Cisco earnings fall 21 percent in latest quarter; still better says Analysts

Cisco earnings fall 21 pct but beat expectations

NEW YORK — Cisco Systems Inc. said Wednesday that earnings fell 21 percent in its latest quarter, but the profit comfortably beat Wall Street expectations amid signs that the market is stabilizing. Chief Executive John Chambers said customers are “finally seeing something reasonably solid underneath their feet,” and the company itself has seen order rates apparently bottom out.

The world’s largest maker of computer networking gear posted a profit of $1.3 billion, or 23 cents per share, for the fiscal third quarter, which ended April 25. That was down from $1.8 billion, or 29 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding the cost of stock-based compensation and other items, Cisco’s earnings were 30 cents per share, 5 cents above the average forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Sales for the San Jose, Calif.-based company fell 17 percent to $8.2 billion. Analysts had expected sales of $8.1 billion.

Chambers said he expects sales for the current quarter to be down 17 percent to 20 percent from a year ago, which works out to a range of $8.3 billion to $8.6 billion. Analysts were on average expecting sales of $8.26 billion.

Chambers said that while orders in the third quarter were below those of a year ago, they didn’t deteriorate from month to month, as they have for many quarters as the world economy has stuttered.

In aftermarket trading Wednesday, Cisco shares rose 50 cents, or 2.6 percent to $20.11. In regular trading before the release of results, shares fell 2 cents to $19.61.