Cisco shares climb after hours despite Q1 profit decline

Networking equipment vendor beats Wall Street estimates

Cisco Systems reported a slight decline in fiscal first-quarter earnings on Wednesday as the networking equipment giant continues to struggle with increasing competition in the network router and switch markets.

But the company's Q1 performance topped Wall Street forecasts, pushing Cisco shares (NASDAQ: CSCO) as high as 18.46 in extended trading, or 4.8% above Wednesday's closing price of 17.61.

Cisco reported profit for the quarter ended Oct. 29 of $1.78 billion, or 33 cents a share, compared with a profit of $1.93 billion, or 34 cents a share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, Cisco's Q1 profit was 43 cents a share.

Revenue was $11.26 billion, up 4.7% from revenue of $10.75 billion last year.

Consensus estimates called for the networking gear vendor to report adjusted Q1 earnings of 40 cents a share on revenue of $11 billion.

Cisco's revenue growth has slowed in recent years as competitors have stolen networking-equipment market share with lower-priced switches and routers. In May the company announced a broad restructuring designed to eliminate bureaucracy and speed up decision making, and in July it announced the layoffs of 6,500 workers.

In a statement accompanying the earnings release, Cisco chairman and chief executive John Chambers -- recently named most overpaid American CEO by the website 24/7 Wall St. (sorry, I couldn't resist) -- said, "We delivered a solid quarter. We've completed the majority of our restructuring and have organized Cisco to successfully execute against our strategy of providing intelligent networks, architectures and integrated products that solve customers' business problems. Even in times of limited capital spending, intelligent networks are being deployed to drive new business, revenue and consumption models, enable new customer and employee experiences, and drive efficiencies."

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