Shares of Juniper ( JNPR) surged in early trading Wednesday as investors looked beyond the networking company's weaker-than-expected first-quarter revenue forecast.

Like its archrival Cisco ( CSCO), Juniper has been feeling the effects of the tech spending slowdown, and blamed lower-than-expected sales to service providers for its first-quarter results.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based firm expects first-quarter revenue between $760 million and $765 million, well below the firm's initial guidance of $800 million to $830 million, and below analysts' estimate of $794.12 million.

Investors, however, were warming to Juniper Wednesday, and the company's shares rose $1.96, or 12.6%, to $17.58, most likely thanks to a solid earnings forecast. The networking gearmaker predicts first-quarter earnings in line with its previous estimates, which it attributes to recent cost-cutting efforts.

Excluding charges, Juniper expects earnings of 16 cents to 17 cents a share, within its previous guidance of 15 cents to 17 cents and in line with analysts' estimate of 17 cents a share.

The last few months have been busy for Juniper, which has beefed up its product line in an attempt to combat the spending slump. The company has ramped up its efforts around video and mobile technology, and unveiled its EX2500 line of high-speed 10-Gbit/s Ethernet switches. Last month, Juniper also extended its partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks to sell routers and switches to telecom companies.

"Despite the economic slowdown, Juniper remains focused on its strategic priorities, making prudent investments and introducing new products to enhance its market position," wrote Jefferies & Company analyst William Choi, in a note released Wednesday.

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