Tuesday, network infrastructure provider Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR), in its fiscal first-quarter 2009 preliminary results, raised the lower range of earnings per share guidance while lowering its revenue outlook.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company raised the lower range of non-GAAP earnings by a notch to the range of $0.16 to $0.17 per share from the previously issued guidance range of between $0.15 and $0.17 per share. On average, twenty-five analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated earnings of $0.17 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

The tightening was attributed to non-GAAP operating margin of approximately 16% achieved by previously communicated expense reduction initiatives, which resulted in lower total non-GAAP operating expenses for the quarter in the range of $375 and $380 million, better than the company's prior guidance of approximately $408 million.

Juniper Networks also lowered its first-quarter revenue outlook to a range of $760 million to $765 million from the prior guidance of between $800 million to $830 million. The company attributed the change to lower than expected sales to service providers.

For the fourth quarter, the company's net income improved to $132.48 million or $0.25 per share from $122.90 million or $0.22 per share in the corresponding quarter last year. Excluding items, non-GAAP net income for the quarter increased to $169.02 million or $0.32 per share from $151.47 million or $0.27 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Total net revenues for the quarter increased 14% to $923.49 million from $809.18 million in the comparable period last year.

Juniper Networks posted GAAP net income of $110.4 million or $0.20 per share and non-GAAP net income of $149.5 million or $0.27 per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Non-GAAP earnings per share increased 44% from $0.19 per share reported for the first quarter of 2007. Net revenues for the first quarter of 2008 rose 31% on a year-over-year basis to $822.9 million.

Among others in the industry, Paris, France-based Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) reported a wider net loss for the fourth quarter, hurt by a hefty asset impairment charge. The Paris, France-based company reported an adjusted net loss, group share, of EUR 1.321 billion or EUR 0.58 per share, which widened from the net loss of EUR 48 million or EUR 0.02 per share for the fourth quarter of the previous year. In U.S. dollars, net loss widened to $0.81 per share from $0.03 per share in the previous year. On a reported basis, the net loss, group share, was EUR 3.892 billion or EUR 1.72 per share, compared to a loss of EUR 2.579 billion or EUR 1.14 per share in the year-ago quarter. Revenues for the fourth quarter dropped 5.4% to EUR 4.954 billion from EUR 5.234 billion reported in the year-ago period.

Another peer, San Jose, California-based Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO), the world's largest computer networking gear maker reported GAAP net income for the second quarter of $1.5 billion or $0.26 per share, compared to $2.1 billion or $0.33 per share for the year-ago quarter and $2.20 billion or $0.37 per share for the previous sequential quarter. Deferred revenue was $9.3 billion at the end of the second quarter, compared with $8.9 billion at the end of fiscal 2008 and compared with $8.8 billion at the end of the first quarter.

Juniper Networks is scheduled to release its full first-quarter financial results on April 23.

Juniper Networks closed Tuesday's regular trading at $15.62, down $0.44 or 2.74%, on a volume of 20.72 million shares on the Nasdaq. In after-hours, the stock gained 98 cents, trading at $16.60.

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