Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR, news, filings) sailed through their third quarter, easily besting both guidance and analyst estimates for all metrics. Looking forward, fourth quarter guidance remained relatively conservative on earnings per share, but still straddling expectations for revenue. Here’s a quick tabular summary with the usual context:
|$ in millions||Q3/11||Q4/11||Q1/12||Q2/12||Q3/12||Q4/12
|Non-GAAP Operating Margin %||20.0%||18.6%||12.0%||15%||
Revenues of $1118M were more than $60M beyond the midpoint of guidance, with higher non-GAAP operating margins than expected leading naturally to a non-GAAP EPS of $0.22, exceeding the composite analyst estimate by a full nickel. They bought back 14M shares for about $250M in cash, which of course still leaves them with more than $4B in cash, cash equivalents and investments on the balance sheet.
The company referenced continued caution from its customers and a difficult macroeconomic environment when looking ahead. Such comments are par for the course these days, but someday the sun will come out again. Juniper’s actual guidance was as expected for revenue, but perhaps a bit light on earnings per share. But given this quarter’s strong EPS, the second half would still average out to be stronger than anticipated.
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