Enterprise business again helps Juniper Networks blow past Q4 estimates

But Juniper's revenue and earnings for the year fall

Enterprise network business once again helped drive Juniper Networks to a better than expected fourth quarter.

Enterprise network business once again helped drive Juniper Networks to better-than-expected quarterly results.

The company posted Q4 revenue and earnings well ahead of Wall Street expectations. Juniper also beat expectations in Q3 thanks in large part to its enterprise business.

Full year revenue and earnings were down from last year though, with profits dropping 22%.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Juniper posted revenue of $941.5 million and earnings of $173.7 million. Analysts expected revenue of $885 million and earnings of slightly over $141 million, according to Thomson Financial.

Juniper Networks: A brief history

Fourth quarter revenue increased 2% from the same period a year ago while earnings, on a per share basis, were flat.

Early in the quarter, Juniper made what it said was the biggest announcement in its history, a wide-ranging vision and product splash in which the Cisco rival touted "The New Network."

For the twelve months ended Dec. 31, Juniper's revenue decreased 7% on a year-over-year basis to $3.32 billion. Net income, excluding expenses, charges and other items, was $491.5 million, a 22% drop on an earnings per share basis from 2008's profit.

"We finished 2009 on a very strong note," said CEO Kevin Johnson in a conference call on the results. "It's a good indication that the macro [economic] environment continues to improve. We've come a long way from uncertainty of a year ago. Visibility is good in the enterprise market and we continue to take share. Visibility is improving in service provider."

Juniper's Enterprise business was up 5% in the quarter from a year ago. For the full year, it was up 11%.

The company's service provider business nudged up 1% in the quarter but fell 14% for the year. The shift for the company, traditionally a strong player in service provider infrastructure, indicates the increasing focus and reliance on enterprise sales for Juniper's success.

Juniper's Infrastructure Products Group – mostly service provider routers – realized a 1% drop in sales for the quarter and was down 10% for the year. The company's Service Layer Technologies group, which includes security products, among others, was up 11% in the quarter and up 3% for the year.

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