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Stocks J / Juniper Networks


Subject:  Accounting charge Date:  4/22/2010  3:31 AM
Author:  newsreporter Number:  3437 of 3455

Juniper Slides On Confusion Over Accounting Change

As I noted in a post yesterday afternoon, Juniper Networks (JNPR) reported Q1 results that appeared to nicely beat Street expectations - but the stock nonetheless traded lower after hours, and today is suffering a significant loss.

And here’s why.

As several analysts pointed out in research notes today, the company during the quarter chose to implement an accounting change that recognizes revenue in proportion to the percentage of services rendered rather than on completion. Juniper said adoption of the rule affected business from one particular customer, and lifted Q1 reported revenue by $25 million. Back that out, Rodman & Rednshaw analyst Ashok Kumar points out in a research note, and the actual number would have been $888 million, not $913 million, and then would have been at the low end of the company’s guidance range of $880 million to $910 million.

Bernstein Research analyst Jeff Evenson likewise took note of the $25 million boost from the accounting change; he points out that the company claims it took the move into account when it gave the original guidance, but notes that it was never communicated to the Street. He thinks the result is that management has “partially undermined investor confidence in the transparency of its communications with the Street.”

Both Kumar and Evenson have Market Perform ratings on Juniper shares.

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