Cisco Earnings Overcome Investor Concerns for Network Stocks

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) released its fiscal third quarter corporate earnings after the close of trading on Wednesday. The company posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.51 on revenues of $12.2 billion.

In the same period a year ago, Cisco reported EPS of $0.48 and $11.59 billion in revenues. Thomson Reuters has estimates of $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) and $12.18 billion in revenue. The analyst community remains somewhat muted on Cisco, although the consensus price target is up at $23.53, versus a recent pre-earnings price of $21.21 on the stock. Cisco’s 52-week trading range is $14.96 to $21.98.

Before today’s earnings announcement, Cisco’s stock traded within 3% of its 52-week high, but that mark was broached shortly after the results came out. If it holds through the open of regular trading tomorrow, Cisco will set a new high above $22 a share.

Cisco’s shares have faced serious resistance at $21.75 in March and April, and the April and May support has been around $20.25 to $20.40. We would say that Cisco has been in a narrow trading range of $20 to near $22 for all of 2013. Today’s report could easily set the stock up for a new price target.

The company’s CEO commented today:

Cisco is executing at a very high level in a slow, but steady economic environment. We are especially pleased with our ninth consecutive record revenue quarter. We are starting to see some good signs in the US and other parts of the world which are encouraging.

Cisco will offer guidance on its conference call this afternoon, but Thomson Reuters has a fourth-quarter consensus at $0.51 EPS and $12.50 billion in revenue. The year (ending in July) is pegged at $1.99 EPS and $48.67 billion in revenue.

As far as valuations are concerned for this DJIA component, Cisco trades at only about 10.6 times expected earnings, and its dividend yield is 3.2%.

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