Feb. 20, 2014, 4:53 PM
- As promised, Juniper (JNPR) and new CEO Shaygan Kheradpir have rolled out an "Integrated Operating Plan" that checks off many items on Elliott Management and Jana Partners' wish lists.
- Juniper will initiate a $0.10/share dividend in Q3 (current yield of 1.4%), and says it intends to grow its payout over time. The company also promises to spend $2B+ on buybacks through Q1 2015, and to create a new "One-Juniper" corporate structure that will yield $160M/year in opex savings by Q1 2015, and a 2015 op. margin of 25% (up 580 bps from 2013).
- The company adds Kheradpir wants Juniper to "focus on the fastest growing networking segments." Details are light for now, but the comments could suggest lower investments in slow-growing security and corporate Ethernet switch markets where Juniper has struggled. McKinsey has been hired to help with Juniper's restructuring.
- As part of buyback efforts, Juniper plans to enter into a $1.2B accelerated share repurchase agreement. Between dividends and buybacks, the company plans to return at least $3B over the next three years.
- JNPR +1.6% AH. Some of the news was priced in.
- Previous: Nokia reportedly eying Juniper
Feb. 20, 2014, 7:02 AM
- Nokia (NOK +0.7%) is reportedly considering making a bid for Juniper Networks (JNPR) and combining it with Nokia Solutions & Networks (NSN).
- NSN CEO Rajeev Suri held talks with Juniper's management last year about deepening their collaboration and about a merger, which would improve NSN's weak operations in the U.S.
- Juniper's market cap is $13.73B, around half of Nokia's $26.99B; the latter could use the U.S. company's $3.1B in cash to help fund the deal.
Feb. 19, 2014, 2:08 PM
- The court handling Juniper's (JNPR -0.6%) infringement suit against Palo Alto Networks (PANW -0.7%) has ruled Juniper will be able to "introduce evidence of willful blindness" as related to induced infringement, should the jury rule Palo Alto directly infringed Juniper's IP.
- In addition, Palo Alto's attempt to make an ensnarement defense has been denied. Markman Advisors states this eliminates one of Palo Alto's defense against the doctrine of equivalents.
- Palo Alto's shares have moved moderately lower in response to the order.
- The court order
- More on Palo Alto/Juniper
Feb. 12, 2014, 12:45 PM
- With shares having badly underperformed the Nasdaq since August due to earnings disappointments (I, II), expectations for Cisco (CSCO +0.4%) are fairly low going into today's FQ2 report. Thanks to emerging markets, set-top, and carrier router weakness, analysts collectively forecast Cisco will see an 8.8% Y/Y revenue drop in FQ2, and a 7.1% drop in FQ3.
- Stifel's checks indicate Juniper (JNPR - Q4 service provider sales +12% Y/Y) is taking carrier router share from Cisco. The firm is also worried many Cisco customers are holding off on data center switch purchases as they evaluate its new Insieme/ACI SDN platform.
- Insieme has received a mixed early reception, with some praising its innovative (software-driven) feature set and others deeming too costly/complex relative to SDN/networking virtualization alternatives that can leverage commodity hardware. VMware's (VMW) NSX platform is arguably its biggest rival on this front.
- Though admitting Cisco faces a slew of near-term challenges, Cantor remains upbeat about the potential of new products, including Insieme/ACI and Cisco's NCS carrier routers, to provide a lift in FY15 (ends July '15).
- UBS, while reiterating a Buy, thinks a long-term battle for data center supremacy is getting underway between Cisco and VMware, one whose outcome is far from certain.
Feb. 6, 2014, 1:50 PM
- The court presiding over Juniper's (JNPR +0.9%) closely-watched infringement suit against Palo Alto Networks (PANW +7.1%) has denied a Juniper motion for infringement, and granted Palo Alto motions for summary judgment of no infringement for two Juniper patents.
- Infringement claims for other Juniper patents will go to trial. Juniper has asserted Palo Alto's next-gen firewalls (taking firewall share from Juniper and others) infringe a slew of Juniper patents developed by Palo Alto's founders when they were working for Juniper-acquired NetScreen.
- Palo Alto shares rallied in November after a hearing for the Juniper suit largely went in its favor.
Feb. 3, 2014, 1:02 PM
- Three weeks after disclosing a 6.2% stake in Juniper (JNPR), Elliott Management says it has received "overwhelming support" from fellow shareholders, as well as analysts and the "broader investing community" for its Shareholder Value Plan, which calls for major R&D cuts, larger cash returns, and an "evaluation" of Juniper's struggling security hardware business.
- In addition, though Elliott says it prefers to "work collaboratively" with Juniper's management and says it's pleased with recent remarks from new CEO Shagyan Kheradpir indicating support for some of Elliott's proposals, the firm says it has "recruited a team of leading executives ... to help ensure that the Shareholder Value Plan becomes a reality."
- Juniper is near breakeven in the face of a massive equity selloff. Jana Partners recently joined Elliott in disclosing a major Juniper position, and has called for similar moves from management.
- Elliott's plan (.pdf)
Jan. 24, 2014, 10:07 AM| Comment!
Jan. 24, 2014, 9:10 AM
Jan. 24, 2014, 3:18 AM
- Jana Partners has built up a large stake in Juniper Networks (JNPR) and become the second activist investor to buy into the company.
- In a letter to shareholders, Jana didn't reveal the size of its holding in Juniper but said it is now one of the network-equipment firm's biggest shareholders.
- Jana wants Juniper to cut $300M in costs and start paying dividends, demands echoing those made by Elliot Management. The latter, which has disclosed a 6.2% interest in Juniper, also wants the company to repurchase stock.
- Jana's disclosure comes after Juniper yesterday reported Q4 earnings that beat consensus. On the company's earnings call, new CEO Shaygan Kheradpir said it will review costs and look at returning money to shareholders.
Jan. 23, 2014, 5:52 PM
- In his company's Q4 report, new Juniper (JNPR) CEO Shaygan Kheradpir says one of his first priorities is to "develop an Integrated Operating Plan" that that will feature "an improved cost structure," a "more focused strategy on innovation that matters," and a new capital allocation strategy that "results in improved returns." Details will be provided in the next few weeks.
- Kheradpir's remarks, which could be a hint that Juniper is about to cut R&D spend and make a dividend/buyback announcement, comes ten days after Elliott Management disclosed a 6.2% stake and called for such moves.
- Juniper's R&D spend fell 6% Y/Y in Q4, but still accounted for 20% of revenue. As Elliott mentioned in a presentation, Juniper spends a much larger share of revenue on R&D than Cisco (11%) and many other peers. The firm wants Juniper to launch a "strategic review" for its share-losing security hardware unit (sales -7% Y/Y in Q4), and to pare investments in its small data center switching business.
- Q4 results, Q1 guidance
Jan. 23, 2014, 4:49 PM
- Juniper (JNPR) expects Q1 revenue of $1.12B-$1.16B and EPS of $0.27-$0.30, in-line with a consensus of $1.14B and $0.29. Shares +0.3% AH. (Q4 results, PR)
- Synaptics (SYNA) expects FQ3 revenue of $180M-$200M vs. a $184M consensus. The guidance factors in revenue from the recent Validity Sensors acquisition. Shares -1.4% AH. (FQ2 results, PR)
- Altera (ALTR) expects Q1 revenue to be down 2%-6% Q/Q. That implies a range of $427M-$445M, below a $447.7M consensus. Shares +0.2% AH. (Q4 results, PR)
- Dolby (DLB) expects FQ2 revenue of $240M-$250M and EPS of $0.59-$0.66 vs. a consensus of $251M and $0.57. The company forecasts FY14 (ends Sep. '14) revenue of $910M-$940M, above a $909.5M consensus. Shares -0.2% AH. (FQ1 results, PR)
Jan. 23, 2014, 4:10 PM
Jan. 23, 2014, 12:10 AM
Jan. 22, 2014, 5:35 PM
Jan. 14, 2014, 9:47 AM
- Intel (INTC +2.2%) has been upgraded to Overweight by JPMorgan ahead of Thursday's Q4 report.
- Facebook (FB +1.1%) and Yelp (YELP +1.7%) have been started at Outperform by FBN as part of an Internet sector coverage launch. Facebook reports on Jan. 29.
- Nokia (NOK -1.1%) has been cut to Underperform by Raymond James. Q4 results arrive on Jan. 23.
- Juniper (JNPR -0.6%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Oppenheimer a day after Elliott Management disclosed a 6.2% stake and called for big changes.
- SAP (SAP -0.7%) has been cut to Underweight by Santander four days after releasing preliminary Q4 results. Pac Crest downgraded shares yesterday, albeit to little effect.
- Brocade (BRCD +2.5%) and VeriFone (PAY +4%) have been upgraded to Overweight by JPMorgan.
- Jabil (JBL +5.1%) has been upgraded to Conviction Buy by Goldman. Shares cratered last month after the company provided disappointing guidance.
- ON Semi (ONNN +2.2%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Credit Suisse.
- Logitech (LOGI +2.8%) has been upgraded to Buy by Goldman.
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM -5.5%) and Demandware (DWRE -2.1%) have been cut to Neutral by Goldman. Though offering different products/services, both companies cater to e-commerce firms.
- TripAdvisor (TRIP -2%) has been cut to Hold by Wunderlich.
- Mellanox (MLNX +3.5%) has been started at Outperform by Macquarie.
Jan. 13, 2014, 9:12 AM
- Activist investor Elliott Management has obtained a 6.2% stake in Juniper (JNPR), and is pushing for dividends, new buybacks, and cost cuts. The firm asserts such actions can lead Juniper's shares to rise to the $35-$40 range. (13D)
- The disclosure comes shortly after Elliott made an offer to buy another networking hardware name, Riverbed (RVBD). Riverbed and Juniper have largely complementary product lines; might Elliott push for a merger between the companies? RVBD +0.9% premarket.
- Less than two weeks ago, Cantor cited the potential for "shareholder-enhancing activities" as a reason for declaring Juniper a top 2014 pick. The company has $3B in net cash/investments, and currently doesn't pay a dividend.
- Juniper rallied on Friday after an unknown trader made a $59.3M options bet.
JNPR vs. ETF Alternatives
Juniper Networks, Inc., designs, develops & sells products & services that provide its customers with network infrastructure built on simplicity, security, openness & scale. It offers services from PSD & SSD segments to service providers & enterprises.
Other News & PR