Juniper Networks (JNPR) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Juniper faces stiff competition in each of its served markets. Uncertain global macro environment and anticipation of potentially weak investment patterns among customers remain major headwinds for the company. Considering Juniper’s broad exposure to the service provider market, the ongoing consolidations could increase uncertainties and restrict its revenue growth over the long term. Net revenues for first-quarter 2018 decreased on lower demand for routing and switching products. The stock has underperformed the industry in the past year on an average. However, Juniper’s product launches, cost reduction initiatives and diligent execution of operational plans are encouraging. Juniper is set to capitalize on the growing demand for data center virtualization, cloud computing and mobile traffic packet/optical convergence and remains confident of returning to a growth trajectory by the end of the year.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on JNPR. UBS upgraded Juniper Networks from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Monday, January 22nd. Oppenheimer upgraded Juniper Networks from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $33.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, January 22nd. CIBC upgraded Juniper Networks from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Monday, January 22nd. Robert W. Baird reiterated a hold rating and issued a $26.00 target price on shares of Juniper Networks in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Finally, MKM Partners lifted their target price on Juniper Networks to $31.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, January 26th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $28.12.

NYSE JNPR opened at $26.97 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $9.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.59, a PEG ratio of 4.00 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 2.14 and a quick ratio of 2.14. Juniper Networks has a 1-year low of $23.61 and a 1-year high of $30.44.

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 1st. The network equipment provider reported $0.28 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.26 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $1.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.05 billion. Juniper Networks had a return on equity of 11.85% and a net margin of 4.92%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.46 EPS. research analysts forecast that Juniper Networks will post 1.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, June 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.67%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 31st. Juniper Networks’s payout ratio is currently 41.62%.

Juniper Networks announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Tuesday, January 30th that permits the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the network equipment provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Juniper Networks news, EVP Vincent Molinaro sold 7,647 shares of Juniper Networks stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.21, for a total transaction of $200,427.87. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 17,989 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $471,491.69. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Terrance F. Spidell sold 2,590 shares of Juniper Networks stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.88, for a total value of $67,029.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 56,837 shares of company stock valued at $1,485,838. 1.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Private Capital Group LLC raised its position in Juniper Networks by 6,618.0% during the 1st quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 4,098 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $100,000 after purchasing an additional 4,037 shares in the last quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in Juniper Networks during the 4th quarter valued at $128,000. Exane Derivatives raised its position in Juniper Networks by 278.1% during the 4th quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 5,633 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $161,000 after purchasing an additional 4,143 shares in the last quarter. Balter Liquid Alternatives LLC bought a new stake in Juniper Networks during the 4th quarter valued at $163,000. Finally, Wetherby Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Juniper Networks in the 4th quarter worth $209,000. 91.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks, Inc designs, develops, and sells network products and services worldwide. The company offers various routing products, such as ACX series universal access routers to deploy new high-bandwidth services; MX series Ethernet routers that functions as a universal edge platform; PTX series packet transport routers; cloud customer premises equipment; and NorthStar controllers.

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