Cisco beats quarterly earnings estimates

Cisco Systems has reported $1.3bn net income for the second quarter of its 2004 financial year, compared with $991m for the same...

Cisco Systems has reported $1.3bn net income for the second quarter of its 2004 financial year, compared with $991m for the same quarter the previous year.

The income, based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), came on net sales of $5.4bn.

After an accounting change also using GAAP made on 24 January, the last day of the quarter, net income was $724m. As a result of the change, Cisco consolidated Andiamo Systems and recorded a non-cash cumulative stock compensation charge of $567m.

For this quarter, Cisco expected revenue to rise between 1%  to 3%.

Executives grew more optimistic about the economic recovery during the second quarter, though caution remains, said Cisco president and chief executive officer John Chambers.

"People are very careful about taking risks in today's environment. ... It's been three years of false starts," Chambers said. "It's a little bit more cautious environment than we've traditionally seen in a recovery."

Chambers highlighted good news from the company's enterprise equipment business: For the first time in two years, that segment has racked up two consecutive quarters of year-on-year revenue increases. In addition, service providers' investment in new equipment, especially outside the US, led to healthy sales gains.

Revenue from Cisco's "advanced technology" lineup also grew strongly, with security products reaching a yearly revenue rate of about $1bn. The company's other new technology areas include IP telephony, storage, home networking, optical equipment and wireless. A year earlier, new technologies had brought in just 10% of revenue. Revenue from Cisco's Linksys division, the home networking company it acquired last year, grew 39% from the previous quarter.

The breakdown by revenue of Cisco's businesses held fairly steady in the quarter, with routers making up 26%, switches 39%, services 16%, advanced technologies 15% and other products, including network management software, 4%.

Cisco's product bookings came from roughly the same places as in the same quarter a year ago: 45% from the US, 30% from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 12% from the Asia-Pacific region, 7% from Japan and 6% from other countries in the Americas.

Some product shipments were delayed early in the quarter because of problems with suppliers' ability to deliver components, but executives said those have largely been resolved.

Stephen Lawson writes for IDG News Service

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