What to Expect When Cisco Reports After the Close

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Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is scheduled to release its fiscal second-quarter financial results after the markets close on Wednesday. The consensus estimates call for $0.59 in earnings per share (EPS) on $11.81 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.57 and $11.58 billion in revenue.

In its most recent quarter, Cisco saw breakout numbers. From the first-quarter earnings report to the start of this market correction, shares saw a gain of roughly 23%. At that time, the print, guidance and the narrative around the business were significantly better than many investors expected.

Cisco also guided for top-line growth in January. Specifically, the firm guided for EPS in the range of $0.58 and $0.60 and revenue growth of 1% to 3%.

Analysts love this company’s stellar balance sheet, and the ability for the company’s gross margins to move close to the 65% range on a consistent basis as it moves away from the legacy products sold for switching and routing, which will still generate monster revenue. Cisco also could benefit from the tax being lowered on overseas money, as it has a whopping $70 billion in cash, 90% of which is overseas.

Perhaps Oppenheimer summed up analyst sentiment best after first-quarter earnings:

The quarter offered a number of positive data points (campus switching, security, AppD, etc.) that should leave investors confident that Cisco is on the right track. While near-term upside is possible, the business model shift should drive greater long-term economic upside to Cisco.

And it seems that even this correction is not holding back this tech giant. Excluding Wednesday’s move, Cisco had outperformed the broad markets with its stock up more than 7% year to date. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock was about 29% higher.

A few analysts weighed in on Cisco ahead of the earnings report:

  • Citigroup has a Buy rating with a $46 price target.
  • Instinet also has a Buy rating a $46 price target.
  • Goldman Sachs has a Buy rating and a $48 price target.
  • RBC has a Buy rating with a $44 target price.
  • KeyCorp has an Overweight rating and a $43 price target.
  • Barclays has an Overweight rating with a $45 price target.

Shares of Cisco were last seen up about 1.7% at $41.94 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $42.02 and a 52-week range of $30.36 to $42.98.