Juniper reports soft Q1; Cisco next

Don't expect any fireworks from Cisco when it reports third quarter earnings on May 6. Juniper just fired of a dud of a first quarter this week with revenue down 7% and earnings per share down 37% from last year.

Juniper blamed the declines on stingy spending among its service provider and enterprise customers. Sales to service providers was down 14% from a year ago but enterprise revenue actually increased by 13%.

Still, Juniper cautioned that investments in new network buildouts was limited. Indeed, several market research firms said IT spending this year will be down 3% to 4% from last year; and AT&T this week said its capital spending for 2009 will be down 10% to 15% from 2008.

Analysts are expecting Cisco to post a 17% decline in revenue for its April quarter, and a 34% drop in earnings per share.

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