Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Friday. Stock investors purchased 7,961 put options on the company. This represents an increase of 663% compared to the average volume of 1,043 put options.

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) opened at 27.74 on Wednesday. Juniper Networks has a 12 month low of $21.18 and a 12 month high of $30.96. The company’s 50-day moving average is $29.27 and its 200 day moving average is $28.49. The firm has a market cap of $10.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.55 and a beta of 1.08.

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 25th. The network equipment provider reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $1.22 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.20 billion. Juniper Networks had a net margin of 12.10% and a return on equity of 13.59%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 11.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.37 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Juniper Networks will post $2.23 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 22nd. Investors of record on Thursday, June 1st were issued a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.44%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 30th. Juniper Networks’s dividend payout ratio is currently 25.00%.

In other news, EVP Vincent Molinaro sold 13,792 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.36, for a total transaction of $391,141.12. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 4,597 shares in the company, valued at $130,370.92. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Terrance F. Spidell sold 10,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.47, for a total transaction of $312,382.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 10,600 shares in the company, valued at $312,382. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 188,892 shares of company stock worth $5,728,423. Company insiders own 3.40% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Juniper Networks by 2,310.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 25,175,402 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $700,629,000 after buying an additional 24,130,800 shares in the last quarter. Dodge & Cox bought a new stake in Juniper Networks during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $179,904,000. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Juniper Networks during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $133,013,000. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Juniper Networks by 119.2% in the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,550,103 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $70,970,000 after buying an additional 1,386,626 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Juniper Networks by 3.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 36,120,137 shares of the network equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,005,224,000 after buying an additional 1,246,424 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.49% of the company’s stock.

JNPR has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Juniper Networks from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Instinet reissued a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 price objective on shares of Juniper Networks in a report on Thursday, April 6th. Berenberg Bank began coverage on shares of Juniper Networks in a report on Tuesday, April 4th. They set a “buy” rating and a $35.00 price objective on the stock. TheStreet downgraded shares of Juniper Networks from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) boosted their price objective on shares of Juniper Networks from $31.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock a “conviction-buy” rating in a report on Monday, March 27th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Juniper Networks has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $30.06.

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About Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks, Inc designs, develops and sells products and services for high-performance networks to enable customers to build networks for their businesses. The Company sells its products in over 100 countries in three geographic regions: Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific.

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