NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bank of America/Merrill Lynch upgraded Juniper Networks (JNPR) to "buy" from "neutral" on Tuesday.

The analyst firm raised its price target for the networking and communication devices company to $34 from $27.

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch also raised its 2015 EPS estimates for Juniper to $1.69 a share from $1.68 a share. The analyst firm raised its 2016 and 2017 EPS estimates for the company to $1.97 and $2.13 a share, up from $1.96 and $2.12 a share, respectively.

"Our upgrade is based on our anticipation that core business lines will inflect and return to YoY growth later this year, driven by a plethora of new product releases and sequential growth in North America carrier spending," Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analysts wrote. "Additionally, following Juniper's restructuring and share buybacks, operating margins and EPS leverage should be enhanced."

---------

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

"We rate JUNIPER NETWORKS INC (JNPR) a BUY. This is driven by a number of 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 good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 74.04% to $219.30 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, JUNIPER NETWORKS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -76.67%.
  • The gross profit margin for JUNIPER NETWORKS INC is rather high; currently it is at 66.55%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.51% trails the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that JNPR's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.53 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • JUNIPER NETWORKS INC's earnings per share declined by 13.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, JUNIPER NETWORKS INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.90 versus $0.86 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.68 versus -$0.90).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: JNPR Ratings Report
Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

More from Markets

Apple and GE Switch Roles; Musk's Super Control of Tesla Explained -- ICYMI

Apple and GE Switch Roles; Musk's Super Control of Tesla Explained -- ICYMI

Trump May Be More to Blame For Higher Oil Prices Than OPEC

Trump May Be More to Blame For Higher Oil Prices Than OPEC

Dow Falls Over 200 Points as Apple's Slump Offsets Gains in General Electric

Dow Falls Over 200 Points as Apple's Slump Offsets Gains in General Electric

Week Ahead: Major Earnings on Tap as Wall Street Readies for Geopolitical Moves

Week Ahead: Major Earnings on Tap as Wall Street Readies for Geopolitical Moves

3 Hot Reads From TheStreet's Top Premium Columnists

3 Hot Reads From TheStreet's Top Premium Columnists