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Is Juniper a Good Networking Stock to Own?

The California-based networking company Juniper (JNPR) recently strengthened its AI-driven networks. Furthermore, its solid dividend-paying history makes it an ideal bet for investors seeking stable income generation. However, considering its...

This story originally appeared on StockNews

The California-based networking company Juniper (JNPR) recently strengthened its AI-driven networks. Furthermore, its solid dividend-paying history makes it an ideal bet for investors seeking stable income generation. However, considering its relatively high beta, is the stock a good addition to one’s portfolio now? Read on, let’s discuss. - StockNews

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR) designs, develops, and sells network products and services worldwide. The company offers routing products, such as ACX series universal access routers, to deploy high-bandwidth services. Shares of JNPR have gained 50.2% in price over the past year and 42.3% year-to-date to close yesterday’s trading session at $32.03, near its 52-week high of $32.58. The stock is currently trading above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

The high-tech solutions company recently extended its AI-driven support to its entire portfolio. Recently, JNPR announced a new support solution driven by artificial intelligence that delivers holistic visibility and insights. "With a new level of end-to-end visibility and actionable intelligence, Juniper is making it easier for service providers, enterprises, and partners to optimize the operation of their networks," explained Derrell James, EVP of Juniper Global Services. In addition, the company has added two new 6 GHz access points that leverage Mist AI to maximize Wi-Fi performance and capacity while simplifying IT operations. JNPR is also introducing a new IoT Assurance service that streamlines and scales the onboarding and securing of IoT devices without Network Access Control (NAC). These new additions to JNPR’s wireless access portfolio should strengthen the company’s experience-first networking approach.

Given the high demand for networking solutions, especially now that the remote working trend is widespread, these enhancements in Wi-Fi performance and IoT solutions should secure its leadership position in the AI-driven networks domain.

Here is what could shape JNPR’s performance in the near term:

Reasonable Valuation

In terms of forward non-GAAP P/E, JNPR is currently trading at 18.70x, which is 26.3% lower than the 25.38x industry average. Also, its 2.32 forward EV/Sales ratio  is 46.1% lower than the 4.31 industry average.

Also, JNPR’s forward Price/Sales is 48.2% lower than the 4.28x industry average, and its forward Price/Book is 64.3% lower than the 6.58x industry average.

Stable Rise in Financials

JNPR’s total net revenues increased 4.4% year-over-year to $1.19 billion in its fiscal third quarter, ended September 30. It marks the company’s fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth. Its gross margin increased 5.2% from the same period last year to $692.20 million. Its non-GAAP net income came in at $152 million, indicating an increase of 5.3% year-over-year, and the company’s non-GAAP EPS increased 7% year-over-year to $0.46.

Impressive Dividend Payout History

JNPR’s $0.80 annual dividend yields 2.5% at the current share price. And on October 26, the company approved a $0.20 quarterly dividend, payable on December 22. JNPR’s dividend payouts have increased at a 14.9% CAGR over the past five years. The company has a record of four consecutive years of dividend growth.

POWR Ratings Show Promise

JNPR has an overall B rating, which translates to Buy in our proprietary POWR Ratings system. The POWR Ratings are calculated by considering 118 distinct factors, with each factor weighted to an optimal degree.

The stock has a grade of B for Value, consistent with its lower-than-industry valuations.

JNPR has a C grade for Stability. This grade is in sync with JNPR’s 0.88 beta.

Of the 54 stocks in the Technology - Communication/Networking industry, JNPR is ranked #12.

Beyond what I have stated above, one can also view JNPR’s grades for Quality, Growth, Momentum, and Sentiment here.

View the top-rated stocks in the Technology - Communication/Networking industry here.

Bottom Line

JNPR is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing networking industry. The popularity of remote working structures and the adoption of hybrid work structures by several companies as a long-term solution should drive JNPR’s growth. Analysts expect its EPS to grow 9.4% per annum over the next five years. Furthermore, the stock looks undervalued at its current price. So, we think it is wise to add JNPR to one’s portfolio now.

How Does Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR) Stack Up Against its Peers?

JNPR has an overall POWR Rating of B. However, one could also check out these other stocks within the Technology - Communication/Networking industry with an A (Strong Buy) rating: Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO), Photronics, Inc. (PLAB), and Extreme Networks, Inc. (EXTR).

JNPR shares rose $0.27 (+0.84%) in premarket trading Monday. Year-to-date, JNPR has gained 46.81%, versus a 26.69% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

About the Author: Subhasree Kar

Subhasree’s keen interest in financial instruments led her to pursue a career as an investment analyst. After earning a Master’s degree in Economics, she gained knowledge of equity research and portfolio management at Finlatics.


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