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Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)

- NASDAQ
  • Tue, Jan. 27, 12:11 PM
    • Cisco (CSCO -4.2%) is among the biggest large-cap tech decliners not named Microsoft after the software giant reported weaker-than-expected Windows and traditional Office license figures, and provided a conservative calendar Q1 outlook. 24.7M shares have already been traded; the 3-month daily average is 29.5M.
    • The networking giant's FQ2 report arrives on Feb. 11. Piper hiked its target by $7 last week to $33, citing positive survey data.
    | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 18, 2014, 2:04 PM
    • With the help of stronger-than-expected hardware sales, Oracle (ORCL +9.2%) beat FQ2 estimates in spite of a 400 bps forex headwind (twice what was originally expected). FQ3 guidance was conservative after taking forex pressures into account.
    • The numbers have been good enough for Oracle to surge to new highs and receive a slew of target hikes, and to lead many enterprise tech names to outperform amid a big market rally. The Nasdaq is up 1.9%.
    • Microsoft (MSFT +3.2%), Cisco (CSCO +2.3%), EMC (EMC +3.7%), VMware (VMW +5.1%), and beaten-down IBM (IBM +2.8%) are among the enterprise tech names outperforming today. Others: SPLK +4.6%. CA +3.5%. RHT +3.4%. VRNS +6.3%. PCTY +5.8%. JIVE +4.6%. VMEM +5.2%. SAAS +4.7%. BRCD +3.8%.
    • Oracle's healthy cloud software numbers are drawing attention: While traditional software license revenue fell 4% Y/Y, its SaaS/PaaS revenue rose 41%. SaaS/PaaS bookings totaled $170M, and are expected to be "well over" $1B in FY16 (ends May '16). Fusion cloud app bookings rose over 100%.
    • On the CC (transcript), Oracle performed its customary trash-talking of cloud app rivals. "We are clearly growing faster than Salesforce (CRM +4%) and were more than three times the size of Workday (WDAY +3.2%)." Both firms are posting solid gains.
    • Oracle's numbers come as Bloomberg reports the Chinese government is looking to "purge most foreign technology from banks, the military, state-owned enterprises and key government agencies by 2020." IBM, Cisco, and other U.S. firms have already seen their Chinese sales fall sharply following last year's NSA spying uproar.
    | 4 Comments
  • Nov. 13, 2014, 11:36 AM
    • "In the context of the considerable headwinds Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) currently faces, the results this quarter were quite solid," writes BMO (Outperform) following Cisco's FQ1 report. With soft carrier (orders -10% Y/Y) and emerging markets (BRIC/Mexico orders -12%) demand already telegraphed by Cisco and peers, investors are giving the company a pass for its light FQ2 guidance.
    • RBC (Outperform): "Strong GM improvements and the rebound in switching point to encouraging trends for Cisco, which is also squeezing out added workforce productivity." Atlantic Equities (Overweight): "At 11x PE 2015E and 8x EV/FCF, Cisco’s valuation appears undemanding among other large cap tech stocks, especially given its 7% earnings CAGR 2014-17E."
    • Bears remain worried about sales growth and the long-term impact of SDN. Citi (Sell): "We continue to believe Cisco remains a flat to low-single-digit grower with little upside to op margin. We therefore believe the current 12x P/E more than compensates for the 3% dividend, yet slowing buyback.”
    • JPMorgan (Underweight): "We continue to believe current switching industry ASPs and margins are unsustainable due to structural technology shifts." For its part, Cisco disclosed its ACI/APIC SDN/networking virtualization solution saw its paid customer count more than double in its first full quarter of shipments. VMware is seeing growing demand for its rival NSX platform.
    • FQ1 product performance: Switching +3% Y/Y to $3.85B (strong data center switch sales); routing -4% to $1.95B (carrier weakness); collaboration -10% to $949M (telepresence weakness); service provider video -12% to $871M (set-top weakness); data center +15% to $693M (server share gains); wireless +11% to $605M (strong Meraki sales); security +25% to $455M (boosted by the SourceFire acquisition).
    • Prior Cisco earnings coverage
    | 5 Comments
  • Nov. 12, 2014, 4:50 PM
    • Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) guides on its FQ1 CC (webcast) for 4%-7% Y/Y FQ2 revenue growth and EPS of $0.50-$0.52. That's below a consensus for 8.4% revenue growth and EPS of $0.53.
    • John Chambers states the forecast reflects an "added measure of conservativeness" regarding weak U.S. carrier spending. Cisco traded lower on Monday after AT&T forecast its capex would fall by $3B in 2015.
    • Cisco's total product orders rose 1% Y/Y in FQ1, even with FQ4's clip. Americas +2%, EMEA +6%, Asia-Pac/Japan -12%.
    • U.S. orders rose 3% Y/Y thanks to public sector (+22%) and SMB (+7%) strength, but U.S. service provider orders fell 18%.
    • CSCO -0.6% AH. FQ1 results, details.
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  • Nov. 12, 2014, 4:18 PM
    • Along with its FQ1 results, Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) announces CFO Frank Calderoni is leaving at the end of 2014. Business technology/operations finance SVP Kelly A. Kramer will replace him.
    • FQ1 gross margin was 63.3%, +150 bps Q/Q and +30 bps Y/Y, and above guidance of 61%-62%.
    • Product revenue rose fractionally Y/Y to $9.44B, after declining 2% in FQ4. Services revenue (driven by past sales, more stable) rose 5% to $2.8B, an even growth rate with FQ4.
    • GAAP opex rose 1% Y/Y to $4.99B. $1B was spent on buybacks; $1.5B had been spent in FQ4.
    • FQ1 results, PR
    | 2 Comments
  • Nov. 10, 2014, 9:51 AM
    • Declaring its Project VIP network expansion effort ahead of schedule, AT&T has set a 2015 capex budget of $18B, down from 2014's $21B and below a prior forecast of $20B. The figure is equal to only 13% of AT&T's 2015 revenue consensus.
    • Telecom equipment and optical component makers, many of whom have already felt the effects of AT&T's subdued 2014 wireline capex, are off in early trading. CSCO -1.4%. ALU -4.8%. CIEN -6.6%. ADTN -7.8%. JNPR -2.5%. RKUS -2.1%. SONS -2.9%. FNSR -2.9%. JDSU -1.1%. RKUS -2.1%. XXIA -2%. FFIV -1.6%. ERIC -1.7%.
    • Cisco delivers its FQ1 report on Wednesday. The networking giant reported an 11% Y/Y FQ4 drop in service provider orders, thanks to both weak demand and share loss.
    | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 20, 2014, 2:28 PM
    • Cisco (CSCO -1.7%), VMware (VMW -1.5%),  F5 (FFIV -1.5%), NetApp (NTAP -1.5%), Teradata (TDC -3.3%), and SGI (SGI -3.5%) have joined several other enterprise tech names in declining after IBM and SAP each posted disappointing Q3 reports. The Nasdaq is up 1% on the day.
    • IBM provided a smorgasbord of bad news: A Q3 miss, soft full-year guidance, the pulling of a $20/share 2015 EPS target, a 15% Y/Y hardware revenue decline, and a 7% Y/Y services backlog drop. In addition, the IT giant said it "saw a marked slowdown in September in client buying behavior."
    • Citing the impact of a shift in customer spending towards subscription-based cloud apps from on-premise software (typically paid through an up-front license fee), SAP slashed its full-year op. profit forecast. Q3 revenue was slightly below consensus, and EPS in-line.
    • VMware reports tomorrow, F5 on Thursday, SGI on Oct. 29, and Teradata on Nov. 6.
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  • Oct. 10, 2014, 10:58 AM
    • Telecom equipment makers and their chip/component suppliers are seeing more pain after Juniper (JNPR -7.5%) and Procera (PKT -32%) issued Q3 warnings (I, II), the latest bad earnings news for an industry that has seen plenty due to soft wireline capex. A few enterprise-focused networking vendors are also having a rough day.
    • Cisco (CSCO -3.1%) has fallen below $23.50, and Alcatel-Lucent (ALU -4.3%) below $2.50. Other decliners: CIEN -4.7%. JDSU -4.6%. FFIV -5.3%. ANET -7%. RKUS -5.7%. SONS -4.4%. INFN -2.4%. CYNI -3.5%. AMCC -10%. PMCS -3.4%. NPTN -7.7%.
    • Analysts are defending Juniper, arguing (in remarks that also have implications for peers) bad news has been priced in and that telecom capex is likely to improve in 2015. Bulls have argued Web/mobile traffic growth and SDN/NFV investments will ultimately boost capex, in spite of industry service revenue pressures.
    • The Nasdaq as a whole is down 1.2%. Chip stocks are off sharply following Microchip's warning and prediction of an industry correction.
    • Yesterday: Telecom equipment stocks slump as capex worries persist
    | 5 Comments
  • Aug. 14, 2014, 12:40 PM
    • Six firms have hiked their Cisco (CSCO -2.8%) targets after the company beat FQ4 estimates, issued mixed FQ1 guidance, and announced plans to cut another 6K jobs. But that isn't stopping shares from selling off due to worries about weak demand from carriers (orders -11% Y/Y) and emerging markets (orders -9%).
    • "Notwithstanding the fact that capex will be fairly weak in [2H14], Cisco's [carrier] order performance in the first calendar half of 2014 demonstrates meaningful share loss in addition to soft carrier spending," says MKM (Neutral).
    • Nonetheless, the firm thinks Cisco's total orders will rise at or near a low double-digit % in FQ1 (favorable comps will help). "We still believe it is profitable to own Cisco when orders and revenue growth are accelerating."
    • Bulls are focusing on healthy enterprise orders and strong early uptake for the Nexus 9000/ACI SDN and networking virtualization platform. John Chambers mentioned on the CC (transcript) the platform's customer count more than tripled in FQ4 to 580+, and that there are over 60 customers for the related APIC software controller (just launched).
    • Several peers and suppliers with strong carrier exposure are selling off. Cisco's numbers follow a soft outlook from JDS Uniphase, and coincide with light guidance from Oclaro. ALU -1.6%. JNPR -1.8%. FN -7.4%. ZHNE -2.1%. EZCH -3.8%.
    • Prior Cisco earnings coverage
    | 4 Comments
  • Aug. 13, 2014, 4:07 PM
    • Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO): FQ4 EPS of $0.55 beats by $0.02.
    • Revenue of $12.4B (flat Y/Y) beats by $260M.
    • Shares +1.4%.
    • Press Release
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  • Jul. 23, 2014, 1:45 PM
    • Juniper's (JNPR -9.8%) soft Q3 guidance, along with its related commentary on U.S. telco demand, is taking a toll on fellow telecom equipment suppliers Cisco (CSCO -1.2%), Ciena (CIEN -3.2%), Cyan (CYNI -2.5%), Zhone (ZHNE -6.5%) Ruckus (RKUS -1.6%), and Sonus (SONS -3.8%).
    • Optical component vendors JDS Uniphase (JDSU -2.9%) and Finisar (FNSR -2%) are also off, as are several chipmakers (previous) with heavy networking/telecom exposure.
    • On its CC (transcript), Juniper stated "market dynamics including M&A activity" are affecting the "sequencing and timing" of U.S. carrier projects. Jefferies reported in June AT&T has significantly cut its wireline capex in the wake of the DirecTV deal.
    • There has been speculation AT&T is keeping a lid on wireline capex ahead of the full rollout of its ambitious Domain 2.0 initiative, which will feature the launch of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) platforms.
    • Juniper insists it remains well-positioned with the aforementioned U.S. carriers, and that it has "major design wins" for next-gen projects. The company adds demand remains healthy with U.S. federal, cable, and Internet clients.
    • The company's router revenue rose 7% Y/Y in Q2 to $617.8M, and its switch revenue rose 25% to $199.8M. Security product revenue fell 8% to $111.6M. The Junos Pulse VPN software ops (about to be sold for $250M) contributed $31.4M in revenue ($15.9M product, $15.5M service).
    | 2 Comments
  • Jul. 15, 2014, 10:51 AM
    • As part of their longstanding alliance, Cisco (CSCO - unchanged) and Microsoft (MSFT +0.1%) have signed a new 3-year "go-to-market plan" featuring tech integration and sales/marketing partnerships for a slew of data center products.
    • On Cisco's side, the products covered include its Nexus data center switches and UCS servers - two bright spots for the company. On Microsoft's site, they include Windows Server, SQL Server, System Center, and Azure.
    • The deal, which comes amid Microsoft's partner conference (previous), also features a program to migrate Windows Server 2003 clients to UCS systems running Windows Server 2012 R2. Nonetheless, Microsoft and Cisco remain rivals in the unified communications software space.
    • Separately, the WSJ reports Microsoft is close to buying Aorato, an Israeli developer of cybersecurity/identity-protection software, for $200M.
    • Aorato's products analyze interactions with Microsoft's Active Directory (enterprise authentication/ID management) service to detect suspicious activity, and prevent unauthorized access to IT resources.
    • The report follows the launch of an Azure identity/access management service in March, and comes amid a flurry of cybersecurity M&A activity.
    | 1 Comment
  • May. 15, 2014, 1:04 PM
    • No less than 16 firms have upped their Cisco (CSCO +6.4%) PTs after the company beat depressed FQ4 estimates and offered better-than-expected guidance and order data. The hikes are generally in the $1-$2 range.
    • RBC (Outperform) thinks value investors might embrace Cisco as it returns to flat revenue growth and further cuts opex. "[Free cash flow] is predictable at $11B-$12B/yr; we look for Cisco to remain a dividend grower." After backing out ~$30B in net cash, Cisco currently goes for ~8x RBC's FCF target range.
    • Goldman (Buy) estimates Cisco's routing and switching numbers were respectively 8% and 2% above consensus, and is pleased with early uptake for the Nexus 9000/ACI SDN platform and NCS and CRS-X core routers.
    • Nonetheless, there are still plenty of concerns about long-term challenges. MKM (Neutral), which has already raised alarm bells about SDN threats: "Cisco seems to be benefiting from SDN in the near term, but the competitive landscape is set to become much more difficult over a 12+ month time frame."
    • Credit Suisse (Underperform) questions "the size and scope" of early Nexus 9000 deployments. "Our secular concern is that the impact of SDN will introduce more competition at multiple points in the network. While the impact will take time, the threat will be very real, shrinking gross profit dollars for the entire networking stack."
    • Shares are holding onto yesterday's AH gains in spite of a tech selloff.
    • More on Cisco's earnings
    | 2 Comments
  • May. 15, 2014, 9:15 AM
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  • May. 14, 2014, 5:38 PM
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  • May. 14, 2014, 4:44 PM
    • Cisco (CSCO) guides on its FQ3 CC for FQ4 revenue to be down 1%-3% Y/Y; that's favorable to a -5.2% consensus.
    • In addition, John Chambers states Cisco's product orders were "relatively flat" Y/Y, a marked improvement from FQ2's 4% drop. Book-to-bill was "comfortably above 1."
    • Strong U.S. (+7% Y/Y) and Northern European (+4%) orders provided a lift. Emerging markets (-7%) and service provider (-5%) orders remain soft.
    • Router revenue fell 10%, but orders were nearly flat. Switch sales fell 6%.
    • FQ3 results, details
    | 2 Comments
CSCO vs. ETF Alternatives
Company Description
Cisco Systems Inc is engaged in designing, manufacturing and selling of Internet Protocol (IP) based networking products and services related to the communications and information technology (IT) industry.