RealTime IT News

Jumpin' Juniper

Shares of Juniper Networks soared 30% Friday after the company blew past revenue estimates and raised guidance, raising hopes that the long-running telecom slump may finally be coming to an end.

Juniper's fourth-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share beat analysts' estimates by 2 cents, and revenues of $207 million were well above $182.7 million estimates. And the company's first-quarter guidance of 8-cent earnings and $210-215 million revenues trounced 5-cent and $186.7 million forecasts.

The company said business was "exceptionally strong."

Shares of networking, telecom equipment and communications chip companies soared on hopes that they can duplicate Juniper's success in coming weeks. Cisco , Nortel , Tellabs , Ciena , JDS Uniphase , Sycamore , Sonus , Extreme , PMC-Sierra , Vitesse and Applied Micro posted gains of 7% or more on the news.

Of course, you could question whether an extra $15-25 million in sales is worth an extra $2.6 billion in market cap (Juniper went from a $9 billion market cap at Thursday's close to $11.6 billion as of Friday's close), but those who claim the market is a rational place must be a dwindling lot after the events of recent years.

The broader market got a boost from in-line results from GE and a much stronger than expected consumer sentiment reading.

The Nasdaq surged 31 to 2140, the S&P 500 climbed 7 to 1139, and the Dow rose 46 to 10,600. Volume rose to 1.72 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.6 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 18-13 on the NYSE, and 19-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 73% on the NYSE, and 81% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 458-0 on the NYSE, and 435-4 on the Nasdaq.

Cree , Visual Networks and Rediff.com soared after beating estimates.

Sun and Rambus rose on better than expected results, while Transmeta fell. Lionbridge was unchanged despite missing estimates.

Texas Instruments lost ground on news of a new CEO.

Advanced Fibre climbed 4% on reports that it could be acquired by Tellabs .

Group 1 Software fell 11% on a warning.

Redback rose 9% on an upgrade.

IBM gained 1.4% on a deal with Nokia and a big storage win.

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