Networking equipment provider Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR, news, filings) announced its earnings today for Q4 and the full year 2009, and if there were any doubts about the improving environment in the sector then there are fewer today. Revenues of $941.5M, up 2% from the same quarter last year and up an impressive 14% from the third quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.32 were up from $0.23 in the prior quarter and matched the performance of the same quarter last year. Both numbers were well above the analyst consensus.
As for 2010, the company projected revenues of $880-910M which was above expectations, and non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.23-0.26 which was roughly in line or perhaps a touch above. Overall, we got a good look at the new visibility buzzphrase which we will probably hear a lot more of over the next few weeks and months: "improving conditions". Heh, like conditions could have gotten any worse? Still, caution is a good thing - this sector can turn on a dime.
Network equipment companies took the brunt of the economic storm of 2008-2009 as carriers and service providers of all types hit the brakes on capital spending last year. However, internet traffic growth did not take much if any of a breather, which means that we enter 2010 with the internet as a whole running hotter than it has in some time. Thus, if the economy as a whole continues to bounce back, companies like Juniper may quickly make up the ground they lost.
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