Juniper CEO Sells Another 500,000 Shares

Nobody looks forward to the end of each quarter like Juniper (JNPR) chief Scott Kriens. Or maybe his wife, as the case may be.

In addition to leading a growing Internet equipment company, Kriens also oversees a sizable stock-selling strategy. Every three months or so, Kriens cashes in half a million shares of Juniper stock.

According to a filing Tuesday, Kriens stuck to his pattern this quarter and unloaded another 500,000 shares, netting $12 million. This takes his total sales for the year to $37.6 million. In fact, since Kriens started his quarterly selling in November 2002, he has reeled in $68.8 million from stock sales.

But don't worry. Despite selling more than 4 million shares in the past two years, he still directly owns 12 million shares, according to the latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

While Kriens' take has been large, the even pace of selling pretty much rules out any worries that he might be timing his cashouts to capitalize on the stock's price. And though the stock is down this year, Juniper's performance certainly doesn't suggest the company is about to run off the rails.

Riding a selective spending wave that has favored Internet gear, Juniper has strung together a handful of blowout quarters. In the most recent outing, Juniper even raised its guidance for the current quarter.

The company's stock is 20% below its early-year highs, but it has more than tripled in the space of two years. On Tuesday it rose 15 cents to $23.88.

Founded in 1996, Juniper took immediate aim at Cisco's ( CSCO) core business and focused on making bigger, faster routers to handle the impending crush of Internet users. Routers are network management devices that help direct Internet traffic to addressed locations. Juniper increasingly competes with big telecom gear makers Nortel ( NT) and Lucent ( LU) as well.

Before running Juniper, Kriens co-founded StrataCom, which was purchased by Cisco. Until getting a 50% raise this year, Kriens had an annual salary of $275,000. He now makes $425,000 and is eligible for a bonus equal to his base salary. Kriens made $437,000 in salary and bonus last year, according to an SEC filing.

A Juniper representative was unavailable for comment. During a TV appearance last week, Kriens was asked about his selling activity by CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera. Kriens good-naturedly tried to deflect the question about his selling and blamed it on a promise he had made his wife.

"I'd say, talk to my wife, because I sell the same number of shares every quarter in a pattern and will continue to do that ... that is a promise I made to her," Kriens said during the interview.

Kriens' wife wasn't available for comment Tuesday.

Kriens went on to explain that though he doesn't have a formal quarterly stock sale on file with regulators, his selling is "consistent, and it's not a function of the stock price."

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