Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Friday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $31.00 price objective on the network equipment provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Juniper is gaining on strong adoption of its cloud products and robust performance from the QFX switch product line, which was evident from the second-quarter results. Both earnings and revenues increased on a year-over-year basis in the reported quarter. We believe that frequent product launches, cost reduction initiatives and improving execution are encouraging. However, management noted that pricing pressure, unfavorable product and customer mix along with higher DRAM memory prices will continue to hurt gross margin in the rest of 2017. Moreover lumpy router revenue growth is also a concern. Additionally, stiff competition and ongoing consolidation in the telecom market remain concerns. We note that the stock has underperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. TheStreet lowered shares of Juniper Networks from a b rating to a c+ rating in a report on Thursday, June 29th. UBS AG reiterated a neutral rating and set a $30.00 price objective (up previously from $28.00) on shares of Juniper Networks in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Pacific Crest began coverage on shares of Juniper Networks in a report on Monday, June 5th. They set a sector weight rating and a $31.00 price objective on the stock. Robert W. Baird reiterated a neutral rating and set a $30.00 price objective (up previously from $27.00) on shares of Juniper Networks in a report on Saturday, April 29th. Finally, Standpoint Research lowered shares of Juniper Networks from a buy rating to a reduce rating in a report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $30.89.

Shares of Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) traded up 0.36% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $28.05. The company had a trading volume of 1,492,586 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.79 and a beta of 1.08. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $28.64 and a 200-day moving average of $28.53. Juniper Networks has a one year low of $22.12 and a one year high of $30.96.

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The network equipment provider reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $1.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.29 billion. Juniper Networks had a net margin of 12.66% and a return on equity of 14.13%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.50 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Juniper Networks will post $2.24 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 22nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.43%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 30th. Juniper Networks’s dividend payout ratio is currently 23.39%.

In related news, CEO Rami Rahim sold 10,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.64, for a total value of $327,848.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 469,607 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,388,758.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Pradeep Sindhu sold 76,900 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.55, for a total transaction of $2,349,295.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 40,773 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,245,615.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 180,131 shares of company stock valued at $5,488,212 over the last three months. Insiders own 3.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Juniper Networks by 2,310.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 25,175,402 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $700,629,000 after buying an additional 24,130,800 shares during the period. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Juniper Networks by 40.0% in the second quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 11,378,124 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $317,222,000 after buying an additional 3,248,819 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its position in Juniper Networks by 119.2% in the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,550,103 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $70,970,000 after buying an additional 1,386,626 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Juniper Networks by 3.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 36,120,137 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,005,224,000 after buying an additional 1,246,424 shares during the period. Finally, LSV Asset Management increased its position in Juniper Networks by 42.4% in the first quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 4,118,318 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $114,612,000 after buying an additional 1,227,063 shares during the period. 90.08% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks, Inc designs, develops and sells products and services for high-performance networks to enable customers to build networks for their businesses. The Company sells its products in over 100 countries in three geographic regions: Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific.

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Analyst Recommendations for Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR)

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