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Juniper's profit nearly doubles estimates

Juniper Networks announces a third-quarter profit that nearly doubles financial analysts' projections, sending shares of the company soaring in after-hours trading.

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Can Juniper sustain its runaway growth?
Scott Kriens, Juniper Networks CEO

Juniper Networks announced a third-quarter profit that nearly doubled financial analysts' projections, sending shares of the company soaring in after-hours trading.

During regular trading hours, Juniper's stock fell $6.41 to close at $199.59. But in after-hours trading, at 3 p.m. PT, Juniper's stock jumped nearly $7 to $206.25, according to the Island ECN Web site.

Excluding one-time charges, Juniper on Thursday announced a third-quarter profit of $58.1 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.6 million, or 1 cent a share, during the same quarter last year. Financial analysts had predicted earnings of 9 cents per share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

Juniper, which competes against Cisco Systems, has historically sold high-speed networking devices that manage heavy Internet traffic for carriers. The company now also targets the area of the network that links private businesses' online connections with the public Internet.

Juniper Networks
Stock price from October 1999 to present.  
 Source: Prophet Finance
In its two years selling equipment, it has garnered a nearly 25 percent market share in a niche dominated by networking behemoth Cisco.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Juniper had third-quarter revenue of $201.2 million, a 78 percent increase from last quarter's revenue of $113 million. The company reported revenue of $29.6 million during the same quarter last year.

Juniper chief executive Scott Kriens attributed the strong quarter to service providers' need to expand their networks to handle the explosion of traffic on the Internet.

"The expansion of our product portfolio and our customer base throughout the world further solidify our opportunities in the (Internet protocol) infrastructure market," Kriens said in a statement.