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Juniper Profit Higher But Shy of Expectations

Juniper Networks, the world's second-largest maker of routers for the Internet, reported a 46 percent jump in quarterly profit, but shares fell in extended trading after results missed some investors' raised expectations.

Juniper shares fell 4.4% in extended trading following the earnings report after adding 3.5 percent to close at $37.14 on Nasdaq.

Juniper reported earnings before certain items of 22 cents per share, one cent above analysts' average forecast of 21 cents per share but shy of results expected by some investors.

The stock is up about 90 percent this year.

"They beat by just a penny, but they should have beat by two pennies or three pennies," said Ehud Gelblum, an analyst at JPMorgan who has an "overweight" rating on the shares. "But what will carry the day is the higher revenue and the higher gross margin."

Third-quarter revenue rose to $735 million from $573.6 million, beating the average analyst estimate of $707.8 million, as compiled by Reuters Estimates. Net income rose to $85.1 million, or 15 cents per share, from $58.3 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier.

Juniper in July said it expected third-quarter revenue of $695 million to $715 million and earnings per share of 21 cents before items.

Juniper, which makes telecommunications equipment and digital networks for businesses, has benefited from growth in online video and other Internet uses that require high-speed Web service. It competes with Cisco Systems, the largest maker of such equipment.

Shares of Juniper trade at 43 times estimated 2007 earnings per share, compared with Cisco's multiple of about 24.