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Cisco shows strength in Q4

Company CEO proclaims improving outlook

Cisco's performance suggests signs of improving, if still-cautious, customer spending, says Chambers.
Cisco's performance suggests signs of improving, if still-cautious, customer spending, says Chambers.

Cisco closed its fiscal 2012 strong, beating analyst estimates for both sales and profit in its fourth quarter thanks to better-than-expected gains in the US, in emerging markets and in the service provider segment.

Company CEO John Chambers, told analysts that the performance suggests signs of improving, if still-cautious, customer spending.

For its fiscal Q4, Cisco posted $11.7 billion in revenue, up 4.4% from the year-ago quarter's $11.2 billion. Cisco reported $1.9 billion in quarterly profit, up nearly 56% from Q4 2011's $1.2 billion. Both numbers were just above analyst estimates.

Overall revenue by geography for the Q4 was 7% in Americas and 9% in Asia-Pacific, Japan and China, while Cisco saw a 5% decline in revenue for the struggling EMEA region.

Chambers said that Cisco would continue to emphasise its core markets of switching, routing, wireless and security, and build up its other major priorities around collaboration, video, data centre and business architectures.

Market trends, such as customers transitioning from 1 gigabit to 10 gigabit throughput speeds in data networking, are in line with where Cisco is placing bets, Chambers said, and Cisco is also seeing growth in its security profile -- particularly high-end firewalls and its Identity Services Engine (ISE) -- and its Unified Computing System (UCS) data center play, among other specific areas benefiting from those market trends.

"We are not just catching, we are very often driving and leading these transitions," said Chambers, who described Cisco's market share in its key markets as ‘the best I can remember.'

For the full year 2012, Cisco posted $46.1 billion in revenue, up 7% over 2011, and $8 billion in profit, up 24%. Cisco saw gains in all of its major product lines during the full year, including 3% in switching, 2% in routing, 3% in collaboration, 19% in wireless, 12% in security and 87% in data centre.