Juniper gains lead in Q4, but challenges remain

Juniper may have eked out a slight lead over analyst expectations with $941 million in revenues for Q4 09, but keeping that momentum alive in Q1 2010 will be far from easy.

One analyst that's remaining cautious about Juniper's prospects for Q1 2010 and beyond is Catherine Trebnick of Avian Securities who says that Juniper's approach and lack of capabilities in certain areas could inhibit their ability to compete for new service provider business. "Our cautious stance remains predicated on longer term challenges in the service provider segment," she wrote in a research note.

Despite demand for their products from large tier one operators such as AT&T, Trebnick believes there are three primary areas where Juniper could struggle going forward: a movement toward Ethernet platforms; lack of a packet optical partner to target Verizon's Packet optical RFP; and wireless capabilities.

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