Juniper Networks ( JNPR) posted first-quarter earnings in line with analysts' expectations, as revenue for the quarter surged by 420% from the same period last year.

The networking giant, which designs and sells Internet protocol, or IP, routers for private and public access networks said first-quarter net earnings were $85.4 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with $10.5 million, or 3 cents a share, for the first quarter of 2000. According to Thomson Financial/First Call, which tracks earnings estimates, 24 analysts expected the company to earn 25 cents a share.

Revenue for the first quarter was $332.1 million, compared with $63.9 million for the same period last year.

"We are particularly pleased to report the continued growth and execution of Juniper Networks, especially given the challenges of today's economy," Scott Kriens, chairman and CEO said in a prepared statement. "These results reflect not only the strength of the company, our products, and our global customer base, but also our continued focus on the financial fundamentals.'' The company will host a conference call later today to discuss its results.

Shares of Juniper, which have plunged about 68% this year, putting it in lockstep with the 59% decline at industry leader Cisco ( CSCO), lately gained 11.1% to $47.50 on preopen Island ECN trading. The stock has been slammed by the slowdown in tech spending, particularly from big router customer WorldCom's ( WCOM) spending cutback.

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