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Juniper beats Street, splits stock

Juniper Networks whistled past Street estimates in its first quarter Thursday and announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

In the quarter, the network-equipment maker posted a profit of $10.5 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $63.9 million.

First Call consensus expected it to earn 4 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, Juniper (Nasdaq: JNPR) shares plunged 29 1/8, or 14 percent, to 175.

"We continue to see growth in the IP infrastructure market," said CEO Scott Kriens in a prepared release. "During the quarter we diversified our customer base, broadened our geographic coverage and expanded the product portfolio."

Last quarter, the Mountain View, Calif. company cleared $4.8 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $45.4 million.

Including a handful of one-time items, Juniper earned of $8.1 million, or 5 cents a share, in the quarter.

Company officials said the 2-for-1 stock split will take effect on June 16.

Its shares soared to an all-time high of 312 15/16 in March after hitting a low of 30 in June. The stock split 3-for-1 in January.

First Call consensus expects Juniper to return a profit of 24 cents a share in the fiscal year.

All 14 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."