Will This Upgrade Help Juniper Networks (JNPR) Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Juniper Networks (JNPR) has been upgraded to "outperform" from "market perform," Wells Fargo said Wednesday. The firm said the new CEO can help the company leverage higher enterprise demand in the coming quarters.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates JUNIPER NETWORKS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate JUNIPER NETWORKS INC (JNPR) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • JNPR's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.14 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, JNPR has a quick ratio of 2.38, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
  • JUNIPER NETWORKS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, JUNIPER NETWORKS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.86 versus $0.36 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.55 versus $0.86).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Communications Equipment industry. The net income increased by 58.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $95.70 million to $151.80 million.

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