Juniper, Sonus downgrade Q1 estimates –

Two makers of Internet infrastructure equipment Wednesday lowered their financial forecasts for the current quarter, blaming weak spending by telecommunication service providers.

Juniper Networks Inc., in Sunnyvale, California, lowered its earnings forecast for the current quarter due to "cautious spending on the part of service providers and carriers," according to a statement.

The No. 2 maker of Internet core routers, behind Cisco Systems Inc., revised its revenue forecast for the first quarter down from its original estimate of about US$150 million to $155 million. Juniper now expects revenue for the quarter, which ends March 31, to be $120 million to $125 million.

Earnings per share, after adjusting for one-time charges, are expected to be "slightly above" breakeven, the company said.

Analysts had expected Juniper to report earnings of $0.02 per share on revenue of $139 million, according to a consensus of analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call.

In after-hours trading late Wednesday, shares of Juniper (Nasdaq: JNPR) were down $0.59 or nearly 5 percent at $11.33.

Separately, Sonus Networks Inc., a maker of hardware for delivering voice calls over packet networks, lowered its forecast for the current quarter ending March 31 due to "deterioration in the U.S. telecom industry, for both emerging carriers and even the largest service providers," according to a statement.

The Westford, Massachusetts, company expects to report $21 million in revenue. Its adjusted net loss will be about $0.08 per share.

Analysts had expected Sonus to report a loss of $0.04 per share on $32 million in revenue, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

In addition, Sonus said it will write off $5 million to $10 million in the quarter to cover excess inventory.

Shares of Sonus (Nasdaq: SONS) were down $0.30, or 10.64 percent, in after-hours trading late Wednesday, at $2.52.

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