Stock Traders Buy Large Volume of Juniper Networks Call Options (NYSE:JNPR)

Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Stock traders acquired 26,663 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 2,348% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,089 call options.

Shares of NYSE JNPR opened at $25.96 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $8.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.09, a P/E/G ratio of 3.47 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a current ratio of 2.24, a quick ratio of 2.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36. Juniper Networks has a 1-year low of $22.42 and a 1-year high of $30.80. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $24.27 and its 200 day moving average is $25.48.

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 24th. The network equipment provider reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.15 billion. Juniper Networks had a return on equity of 9.54% and a net margin of 8.35%. Juniper Networks’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.54 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Juniper Networks will post 1.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 23rd. Investors of record on Monday, December 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.19 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 29th. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.93%. Juniper Networks’s dividend payout ratio is 55.88%.

Juniper Networks declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, October 24th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the network equipment provider to repurchase up to 11.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Several research firms have weighed in on JNPR. Raymond James set a $29.00 price target on Juniper Networks and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 6th. Rosenblatt Securities set a $25.00 price target on Juniper Networks and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 15th. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $29.00 price target on shares of Juniper Networks in a report on Friday, October 25th. Evercore ISI began coverage on Juniper Networks in a report on Wednesday, September 11th. They issued an “inline” rating and a $26.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Barclays began coverage on Juniper Networks in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $27.00 price target on the stock. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $26.13.

In other Juniper Networks news, CFO Kenneth Bradley Miller sold 7,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.13, for a total value of $175,910.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 70,333 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,767,468.29. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director William Stensrud sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.00, for a total value of $240,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 93,213 shares of company stock worth $2,344,691. Insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Juniper Networks by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 39,487,909 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $1,051,563,000 after acquiring an additional 298,516 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its position in Juniper Networks by 1.9% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 4,336,343 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $115,477,000 after acquiring an additional 82,692 shares during the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. grew its position in Juniper Networks by 29.2% during the 2nd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,995,245 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $93,426,000 after acquiring an additional 904,100 shares during the last quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. grew its position in Juniper Networks by 8.0% during the 2nd quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 3,126,788 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $83,267,000 after acquiring an additional 231,399 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System grew its position in Juniper Networks by 13.6% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 2,993,311 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock worth $74,084,000 after acquiring an additional 357,360 shares during the last quarter. 90.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks, Inc designs, develops, and sells network products and services worldwide. The company offers various routing products, such as ACX series universal access routers to deploy new high-bandwidth services; MX series Ethernet routers that functions as a universal edge platform; PTX series packet transport routers; cloud customer premises equipment; and NorthStar controllers.

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