Cisco stock fell more than 4 percent in after-market trading on Wednesday after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its fiscal third quarter, which ended on April 28.
- Earnings: 66 cents per share, excluding certain items, vs. 65 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters.
- Revenue: $12.46 billion, vs. $12.43 billion as expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters.
With respect to guidance for the fiscal fourth quarter, Cisco said in a statement that it expects 68 to 70 cents in earnings per share, excluding certain items, on 4 to 6 percent revenue growth, which comes out to $12.62 to 12.86 billion in revenue. Analysts had expected 69 cents in earnings per share, excluding certain items, and $12.73 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.
The company’s services business segment produced $3.16 billion in revenue, below the FactSet consensus estimate of $3.23 billion, according to StreetAccount.
Three of Cisco’s four product categories surpassed estimates, though. The most-important Infrastructure Platforms segment, which includes data center networking switches, had $7.16 billion in revenue, above the FactSet consensus estimate of $7.14 billion, StreetAccount said.
Cisco “continues to achieve success” in selling its Catalyst 9000 switches, and the fact that they require customers to also buy software licenses supports the company’s transition toward a larger focus on software, Raymond James analysts led by Simon Leopold wrote in a May 10 note.
The Other Products segment missed expectations, with 249 million in revenue, below the $253 billion consensus estimate. Revenue in that category was down 6 percent, Cisco said.
Daniel Flax, senior research analyst at Neuberger Berman, said the stock may be selling off because it’s done very well this year.
“Cisco is continuing to drive its mix towards more software and services. This is leading to an increase in recurring revenue and really making the business a lot more durable than it has been historically,” Flax said on “Closing Bell.”
Couple that with the fact that the company is leading solutions in areas like security and is returning a significant amount of capital to shareholders, Flax believes “it’s a good story over the medium to long term.”
PiperJaffray analysts James Fish and Andrew Nowinski said in a note last week that the company could opt to use the deal’s proceeds for a larger share buyback or for acquisitions. “With recent announcements from VMware driving an increasing competitive environment against Cisco, we believe the strategic rationale for Cisco to potentially acquire Nutanix has increased to better compete with VMware,” the analysts wrote.
In the quarter Cisco made a $1.3 billion one-time foreign tax payment tied to recently enacted U.S. tax reform.
Cisco stock has risen 17 percent since the beginning of the year.
— Michelle Fox contributed to this story.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.
Cisco drops despite earnings beat