Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Monday, October 16th.

According to Zacks, “Juniper lowered third-quarter 2017 revenue and earnings estimates citing weak sales in the cloud computing segment. The company is facing significant pricing pressure amid intensifying competition in the network equipment market. Moreover, as stated by management, Juniper’s expansion into low-margin Asia-Pacific market negatively impacted customer mix. Further, growing proportion of low-margin switch business in the product mix as compared with high-margin router business is a headwind for gross margin expansion. Additionally, higher DRAM memory prices are expected to hurt gross margin in the rest of 2017. Notably, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to. Nevertheless, frequent product launches, cost reduction initiatives and improving execution are encouraging. Moreover, estimates have been going down ahead of the Q3 earnings release. “

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on JNPR. BidaskClub raised shares of Juniper Networks from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Juniper Networks from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $35.00 to $31.00 in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Nomura lowered shares of Juniper Networks from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $33.00 to $27.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Drexel Hamilton reissued a “buy” rating and set a $37.00 target price on shares of Juniper Networks in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Finally, Berenberg Bank reissued a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 target price on shares of Juniper Networks in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Juniper Networks has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.54.

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) traded up 1.37% on Monday, reaching $25.20. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,826,341 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average of $27.18 and a 200 day moving average of $28.33. Juniper Networks has a 52 week low of $23.87 and a 52 week high of $30.96. The firm has a market capitalization of $9.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.08 and a beta of 1.09.

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The network equipment provider reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by ($0.03). Juniper Networks had a net margin of 12.77% and a return on equity of 13.80%. The business had revenue of $1.26 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.26 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.58 EPS. Juniper Networks’s quarterly revenue was down 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Juniper Networks will post $2.10 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, CEO Rami Rahim sold 16,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.43, for a total transaction of $438,880.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 469,607 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,881,320.01. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Terrance F. Spidell sold 3,313 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.69, for a total transaction of $91,736.97. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 30,013 shares of company stock worth $823,844. 2.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of JNPR. Numeric Investors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Juniper Networks by 3,949.6% during the 2nd quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 4,673,200 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $130,289,000 after buying an additional 4,557,800 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Juniper Networks by 197.7% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 5,427,091 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $151,307,000 after buying an additional 3,604,200 shares during the period. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Juniper Networks by 40.0% during the 2nd quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 11,378,124 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $317,222,000 after buying an additional 3,248,819 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Juniper Networks by 260.0% during the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 3,374,305 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $94,076,000 after buying an additional 2,437,006 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Juniper Networks by 6.4% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 38,434,820 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $1,071,564,000 after buying an additional 2,314,683 shares during the period. 90.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Juniper Networks Company Profile

Juniper Networks, Inc designs, develops and sells products and services for high-performance networks to enable customers to build networks for their businesses. The Company sells its products in over 100 countries in three geographic regions: Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific.

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