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Wachovia Raises Juniper Networks to 'Market Perform'

Wachovia upgraded Juniper Networks (JNPR) to market perform.

Analyst Stephen Koffler says the maker of networking gear was able to balance the timing of a slowdown of international markets to maintain momentum and achieve growth in the second and third quarters. Koffler says it's now appears that U.S., Europe, and Asia are set to grow, so he no longer has reason to question building momentum.

He notes gross margin of 63.4% was ahead of his expectations due to the product mix. He also says Juniper's balance sheet is very strong, with days sales outstanding down 15 days, to 26 days, due to better linearity and collections. Koffler raised the 10 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate to 12 cents, and upped the 15 cents 2004 estimate to 25 cents.

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