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Juniper Networks shares plummet

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Juniper Networks shares plummet

Juniper Networks posted a sharp drop in profit on Tuesday as CEO Kevin Johnson cited “mixed signals” in the broader economy as factors in the company's quarter, Market Watch reports.

Juniper share fell more than 12% in after-hours trading after the networking company also posted an outlook below consensus projections.

The networking company reported a second-quarter profit of $115.6 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with a profit of $130.5 million, or 24 cents a share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue was $1.12 billion, up from $978.3 million. Adjusted income was 31 cents a share.

According to ABC News, the punishment reflected fears that the Sunnyvale-based company is not performing as strongly against bigger rival Cisco Systems as many analysts expected, and that sluggishness in spending by Internet providers could be favouring other companies.

The computer networking market has had a rough start to the year, with sluggishness in sales of some equipment caused by the strong growth the sector had in 2010, which has curbed Internet providers' need for new equipment immediately.

The Register states that in a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Johnson, the former Microsoftie who recently hired former Microsoft server and tool chief Bob Muglia to run Juniper's software unit, blamed Juniper's less-than-expected Q2 results on the jittery macroeconomic climate in established and emerging economies.

Also blames were lower gross domestic product estimates for 2011, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and service providers who are instead investing in their backhaul and wireless networks a little more than they historically do.

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