"Just be nice, you know! Oh, fairly nice,
not too nice of course, they take advantage
but nice enough, just nice enough
to let them feel they're not quite as nice as they might be."
-- From "The English Are So Nice," by D.H. Lawrence

Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR) worries me.

At a time when everybody else is talking about a healthy enterprise computing market driven by pent-up demand and refreshed IT spending budgets, networking expert Juniper merely tiptoes along. When you're up against Brobdingnagians like Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) and the recently expanded networking arm of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), that's just not good enough. Cisco is supposed to grow sales by 25% when it reports in a couple of weeks -- and it's much harder to grab such rowdy improvements on top of an $8 billion starting line than from less than $800 million.

Juniper just reported first-quarter results that look nice on the surface: Revenue got a 16% boost year over year to $913 million, while non-GAAP earnings shot up 59% to $0.27 per diluted share.

Telecom giant Verizon (NYSE: VZ) was Juniper's biggest customer, driving growth by expanding "multiple ongoing projects." But will that revenue stream last? Recent reports say that Verizon is taking a breather from building out its FiOS network, and the upcoming 4G wireless networking rollout will involve more hardware from LM Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Alcatel-Lucent than from Juniper. In other words, Juniper's sugar daddy is spending his candy cash somewhere else.

There is some hope of continued health if Juniper's new distribution deals with IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) work out, but the IBM program raised more questions than answers on Juniper's earnings call and the Dell deal is an unproven property that doesn't kick in until June or July.

So Juniper's 6% drop today looks justified from where I sit. What do you think, dear Fool? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Just -- just be nice, you know!

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. National Poetry Month brings a unique tint to the stock market. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.