Why Juniper Networks, Inc. Stock Plunged Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Juniper Networks, (NYSE: JNPR  ) dropped 10% Wednesday after the network technologist reported solid preliminary second-quarter results, but followed with weaker-than-expected third-quarter guidance.

So what: Specifically, Juniper Networks' quarterly revenue rose 7% year over year, to $1.23 billion, which translated to 38% growth in adjusted net income to $0.40 per diluted share. By contrast, analysts were only expecting earnings of $0.38 per share on sales of $1.22 billion.

For the current quarter, however, Juniper told investors to expect revenue in the range of $1.15 billion to $1.20 billion, which should result in adjusted net income per diluted share between $0.35 and $0.40. Analysts, on average, were modeling third-quarter earnings of $0.44 per share on sales of $1.26 billion.

Now what: In the subsequent conference call, Juniper Networks CEO Shaygan Kheradpir blamed the guidance shortfall on U.S.-based service providers, whose "market dynamics, including M&A activity, are impacting both sequencing and timing of projects." Kheradpir went on, "While this will impact our near-term outlook, we are well positioned with these customers with major design wins in key areas of their network including next generation projects."

It should come as little surprise, then, that Juniper Networks also announced its intention to "opportunistically repurchase" at least $550 million of common stock, in addition to its existing $1.2 billion accelerated share repurchase program by the end of this year. With shares currently trading at a low 11.2 times next year's expected earnings -- and even if those estimates come down in the near term -- Juniper Networks stock should be able to reward long-term investors from here.

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