Juniper (JNPR) - Get Report delivered solid fourth-quarter profit numbers but came up light on sales, triggering more concerns about the economic downturn.

The Sunnyvale, Calif. networking gearmaker posted earnings, excluding one-time items of 32 cents a share, up from an adjusted profit of 27 cents a share in the year-ago quarter and in line with analysts' estimates calling for pro forma profit of 32 cents a share.

Sales for the quarter ended last month were $932.5 million, up 14% from $809 million in revenue last year. Analysts had been looking for sales of $936 million, according to Yahoo Finance.

Juniper, which makes routers for managing Internet traffic, said an audit revealed questions about "the accuracy of point of sale reports" with some of its distributors in Japan. The books are still under review, but Juniper said it deferred $3 million in revenue during the fourth quarter until the audit is complete.

For the full year, Juniper posted pro forma earnings of $1.18 a share, up from 87 cents in 2007 and in line with analysts' estimates. Sales for 2008 were $3.57 billion, a 26% increase over the top line of $2.84 billion in 2007, and slightly below the $3.59 billion analyst target."Even in this tough economy, we managed to grow year-over-year quarterly revenue by 14% and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share by 19. We continue to play offense and grow market share while at the same time taking action to responsibly manage our cost structure," the company said in a press release.

In the coming year, analysts fear Juniper and gear peers including


(CSCO) - Get Report


(CIEN) - Get Report



(ERIC) - Get Report




will be squeezed by a technology spending slowdown amid the recession.

Looking ahead, Juniper is expected to post adjusted earnings of 27 cents on sales of $883.6 million for its second quarter, according to Yahoo Finance.

Juniper shares, which closed down 7% during regular trading Thursday, fell another 4% to $16.23 in the after-hours session.