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Juniper Networks ramps up stock buybacks, braces for tariff impact in Q4

Juniper Networks Inc. on Oct. 24 announced an additional $1.0 billion in share repurchase authorization alongside mixed third-quarter financial results.

The company's third-quarter GAAP net income fell 56% to $99.3 million, or 29 cents per share, compared to $223.8 million, or 64 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter. The company's non-GAAP net income was $166.6 million, or 48 cents per share, down from $191.0 million, or 54 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus EPS estimate for the just-ended quarter was 46 cents on a normalized basis and 30 cents on a GAAP basis.

Revenue declined 4% to $1.13 billion from $1.18 billion in the third quarter of 2018, ending approximately in line with expectations. Total revenue reflected declines in the Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, which overshadowed a slight gain in the Americas.

The company expects a recent increase in China tariffs will impact its non-GAAP gross margin in the fourth quarter, now projected to be 61%, plus or minus 1%. Juniper said "a modest return" to revenue growth remains possible at the midpoint of its fourth-quarter guidance, which calls for revenue of about $1.19 billion, plus or minus $30 million.

Non-GAAP net income per share for the fourth quarter is expected to be 57 cents, plus or minus 3 cents.

For full year 2019, the company said it expects lower revenue due to "continued business challenges at some of our largest Service Provider customers." The company kept its $1.70 to $1.80 non-GAAP EPS guidance for 2019, but said results could fall on the low end of that range.

Juniper's expanded stock buyback brings the company's total authorization to $1.9 billion. The company intends to enter into an accelerated share repurchase program of $200 million in the fourth quarter.

Juniper shares were up in after-hours trading following the company's earnings release.