Ever since the Bubble burst, many Fools have aimed plenty of jokes (and more serious criticism) at the nation's erstwhile tech darlings. If telecom equipment maker Juniper
We've mocked Ciena
But as fellow Fool Dan Bloom pointed out not long ago, these companies' days as easy (and deserving) targets may be drawing to a close, at least in the telecom portion of the industry.
Granted, you wouldn't guess it from the market's reaction to Juniper's earnings report last week. Wall Street hasn't shown itself particularly gifted at reading this company in recent years. Last week's earnings release marked the 12th consecutive quarter in which Juniper beat analysts' consensus earnings estimates. (Whenever Wall Street hates a company this much, it's almost a foregone conclusion that the company will beat expectations.)
The numbers went something like this:
- Year-over-year revenue grew 61% in Q2 2005.
- For 1H 2005, revenue rose 77% compared to the year-ago period.
- In the year-ago quarter, Juniper lost money. This quarter, the company has earned $89 million in net income, which translates to profits of $0.15 per diluted share.
- Meanwhile, year-to-date profits were up 600% over last year's first half.
- Most importantly, free cash flow growth increased 51% year-to-date when compared to the year-ago period.
On the balance sheet, Juniper added another $200 million or so to its war chest. It now has $1.3 billion in cash and short-term investments to its name. While the company also has $476 million worth of long-term liabilities on its books, its $580 million in long-term investments more than balance them. Put it all together, and the company has about $1.4 billion worth of short- and long-term "cash" with which to either capitalize on a resurgence in telecom or weather a continued storm, should that prove necessary.
Whether or not you believe tech is back, believe this: Juniper is here to stay.
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Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares in any company mentioned above.