The networking giant beat Wall Street's revenue and EPS estimates, but posted a gross margin that missed analysts' forecast. Cisco also offered weak guidance, pummeling the company's shares in extended trading after its report. In afternoon trading Thursday, the company's stock was down more than 13% at $19.12.
|Cisco CEO John Chambers|
Speaking on a conference call after market close on Wednesday, Cisco CEO John Chambers identified weakness in the company's consumer and switching businesses. The latter, he said, was negatively impacted by pricing pressure and multiple product transitions.
Set against this backdrop, Cisco's gross margin came in at 62.4%, below the 63.3% Wall Street was looking for.Analysts are now concerned that Cisco is struggling to shake off its recent spending and execution problems. "We believe half of the gross margin decline was temporary (due to a worse consumer mix and inventory write-downs), but we view the other half as structural and likely to persist," wrote Goldman Sachs analyst Simon Jankowski, in a note released on Thursday. "In particular, about one point of the decline was due to a negative mix shift and pricing pressure in Cisco's core switching business." Jankowski, who has a neutral rating on the switchmaker, lowered her 12-month Cisco price target from $23 to $21. "
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