Juniper posted fourth-quarter revenue well beyond Wall Street expectations.
Revenue for the period ended Dec. 31 was $1.19 billion, up 26% from last year and 18% from the third quarter of 2010. Consensus analyst estimates from Thomson Reuters was for revenue of $1.12 billion.
Net income excluding charges and other items was $228.6 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, up 31% from last year and last quarter. Analysts were expecting earnings of about $201.4 million, or $0.37 per share.
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2010, Juniper's revenue increased 23% from 2009 to $4.1 billion. Net income, minus charges, expenses and other items, was $710.5 million, or $1.32 per diluted share, and increase of 43% over 2009.
"Juniper produced outstanding results in 2010, the first year of a multi-year growth strategy centered on mobile Internet and cloud computing trends," said Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson, in a statement. “We expect much of the same in 2011 as we introduce new products.”
Those new products include the Stratus cloud-computing fabric offerings, and the evolved packet core software from the Project Falcon mobile Internet initiative. Johnson said Juniper shipped a beta version of Stratus to a large customer and the first beta release of Falcon software to a major service provider in the fourth quarter.
In the quarter, meanwhile, revenue from Juniper’s Infrastructure Products Group totaled $907.2 million. Service Layer Technologies tallied up $282.8 million. The company’s service provider business accounted for $783.8 million in revenue, while enterprise was $406.1 million, or 34% of revenue. This is up from 32% of revenue for the fourth quarter of 2009.
Sales of Juniper’s EX enterprise switches was $123 million in the quarter, up 66% from last year and 22% sequentially
For the full year, enterprise was $1.46 billion, or 36% of total revenue, up from 34% last year. The business grew 30% on a full year basis from 2009, and 34% in the quarter, despite some analyst expectations of a soft quarter.
Service provider revenue was $2.6 billion, up from $2.2 billion last year. Verizon accounted for more than 10% of Juniper’s revenue for the quarter and for the year.
Despite the solid Q4, estimates for Q1, 2011, may disappoint. For the period ending March 31, Juniper expects revenue to range from $1.06 billion to $1.11 billion, up 19% from last year but down as much as 11% from Q4. Analysts expected revenue of $1.09 billion for Q1.
Juniper estimates net income per share, minus expenses, charges and other items, will range between $0.30 and $0.33. Analysts were looking for $0.34 in per share earnings for Q1.
Juniper attributes the conservative guidance to seasonal buying trends, especially in the enterprise. Customers likely flushed their budgets in Q4 and are building up war chests for purchases later in the year.
Indeed, Johnson says the economy is improving, and is especially robust in North America. Enterprise is “very healthy,” he said.