Cisco Beats on Earnings, Talks Up Growth Ahead

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Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is out with its third-quarter earnings report, and the networking and communications equipment giant reported earnings of $0.51 per share on revenues of $11.55 billion. Thomson Reuters had estimates of $0.48 in earnings per share (EPS) for this past quarter, down from $0.51 EPS a year ago. Revenues were expected to be down almost 7% to $11.38 billion. WhisperNumber.com sent us a note showing that the so-called earnings whisper was for Cisco to turn in earnings of $0.50 per share.

The company represented its earnings as a solid execution in the quarter, with new markets and technologies driving its plans to return to growth. That growth is key as we pointed out earlier. Revenues for this year are not expected to be much more than the $46.06 billion from back in 2012. And revenues in 2015 are expected to be $48.2 billion, down slightly from the $48.6 billion recorded in 2013.

Cisco does not give guidance until its conference call but its estimates for the coming quarter are $0.51 EPS (versus $0.52 a year earlier) and for revenues to be down 5% to $11.77 billion.

Cisco ended the quarter with $50.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents, after operating cash flow of $3.2 billion. John Chambers and his crew repurchased some 90 million shares during the third quarter as well.

As far as a breakdown, service revenue was $2.73 billion and product sales were $8.82 billion.

Oddly enough, Cisco shares were right back where they were last quarter at the earnings date. The February 12 closing bell price was $22.85 before taking dividends into account, and it was $22.81 at the close on Wednesday before earnings. The good news is that Cisco shares were up over 3% at $23.53 after the report in the after-hours session.

Without guidance, we would consider this unfinished business.

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