Why Cisco Earnings Aren’t Enough for Investors

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Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) reported fiscal second-quarter financial results after markets closed on Wednesday. The company said that it had $0.57 in earnings per share (EPS) and $11.6 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters were calling for $0.56 in EPS on $11.55 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.57 in EPS and $11.93 billion in revenue.

Deferred revenue was $17.1 billion, up 13% in total, with deferred product revenue up 19%, driven largely by subscription-based and software offerings. Deferred service revenue was up 9%. The portion of product deferred revenue related to recurring software and subscription businesses grew 51%.

In terms of guidance for the fiscal third quarter, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $0.57 to $0.59 and revenues are expected to range between flat and down 2%. The consensus estimates are calling for $0.58 in EPS and $11.86 billion in revenue.

Cisco first instituted a dividend in 2011 and since then has grown the dividend each year. The board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.29 per common share, a three-cent increase over the previous quarter’s dividend, to be paid on April 26, 2017 to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on April 6.

Cash flow from operations was $3.8 billion, a decrease of 4% compared with $3.9 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2016. On the books, cash and cash equivalents totaled $71.8 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $65.8 billion at the end of fiscal 2016. The total cash and cash equivalents and investments available in the United States at the end of the fiscal second quarter were $9.6 billion.

Chuck Robbins, Cisco CEO, commented:

We are pleased with the quarter and the continued customer momentum as we help them drive security, automation and intelligence across the network and into the cloud. This quarter we announced our intent to acquire AppDynamics which, combined with Cisco’s networking analytics, will provide customers with unprecedented insights into business performance. We will remain focused on accelerating innovation across our portfolio as we continue to deliver value to customers and shareholders.

Shares of Cisco closed Wednesday up 1.6% at $32.82, with a consensus analyst price target of $33.26 and a 52-week trading range of $25.65 to $32.83. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was down 1.6% at $32.30 in the after-hours trading session.