Should Cisco's Q4 Be Benefiting More From the Move to Digital?

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) released fiscal fourth-quarter financial results after markets closed Wednesday. The firm said that it had $0.80 in earnings per share (EPS) and $12.2 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $0.74 in EPS and $12.08 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.83 in EPS and $13.43 billion in revenue.

Total revenue decreased 9% year over year, with product revenue down 13% and service revenue flat. Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas down 12%, EMEA down 6%, and APJC down 7%. Product revenue performance was led by growth in Security, up 10%. Infrastructure Platforms revenue was down 16% and Applications revenue was down 9%.

Deferred revenue was $20.4 billion, up 11% in total, with deferred product revenue up 17%. Deferred service revenue was up 7%.

Looking ahead to the fiscal first quarter, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $0.69 to $0.74 and revenues declining in the range of 9% to 11% year over year. Consensus estimates are calling for $0.76 in EPS and $12.25 billion in revenue for the coming quarter.

On the books, cash, cash equivalents, and investments totaled $29.42 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $33.41 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Management noted that by the end of fiscal 2020, it has achieved its goal of more than half its revenue coming from software and services, and this strategy continues to resonate with customers as they digitize their organizations.

Shares of Cisco closed Wednesday at $48.10, within a 52-week range of $32.40 to $52.12. The consensus analyst price target is $49.76. Following the announcement, the stock was initially down 6% at $45.21 in the after-hours session.

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