Cisco-watchers look for 28% sales jump

As networking sector bellwether Cisco prepares to release its quarterly results this evening, company experts are in bullish mood, predicting sales to rise 28% year-on-year - 4.4% sequentially - to approximately $10.86bn, a return to pre-recession highs. Inspite of its recent moves into other tech a

As networking sector bellwether Cisco prepares to release its quarterly results this evening, company experts are in bullish mood, predicting sales to rise 28% year-on-year - 4.4% sequentially - to approximately $10.86bn, a return to pre-recession highs.

In spite of its recent moves into other tech areas, California-based Cisco retains a market-leading core data network business upon which entire enterprise IT systems are based and as such provides a consistently reliable indicator of broader trends in the IT industry.

This quarter will also be the first period to include sales and profits from Tandberg, Cisco's newly acquired video business, which could potentially offset problems elsewhere.

CEO John Chambers has consistently backed the market throughout the recession, and is widely expected to acknowledge ongoing macro-economic difficulties later today, but will likely talk up strengthening enterprise demand and a healthy-looking sales pipeline.

This is in contrast to remarks made yesterday by Gartner research director Kenneth Brant, who said that enterprise IT spending would grow by just 2.9% next year, down from previous forecasts of 4.1%

"The bottom line is that technology providers need to be prepared for the worst case, where commercial markets stagnate and governments transition to fiscal austerity programmes," he said.

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