Optical/IP Networks

Juniper's Q4 Got Even Worse

Demand for service-provider routers was tepid last quarter, and earnings at Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) suffered accordingly, the company announced Monday afternoon.

Juniper says revenues for its fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31, were $1.11 billion to $1.12 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $1.19 billion.

Earnings per share will likewise miss the target, at 26 to 28 cents, Juniper said. Analysts were expecting 34 cents.

U.S. service providers accounted for a "significant portion" of the weakness in router demand, according to Juniper's release, but the company is stressing that the problem was worldwide.

Juniper shares were down $1.39 (6.5 percent) at $20.14 in early after-hours trading Monday.

Why this matters
Service-provider spending -- particularly that of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) -- seems to have cooled significantly. Recall that Juniper started its fourth quarter by saying carriers were ordering, but were delaying shipments until 2012. It looks like the ordering part slowed down.

Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT) has lowered its fourth-quarter forecast, too, and it's likely we'll see more vendors doing the same.

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