RPT-Jana Partners takes stake in Juniper, exits Agrium

Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:53pm EST
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By Luciana Lopez

NEW YORK Feb 14 (Reuters) - Jana Partners LLC built a major stake in Juniper Networks in the fourth quarter, according to a regulatory filing on Friday, making it another shareholder activist to invest in the networking-gear company and urge cost cutting.

The bet on Juniper Networks, which by late afternoon was at $27.38, down 0.35 percent, has translated into hefty profits if Jana still holds the stake: Juniper stock has jumped 21 percent so far this year.

Jana's 13.4 million-share stake in Juniper means the activist investor owns about 2.65 percent of the company.

The hedge fund has been talking to Juniper management to try to unlock "shareholder value" and has cited management compensation as an area of reform, according a letter to investors reported on by Reuters.

"We are continuing a constructive dialogue with our shareholders and we look forward to presenting our integrated operating plan soon," Juniper spokeswoman Cindy Ta said in an email to Reuters on Friday.

Paul Singer's Elliott Management Corp, which also owns a significant stake in Juniper, has urged the company to buy back shares, start paying a dividend and consider slimming down.