Juniper's Beat Is Proof of IT Spending Trend

SUNNYVALE, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Networking specialist Juniper ( JNPR) reported strong fourth-quarter results after market close on Tuesday, providing yet more evidence of the uptick in IT spending.

Juniper posted revenue of $1.19 billion, up 26% on the prior year's quarter, and topping Wall Street's estimate of $1.12 billion. Excluding items, the switch maker earned 42 cents a share, a 31% hike on the same period last year, although this was favorably impacted by 3 cents due to the extension of the R&D tax credit. Analysts had forecast earnings of 37 cents a share.

With companies looking to build out their cloud computing infrastructures, Juniper is expected to benefit from increased demand for its products. For the first quarter, the Cisco ( CSCO) rival expects first-quarter revenue between $1.06 billion and $1.11 billion, in line with analysts' forecast of $1.09 billion.

Juniper, however, forecast first-quarter earnings between 30 cents a share and 33 cents a share, just below analysts' estimate of 34 cents a share.

Investors responded negatively to Juniper's guidance, pushing the company's shares down 32 cents, or 0.92%, to $34.50 in extended trading.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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