Cisco sales jump 27% in quarter CEO calls best ever

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Cisco Systems Inc. reported quarterly sales and profits Wednesday that beat expectations, and signaled that technology spending will continue to strengthen as economic conditions improve.

"We witnessed a return to strong, balanced growth across geographies, products and customer segments that we haven't seen since before the global economic challenges began," said John Chambers, chief executive of Cisco.

The past three months, he added, were "probably the strongest quarter in our history."

The San Jose, Calif.-based network equipment maker reported net income of $2.2 billion, or 37 cents per share, in the quarter ended May 1, compared with $1.8 billion, or 30 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Excluding certain items, Cisco said it earned $2.5 billion, or 42 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, who typically exclude one-time items from their estimates, forecasted earnings of 39 cents per share.

Sales rose 27% in the quarter to $10.4 billion. Analysts had expected sales of $10.2 billion.

The company posted double-digit sales gains across all geographic regions, including a 30% increase in Europe.

Looking ahead, Cisco (CSCO, Fortune 500) expects revenue for the ongoing quarter -- the fourth in its fiscal year -- to increase between 25% and 28% compared to last year. That forecast includes sales from video communications company Tandberg, which Cisco bought this quarter.

Cisco's guidance is an increase from its previously forecasted sales gain of 23% to 26%. Analysts were expecting sales to increase 25% in the current quarter.

"The message is that the recovery in tech spending continues, despite what's happening in Europe," said Mark McKechnie, an analyst who covers Cisco at Broadpoint AmTech.

Many analysts were expecting a more cautious outlook given the recent economic turmoil in Europe, where Cisco derives 20% of its revenue. But the company's chief executive said in a conference call that Cisco expects "reasonably good growth" in Europe.

The ongoing debt crisis overseas "had everybody's attention last week, but we haven't seen anything unusual from our teams," Chambers said, adding that the company is "cautiously optimistic" that European leaders will resolve the current crisis.

"There's optimism building on a global basis," he continued. "I have very few pessimistic customers at this time."

Chambers acknowledged that the global economy remains fragile and that businesses remain "gunshy," particularly when it comes to hiring. But he said companies are interested in increasing productivity through technology, which bodes well for his industry.

"Cisco is participating in this recovery with a solid product line-up," said McKechnie. "If anything slows them down it would be the economic situation in Europe, but they've factored that into their guidance." To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 2:27pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.19 -0.02 -0.09%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
Sponsors

Sections

General Mills has scrapped a controversial change to its fine print that some read as eliminating customers' right to sue the company. More

Obamacare sign ups hit 8 million, though final enrollment remains to be seen. More

Office for iPad move is a symbolic victory for Nadella's Microsoft, but the company is still weighed down by many of the same old issues. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

As Detroit moves closer to reaching a bankruptcy deal, retired civilian workers are poised to be left worse off than firemen and police officers. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.