: phone and cable companies bought networking equipment to upgrade their platforms and deal with expanding Internet traffic demands.

AT&T was a particularly big investor in Juniper gear, with Juniper CFO Robyn Denholm saying on the earnings call that AT&T accounted for more than 10 percent of Juniper's fourth quarter revenue.

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Johnson said Juniper was continuing to see signs of the macroeconomic environment improving, and that Juniper "executed well" on its R&D roadmap.

He touted the updates to Juniper's chipset, router and software portfolios the company made in October, which included the expansion of its much-touted Junos software platform.

Johnson also said that Juniper's strong OEM relationships would continue to bear fruit. Juniper in October increased its existing relationship with IBM to include gateways and routers. Later that month it announced an OEM agreement to provide networking equipment and software to Dell for data center deployments.

Service provider relationships will continue to be a major focus, Johnson noted, as will mobile security.

"When you look at the marketplace, anytime you have an explosion of devices and ubiquitous use of devices, you start to open up the risk and concerns of malware and viruses and security issues," he said. "Our SRX and the solutions we have with SRX and Junos Pulse have seen a lot of activity.

Expect growth in all of Juniper's channels this year, Johnson advised.