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Cisco Soars; Dell and Kohl’s Reporting; Dillards Delivers

Cisco Systems (CSCO) is currently up 11% in early trading. The company beat estimates when it reported earnings after yesterday's closing bell. Cisco says profits were up 14% over last year, to 51-cents a share on more than $12.2-billion in revenue. The company credits growth in its newer businesses like software and services. It says they offset weakness in networking equipment. Prior to this morning's gains, Cisco is up 27% over the past year but just 4% since the start of 2013.

Next is Dell (DELL), which will be reporting after the closing bell. Keep in mind shareholders have been offered $13.65 in a takeover attempt by company founder and CEO Michael Dell, so the stock has been hovering right around that mark. But Carl Icahn is trying to engineer a better offer for shareholders. Plus, Reuters is reporting that several hedge funds have increased their stakes in the company recently, meaning they too could try to orchestrate a deal. Dell is expected to post earnings of 35-cents a share on revenue of about $13.5-billion. Both those figures would be down significantly from a year ago as P-C sales shift to tablets.

Kohl's (KSS) came out with earnings at 7am. The company easily beat on earnings posting 66-cents a share when consensus was for 57-cents. But it missed on revenues. The company says same-store sales fell 1.9% and profits are in fact down from the same period last year. Kohl's stock is up 17% year-to-date. Though it's still more than $5 shy of its 52-week high which it hit back in October.

Finally we look at another department store, Dillards (DDS), which reported after the closing bell yesterday. The company blew away estimates on earnings, posting $2.50 a share when consensus was for $2.11. That's a 27% increase over last year. The company did however miss slightly on revenues. The Arkansas-based retailer says both sales and margins have improved. It also reports that it's benefitting from cost controls. The report follows Macy's earnings which were released yesterday morning and also beat estimates for net income. By the way, JC Penney, a direct competitor to both Kohl's and Macy's, will be reporting its quarterly earnings after the closing bell.

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