June 1, 2015 / 3:57 PM / in 3 years

BUZZ-Juniper Networks Inc: Drops as broker casts doubt on potential takeout

** Network gear maker’s shares drop as much as 4.1 pct, top S&P 500 Index loser as analysts question likelihood of potential takeout

** MKM Partners downgrades stock based on valuation to “sell” from “neutral”, maintains $22 PT

** Analyst think “good chance” JNPR misses heightened 2H revenue or gross margins expectations, and that potential buyout by Ericsson , which has helped fuel stock’s recent strength, is unlikely

** In addition, WSJ Heard on The Street column says investors' hopes that Swedish telecom-equipment buys either JNPR or Ciena Corp misplaced here

** Nokia’s takeover of Alcatel-Lucent sparked speculation that Ericsson would be motivated to dealmaking as telco providers shift capex to next-generation platforms

** To Friday’s close JNPR and CIEN have gained 16 pct and 13 pct, respectively, since Nokia-Alcatel tie-up was announced in April

** JNPR down 3 pct at $25.95. CIEN unchanged at $24.12 (RM: lance.tupper.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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