Cisco: Expectations Easy to Beat if You Set Them Low Enough

Published on May 6, 2009
by John Paczkowski

cscoCisco opened its books this afternoon and what they revealed wasn’t exactly pretty: declining profit and slumping sales. Not the sort of performance you hope for in a tech bellwether. But clearly Cisco has been beaten into submission by the econalypse just like everyone else.

For its third quarter, the company posted a profit Wednesday that fell 24 percent from a year earlier but still beat expectations. Sales slipped 17 percent. The specifics: Revenue topped out at $8.16 billion, down from $9.79 billion for the same period last year but better than the $8.07 billion analysts had expected. Sales were $8.2 billion, topping analysts’ forecasts of $8.1 billion. Excluding one-time charges for acquisition costs, Cisco (CSCO) earned 30 cents per share, a nickel more than the Street had been looking for.

So, overall, a good report that exceeded expectations with numbers that, by any standard, are pretty damn ugly. “Cisco delivered solid financial performance despite a challenging global economy and period of evolving market dynamics,” said CEO John Chambers. “These results demonstrate our ability to drive operational excellence and manage profitability across varying economic cycles.”

One way of putting it, I suppose. Certainly investors are eating it up. Cisco shares rose on the news.

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