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Juniper Networks reports mixed Q4 amid continued cloud customer slump

The company warned investors that delays among large cloud customers would hurt its first quarter results.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Juniper Networks reported mixed fourth quarter financial results on Tuesday, and warned investors that delays among large cloud customers would hurt its first quarter results. Juniper said its revenue for the first quarter will be about $980 million, plus or minus $30 million, with non-GAAP first quarter earnings about 20 cents a share in the first quarter, give or take 3 cents a share.

Also: Juniper announces Ericsson 5G partnership

Wall Street was expecting first quarter non-GAAP earnings of 37 cents a share on revenue of $1.11 billion.

As for the rest of the numbers, the networking company reported a net income of $192 million, or 56 cents per share. Non-GAAP earnings were 59 cents per share on revenue of $1.2 billion, down 5 percent year over year.

Wall Street was expecting earnings of 57 cents per share on revenue of $1.22 billion.

The company ended the quarter with $3.75 billion in cash, equivalents, and investments, compared to $4.02 billion at the end of the same quarter a year ago.

"We are disappointed by our Q4 sales, as continued weakness with several of our cloud and service provider customers more than offset solid momentum in our enterprise business," said chief executive Rami Rahim. "We are taking actions to drive improved sales execution and capitalize on the attractive end market opportunities that we expect to emerge in 2019. We remain confident in our strategy and believe we have the products needed to win in the market."

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Beyond struggles with its large cloud customers, Juniper also cited the partial US government shutdown and geopolitical uncertainty for "below normal seasonality for the first quarter." Nonetheless, the company is aiming to return to year-over-year growth in the second half of 2019. 

There were some bright spots in Juniper's Q4 report. The company's security business In security, Juniper grew 18 percent year over year growth and surpassed $100 million in quarterly revenue for the first time in several years. Meanwhile, Juniper's enterprise business grew 14 percent annually and its software business grew 32 percent year over year.

Shares of Juniper were down nearly 7 percent in after market trading. 

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