Juniper Networks Inc. saw its stock fall more than 3% in extended trading today after matching expectations on earnings, missing estimates on revenue and offering lower-than-expected guidance for the coming quarter.
The company reported a net income for the fourth quarter of $180.4 million, up from $132.9 million in the same period last year. Earnings before certain costs such as stock compensation came to 65 cents per share, matching Wall Street’s target. Revenue rose almost 12%, to $1.45 billion, slightly below analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.48 billion.
For the full year, Juniper reported a net income of $471 million on total revenue of $5.3 billion, up 12%.
Juniper is a major supplier of computer networking hardware such as routers and Ethernet switches. It’s one of the main rivals to Cisco Systems Inc., and also sells software to manage those networks, as well as security tools to protect them against cyberattacks.
Juniper Chief Executive Rami Rahim (pictured) said the company saw “strong business momentum” during the period, achieving a second successive quarter of double-digit year-over-year revenue growth. He added that the company’s enterprise business also put in a record performance in terms of revenue, while its cloud unit delivered its second-highest-ever quarterly revenue.
“Our experience-first networking strategy, focused on leveraging AI and cloud-delivered automation to improve customer operations and the end-user experience, continues to resonate across the markets we serve,” Rahim added. “We believe our differentiated solutions, along with our go-to-market investments and strong backlog, should position us to deliver another year of solid revenue growth in 2023.”
Juniper’s enterprise business segment was the star performer during the quarter, with revenue topping $599.2 million, up from $455.1 million a year earlier. The cloud business also saw sales increase, generating $380.3 million in revenue compared with $333.4 million a year earlier. The only blot was Juniper’s service provider unit, which delivered sales of $469.3 million, down from $511.4 million one year ago.
Rahim’s promise of revenue growth in 2023 was backed by the company’s guidance for the next quarter, which calls for sales of between $1.29 billion and $1.39 billion. The midpoint of that range suggests revenue growth of 15% compared to the same period a year earlier. Even so, the forecast fell short of Wall Street’s target of $1.42 billion in sales.