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Juniper Shares Drop as Slumping Demand Hurts Sales, Profit

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Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Juniper Networks Inc. tumbled in late trading after saying fourth-quarter revenue and profit were probably lower than forecast, citing weaker-than-expected demand for routers from telecommunications-service providers.

Sales based on preliminary results were $1.11 billion to $1.12 billion in the quarter, less than an earlier company prediction of $1.16 billion to $1.22 billion, Sunnyvale, California-based Juniper said in a statement today. Per-share earnings, excluding certain expenses, were 26 cents to 28 cents, compared with a prior forecast of 32 cents to 36 cents.

While Juniper didn’t say why U.S. carriers are cutting spending, Verizon Wireless said two months ago that it was investing less in older wireless technology to focus on expanding the size of data plans for smartphone customers. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last month cut its rating on Adtran Inc., a maker of high-speed digital transmission products, citing a decline in capital expenditures by top carriers.

Juniper fell 6.4 percent to $20.15 at 4:16 p.m. in extended New York trading after the revised outlook was released. The stock has tumbled 43 percent in the past year, while larger competitor Cisco Systems Inc. has fallen 9.5 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was little changed.

Juniper plans to provide full fourth-quarter results on Jan. 26. In addition to a drop in sales and profit, the company said its operating margin will be below the previous forecast of 21 percent to 23 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Levy in San Francisco at alevy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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