Networking Stocks Basking in Warm Glow of Strong Earnings

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Great jumping Juniper! Wouldjalookatthat!

Networkers were scorching out a huge day in the wake of last night's earnings release from

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

. The company announced that fourth-quarter pro-forma earnings would come in at 24 cents a share, topping the 18-cent

First Call/Thomson Financial

forecast. But revenue numbers were the real deal, coming in at $673.5 million, way above the $625 million to $640 million estimate Juniper set just a quarter ago.

Juniper was gaining 8.6%, to $139, as networking and networking-related names topped the Nasdaq's leaderboard.

SDL

(SDLI)

,

PMC-Sierra

(PMCS)

and

Avanex

(AVNX)

posted some of the best gains today, pulling in better than $10 a share. And in SDL's case -- a jump of $23.63 to $199.88.

Juniper makes routers, which are then used to move traffic along networks. Lately, this industry has come under a lot of pressure as spending in IT has been slowing. During the last three months of 2000, the

American Stock Exchange Networking Index

, which includes some of the industry's biggest names like

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

and

Nortel

(NT)

, dropped 48%.

But this year's been a little bit different. The Federal Reserve's decision to cut the Fed rate by 50 basis points was a tension breaker, one that gives these networkers a little bit of breathing room. Since the close on Jan. 2, the Amex networking index has gained 28%, with 4.4% of that coming today.

Here's a look at some networking names.