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Juniper Blooms After Hot Quarter

Juniper's stock price rose more than 32% ($7.38) in the five days leading to Jan.20, riding a strong fourth quarter and growing interest in broadband network companies.

Juniper released fourth-quarter results late on Jan. 15, nearly doubling net income to $14.7 million (4 cents per share) from $8.5 million (2 cents) in 2002, exceeding analysts estimates. Revenue was up 33% to $207 million.

"The fourth quarter was exceptionally strong, and the value Juniper brings to market is clearly reflected in all aspects of our financial results," Juniper chairman and CEO Scott Kriens said in a statement. "We are pleased with our progress throughout 2003, and encouraged by the confidence our customers have placed in Juniper as we look forward to 2004. "There was a flood of optimism in the financial community that customer spending was on the rise, and that Juniper's strong results would translate to other players in the sector.

That was evident in several analyst upgrades in the sector and robust gains in the stock prices of other major players Cisco Systems Inc. (up 7.3%), Lucent Technologies Inc. (up 21%) and Nortel Networks Corp. (up 6.7%) during the five-day period.