Cisco Systems chief executive John Chambers gave Wall Street a set of quarterly results investors could cheer about for the first time in over a year.
While questions remain about whether recent tough measures to return the Silicon Valley giant to strong growth are enough, pressure may be easing on the long-serving CEO for now and investors pushed the company's shares as much as 10 per cent higher in after-hours trading.
The world's leader in internet networking equipment predicted revenue would increase 1 to 4 per cent this quarter compared with the year ago, after posting quarterly results on Wednesday that edged past Wall Street's scaled-back expectations.
Analysts took the results and the forecast as early signs that tough measures to return Cisco to expansion were paying off. It also signalled that demand from governments and corporations for networking might not be as bad as feared.
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"The guidance was in-line — which was much better than feared," said Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu.
The company, which depends on government spending for about a fifth of its revenue, said in July it would cut 15 per cent of its workforce and sell a set-top box factory in Mexico as part of an effort to slash annual expenses by $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion). Cisco racked up better-than-expected sales, profit and margins in the fiscal fourth quarter.
Cisco has warned since last year that government spending cuts would include network equipment, and a deal last week to reduce the US federal budget deficit could hurt the San Jose, California company's business more. Investor sentiment also worsened after rivals Juniper and Brocade slashed outlooks in recent weeks.
Cisco's first-quarter projection translated to revenue of about $10.86 billion to more than $11 billion. Analysts on average had expected revenue of about $10.95 billion in the fiscal first quarter ending October.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose to $11.2 billion from $10.8 billion a year ago.
Analysts had expected fourth-quarter revenue of $10.97 billion from Cisco, according to Thomson Reuters. Gross margins came in at 62.7 per cent, dipping from 63.9 per cent in the fiscal third quarter but ahead of analysts' projections for under 62 per cent.