Juniper: routers good, security bad

Juniper Networks, it seems is still the king of routers. Same sadly cannot be said of its security unit. Despite company’s early insistence that the merger with NetScreen had gone well, I wasn’t too sure. After all the head of NetScreen, Robert Thomas had quit the company, to go work at a start-up. Spin notwithstanding, I think that takes away some of the momentum away from the merger. It is hardly a surprise that the stock got whacked. Anyway back to the main news: Juniper reported Q3 earnings of $0.13 per share on revenues of $375 million (up 22% quarter over quarter), and beat Wall Street estimate of 11 cents a share. NetScreen sales were down 4 percent. But it is router sales up 19% sequentially that were truly impressive. I think the company has held its own against Cisco. Apparently big bells are now a big chunk of their business, including Verizon, which accounts for a whopping 10% of their total router sales. Sources tell me that the company is making some serious progress with SBC Communications, and is going to win in that account as well. The good news will only get better when the company starts shipping its J-Series routers, especially in high growth markets of Europe and Asia.