Juniper revenue light in Q3

Couldn’t keep up with late orders, but earnings hit the mark; enterprise strong

Juniper posted third quarter results light on revenue but with earnings in line with Wall Street estimates.

For the period ended Sept. 30, Juniper posted revenue of $1.01 billion, a rise of 23% annually and 3% from the second quarter. Analysts – and Juniper -- were expecting $1.02 billion in sales for the quarter. 

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Earnings came in at $171.5 million, right where analysts and Juniper expected. That equates to 32 cents per diluted share on a non-GAAP (excluding expenses, charges and other items) basis.

Last quarter, Juniper guided to revenue of $1.02 billion, or 4.25% better than Q2, with a +/- $20 million variable. Earnings met the high end of that guidance on a per share, non-GAAP basis.

"We anticipate customer demand to remain healthy and are well-positioned to drive further gains," said Kevin Johnson, Juniper's CEO, in a statement.

Johnson acknowledged that revenue could have been better in the quarter given demand, especially for Juniper’s MX 3D edge router. Johnson said Juniper had trouble meeting demand for the MX 3D in the quarter, and that Q3 is when orders usually come in late in the quarter.

Nonetheless, Juniper saw strong demand for its MX routers, EX Ethernet switches and SRX VPN/firewalls. Combined, these products generated $357 million for Juniper in the quarter, almost double what they generated a year ago.

Sales to enterprises were up 26% in the quarter. Sales of Service Layer Technology products, which include the SRX firewall/VPN security products, were up 17%.

Enterprise sales account for 37% of Juniper’s total revenue. Project Stratus, Juniper’s data center/cloud computing fabric initiative, will go into testing and early customer adoption during the current quarter. Juniper plans to announce soon some anti-virus, spyware and malware security products that combine its Junos Pulse client software with the sMobile mobile device security technology it acquired in July, along with the SRX VPN/firewall gateway, Johnson said.

Service provider sales were up 21%. Sales of infrastructure products – predominantly routers to service providers – were up 25% in the quarter. Project Falcon, Juniper’s development of an evolved packet core for the mobile Internet, will be in trials by the end of this year. The underpinning of Falcon is the Junos-enabled MX 3D router.

Johnson noted that Q3 was “another quarter of 20% growth,” which is meeting Juniper’s long-term targets. He says the company sees a strong Q4 as major service providers in the US spend the remainder of their capital budgets.

With that, Juniper expects Q4 revenue to come in at $1.12 billion, give or take $20 million. The company expects non-GAAP earnings per share to be 35 cents to 37 cents per share.

With respect to the global economy, Johnson said Juniper expects a slow recovery from the recession, with the pace and trajectory dependent on geography.

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