Cisco delivers a valentine and returns to sales growth

SAN JOSE — For Cisco Systems, Valentine’s Day brought something better than all the flowers and chocolates that the Bay Area tech stalwart could have hoped to have gotten from Cupid: A return to sales growth.

After the close of trading Wednesday, Cisco reported fiscal second-quarter sales of $11.9 billion, a 3 percent increase from the $11.58 billion the networking equipment-maker reported a year ago. It was the first time in six quarters that Cisco reported a year-over-year increase in sales.

Cisco is seen as one of the barometers of business health in Silicon Valley and the across the region. The company has approximately 72,000 employees worldwide, and as many as one-third of its workforce is based in San Jose and around the Bay Area.

The company has been putting more of its focus on software and cloud-based networking and other services. Cisco said its sales were boosted by gains of 3 percent in both sales of products and service, and Chief Executive Chuck Robbins said Cisco’s results show the company’s recent efforts are paying off.

“We made continued progress in shipping more of our business to software and services,” Robbins said, on a conference call to discuss Cisco’s results. “We’re clearly seeing the results of our strategy.”

Cisco also said it lost $8.8 billion, or $1.78 a share, in the quarter that ended Jan. 27. However, those results included an $11.1 billion charge related to the recent tax cuts and jobs act. Excluding that, and other one-time items, Cisco earned $3.1 billion, or 63 cents a share. By that measure, Cisco’s results topped the consensus estimates of Wall Street analysts, who had forecast the company to earn 59 cents a share on $11.81 billion in sales.

In after-hours trading, Cisco’s shares rose 5.7 percent, to $44.50.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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