For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – June 5, 2012 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Juniper Networks (JNPR), Fortinet Inc. (FTNT), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) and Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd. (MRH).
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Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:
New Offering from Juniper Networks
Juniper Networks (JNPR) has announced enhancements to its Mykonos security software, which is based on its ground-breaking Intrusion Deception™ Technology that defends against web-based threats in real time. The company has now announced 30 new features for more comprehensive protection from hackers and attackers.
Apart from traditional product networking and services, the company is trying to offer security software to diversify its business model and add new sources of revenue. The importance of the recently acquired Myconos lies in its technology, which for the first time introduces a dynamic element to the fight against hackers first such step to expand into the the security segment..
As a result, the company was able to pioneer the Web Intrusion Prevention System, which uses this "deception-based technology' to detect and divert attacks. The technology lures hackers with deceptive data and then tags and monitors them, ultimately blocking their future threat attempts.
This technology has improved Juniper’s security products, a business where the company has struggled to stand up against rivals such as Fortinet Inc. (FTNT) and Palo Alto Networks Inc. Web applications are easy targets to cyber threats. Hence, end-users would opt for optimum security to the Web applications at a lower ownership cost.
As a diversification strategy, the company is tightening its grip on the cloud computing market. It recently made significant additions to the Juniper Networks vGW Virtual Gateway solution for customers looking for a comprehensive virtualization security platform.
These newly added functions with virtualization-specific antivirus (AV) will secure and continuously monitor malware and hackers, while ensuring that security does not impede virtualized workload performance or present a barrier to implementing large-scale virtualized environments.
The company is gradually coming up with innovative and user-friendly solutions to cater to a variety of customers in the cloud computing space. Juniper provides innovative solutions to integrate physical and virtual network security at scale with vGW Virtual Gateway and the SRX series. Moreover, the company has also made provisions to provide a tightly-integrated virtual solution for -in-depth protection and centralized security management.
Although the company is adopting new strategies to ramp up its business volume, Juniper’s operating performance was mediocre in the last quarter, as Juniper was not able to control its operating expense as a result of an increase in headcount. The company’s revenue in the EMEA and the Americas moved up and it also provided impressive second quarter guidance.
Although strategic alliances and new acquisitions are positives for Juniper, stiff competition from industry stalwarts, such as Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ), coupled with high European exposure will likely weigh on the stock.
Juniper has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating.
Montpelier Re Upped to Outperform
We are upgrading Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd. (MRH) to Outperform from Neutral on the back of solid first quarter results.
Operating earnings in the first quarter breezed past the Zacks Consensus and also reversed the year-ago loss. A substantial decline in loss and loss adjustment expenses boosted the profitability in the quarter.
In order to return more value to its shareholders, the company’s Board approved a dividend hike of 5%. Its dividend yield is presently 2.04%. The company also buys back shares to enhance shareholders value.
In the first quarter, the company spent $37 million to buyback 1.95 million shares with 1.03 million shares already repurchased for $20 million in the second quarter. Also, the company is left with $107.7 million in its share buyback authorization as of March 31, 2012.
Further, the company benefits from tax exemptions in Bermuda as no income taxes are levied there. Also, Bermuda Minister of Finance has assured exemption of Bermuda-imposed income, withholdings and capital gains and taxes until 2035 on all Bermuda-based subsidiaries.
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