Signs of recovery in Juniper, Cisco quarters

Results exceeding estimates, or expected to thanks to spending pickup

Juniper says we're in a recovery -- its Q3 results affirm that, having come in nicely above Wall Street expectations. Cisco's Q1, which it reports Nov. 4, is also forecast to be better than initally thought.

Both are indications that IT spending is picking back up. Juniper said as much during its Q3 call with analysts, citing a 10% sequential growth in its enterprise business. And Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Ittai Kidron noted a reignition of previously suspended upgrade cycles as fuel for raising his estimates for Cisco's Q1.

These are encouraging trends for the enterprise infrastructure market. Juniper noted a particular spike in US spending, specifically in the federal government. Obama's new CTO and our tax dollars at work...

The company's EX LAN switch line was very strong in the quarter. The product is barely 18  months old yet logged $50 million in revenue in Q3.

Sales of Juniper's SRX firewall were also strong, as was the MX Ethernet router, which is predominantly sold to carriers but has also found some traction in enterprise data centers.

Juniper also guided to a fairly bullish Q4, with sales expected to climb to $860 million to $895 million.

Oppenheimer expects Cisco's Q1 sales to grow 2.7% from last quarter. The consensus is around 2.4%.

Sales of the Unified Computing System won't contribute much if anything though -- Kidron says users are still kicking its tires. He doesn't expect the controversial data center consolidation platform to ramp until 2010.

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