What Analysts Are Saying After Cisco Earnings

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Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) released its most recent quarterly results after the markets closed on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the results did not live up to expectations and investors sent the shares lower. Analysts took a somewhat mixed stance on the networking giant but were ultimately positive.

24/7 Wall St. has included some highlights from the earnings report, as well as what a few analysts are saying about the firm after the fact.

The company posted $0.61 in earnings per share (EPS) and $12.1 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $0.61 in EPS and revenue of $12.07 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.63 and $12.64 billion in revenue.

Deferred revenue totaled $18.5 billion, up 12% from last year, with deferred product revenue up 23%, driven largely by subscription-based and software offerings, and deferred service revenue was up 6%. The portion of product deferred revenue related to recurring software and subscription offers increased 50%.

In terms of the outlook for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, Cisco expects to see EPS in the range of $0.59 to $0.61 and revenues declining 1% to 3% from last year. The consensus estimates call for $0.60 in EPS and $12.06 billion in revenue.

Merrill Lynch maintained its Neutral rating with a $35 price target and gave its investment rationale as follows:

We rate Cisco a Neutral based on our belief that its revenues will decelerate through 2018 driven by market share declines and market growth deceleration. We also believe margins are near their peak and see capital returns slowing over the next 12-18 months. On the positive side, Cisco has a roughly 3.7% dividend yield and provides stable growth for investors, limiting downside.

A few other analysts weighed in on Cisco as well:

  • Cowen reiterated its Outperform rating with a $38 price target.
  • FBN Securities retained its Outperform rating and $35 price target.
  • JPMorgan has a Neutral rating and cut its price target to $31.50 from $33.
  • JMP Securities maintained its Market Perform rating.
  • Raymond James cut its price target to $35 from $36.
  • Morgan Stanley reiterated an Overweight rating with a $39 price target.
  • Piper Jaffray reiterated a Buy rating with a $36 price target.
  • Robert Baird has a Buy rating and a $36 price target.

Shares of Cisco were last seen down about 4% at $31.02 on Thursday, with a consensus analyst price target of $35.77 and a 52-week range of $29.12 to $34.60.