Cisco Confirms Restructuring in Most Recent Earnings Beat

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Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) reported its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Wednesday. The company delivered another strong quarter, closing out a solid year, with expanding margins. The margin improvement has allowed Cisco to continue its investment in security, the Internet of Things (IoT), next generation data centers and of course the cloud.

The company said that it had $0.63 in earnings per share (EPS) on $12.64 billion in revenue, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates that called for $0.60 in EPS on $12.57 billion in revenue. The same period from the previous year reportedly had $0.59 in EPS on $12.84 billion in revenue.

In terms of the guidance for the fiscal first quarter, the company expects EPS in the range of $0.58 to $0.60 and for revenue to be up or down between -1% and 1% from the first quarter in the previous fiscal year. There are consensus estimates that are calling for $0.60 in EPS on $12.5 billion in revenue.

Rumors came out earlier that Cisco would be cutting a significant amount of its employees in a restructuring plan. The company confirmed the rumors but the numbers were not as high as initially suspected. Cisco intends to eliminate up to 5,500 positions, which represents about 7% of its global workforce. The plan is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2017.

Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco, commented:

We had another strong quarter, wrapping up a great year. I am particularly pleased with our performance in priority areas including security, data center switching, collaboration, services as well as our overall performance, with revenues up 2% in Q4 excluding the SP Video CPE business. We continue to execute well in a challenging macro environment. Despite slowing in our Service Provider business and Emerging Markets after three consecutive quarters of growth, the balance of the business was healthy with 5% order growth. This growth and balance demonstrates the strength of our diverse portfolio. Our product deferred revenue from software and subscriptions grew 33% showing the continued momentum of our business model transformation.

Cash flow from operating activities was $3.8 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. On the books, Cisco’s cash, cash equivalents and investments totaled $65.8 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $60.4 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Shares of Cisco closed Wednesday down 1.3% at $30.72, with a consensus analyst price target of $31.67 and a 52-week trading range of $22.46 to $31.25. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was initially down 1.3% at $30.33 in the after-hours trading session.