April 25 (Reuters) - Juniper Networks missed Wall Street estimates for first-quarter revenue on Thursday, hit by sluggish demand for the networking gear maker's products in an uncertain economy.

Weak demand from inflation-hit wireless carriers and cable operators, as well as stiff competition from Cisco Systems , Arista Networks and chip designer Nvidia in the networking space has been a drag on Juniper.

Sunnyvale, California-based Juniper counts firms such as AT&T, BlackBerry, Crown Castle, among others as its customers.

In its preliminary results for the quarter ended March 31, the company posted an adjusted profit of 29 cents per share, compared with analysts' estimates of 40 cents per share.

Revenue fell 16% to $1.15 billion from a year earlier, falling short of analysts' average estimates of $1.24 billion, according to 12 analysts polled by LSEG.

Juniper's CFO Ken Miller said total product orders were about flat from a year earlier. However, cloud order growth rebounded in the first quarter, seeing double-digit growth year-over-year and sequentially.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise struck a deal in January to buy Juniper for $14 billion, as it looks to tap into Juniper's offerings such as network security and AI-enabled enterprise networking operations (AIOps). (Reporting by Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)