Elliott Urges Juniper To Buy Back Shares, Cut Costs

Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR) shareholder Elliott Management urged the network infrastructure maker on Monday to return cash to shareholders, realign costs and adopt other initiatives that it says could “unlock significant value” for the company.

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Shares of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper climbed close to 9% to $25.61 following the hedge fund's comments. Elliott owns 6% of Juniper’s outstanding shares.

Among Elliott’s suggested changes are buying back as much as $3.5 billion of Juniper’s stock, exiting its security and switching business and cutting operating expenses by as much as $200 million.

It these initiatives could collectively result in a stock price of $35 to $40 a share, which would mark an up to 70% improvement from their closing price on Friday.

"Juniper’s new CEO along with its existing management team and Board have a unique opportunity to immediately unlock significant value at the company through three straightforward and much-requested courses of action," Elliott portfolio manager Jesse Cohn said in a statement.

The activist shareholder said it hopes to work “constructively” with Juniper’s management. The move comes less than a week after the hedge fund offered to buy Juniper rival Riverbed Technology for close to $3.1 billion.