Cisco Sales Lag Even Most Minimal Expectations

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Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) reported fourth fiscal quarter and full-year 2013 results after markets closed on Wednesday. For the quarter the networking giant reported adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.53 and $12.1 billion in revenues. In the same period a year ago, Cisco reported EPS of $0.48 on revenue of $11.88 billion. First-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.51 and $12.36 billion in revenue.

We noted in our preview of Cisco’s earnings earlier today that the bar had been set very low for this quarter. Still, Cisco failed to jump over the revenue expectation bar even though it did beat the EPS estimate.

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The company does not provide any outlook information until its conference call at 4:30 p.m. The consensus estimates for the second quarter of fiscal year 2014 call for EPS of $0.52 on revenues of $12.6 billion. Full-year 2014 estimates call for EPS of $2.10 on revenues of $50.78 billion. The consensus estimates are lower than they were at the end of the company’s fourth quarter in July.

The company’s CEO said:

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While our revenue growth was below our expectation, our financials are strong, our strategy is strong and our innovation engine is executing extremely well.

Cisco boosted its $82 billion stock buyback plan by $15 billion. The company said there is now $16.1 billion left in the program.

The company noted that it completed its acquisitions of Sourcefire Inc. and Composite Software during the quarter.

Net income slipped 4.6% compared with the same period a year ago and EPS fell 5.1%. At best this was a poor showing for the networking giant.

Shares of Cisco are down about 3% in after-hours trading, at $23.30 in a 52-week range of $17.62 to $26.49. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $26.50 before today’s results were announced.

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