Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is leading the charge higher this morning after the networking equipment giant pleased investors with its earnings report. In short, even though the revenue forecast was a tad light we did get a better than expected earnings report and a higher dividend from the tech giant. The last quarter was $0.47 EPS on a 4% sales gain to $11.7 billion, while estimates were $0.46 EPS and $11.6 billion in sales.
Piper Jaffray raised its rating to Overweight last week on the notion that cost controls would allow for a very respectable earnings report, but the big call was the move to the Goldman Sachs highly prized Conviction Buy List. Piper Jaffray has just reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target this morning to $22 per share.
Cisco shares are trading up almost $1.00 at $18.32 after closing at $17.35 on Wednesday. Networking and communication providers may all stand to benefit, although we would caution that Cisco is trying to win on slightly lower pricing and bundle deals so that could be viewed as at the expense of its peers.
Even the poor turnaround of Alcatel-Lucent SA (NYSE: ALU) could theoretically stand to benefit, but Cisco did warn that Europe was weak and this company has more Euro-centricism as it is French. Still, Alcatel shares are up over 2% in early overseas trading this morning.
JON C. OGG