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Market Preview: Smart Money Skeptics

The firm estimates Cisco's guidance for its fiscal first quarter ending in October at in-line or slightly below the current consensus view for a profit of 46 cents a share on revenue of $11.6 billion.

"From a geographic standpoint, we are picking up relative strength in the Americas (56%) and Asia-Pacific (17%) while Europe (27%) remains unsurprisingly challenging," Sterne Agee said. "In terms of industry verticals, our feedback suggests healthier trends in SMB (~20%) and service providers (~11%), mixed trends in enterprise (~50%), and weakness in government (~15%). As we have said before, we are hearing that customers are not necessarily canceling projects but scaling back and/or pushing them out. CSCO appears to be doing relatively better than its competitors, taking share, namely because the company has a fresher product line that saw updates in its routing, switching, security, and wireless units."

The current low expectations for the company could translate into heavy appreciation for shareholders, the firm said.

"At this point, we believe downside risk on CSCO shares is limited as investor expectations appear fairly modest," Sterne Agee said. Moreover, we believe carrier spending will pick up in the 2H and beyond driven by 4G LTE. We continue to believe CSCO is an underappreciated turnaround story similar to what we have seen with AAPL, IBM, and EMC in the past. We find its valuation attractive trading at 8.5x our CY13 EPS (6x ex. net cash) and see upside to $23 based on what we think is a reasonable and conservative 8.5x multiple on our CY13 EPS plus $6 in net cash."

Check out TheStreet's quote page for Cisco for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.

Target (TGT) also reports on Wednesday, and Wall Street is looking for earnings of $1.01 a share in the July-ended quarter on revenue of $16.75 billion. The company has fared well on earnings day of late, beating the consensus view in five straight quarters with an average upside surprise of more than 5% over that span.

Consumers have responded favorably to a shift in Target's product offerings as the company has added grocery sections to many locations in order to compete better with Wal-Mart (WMT).

Shares of the Minneapolis-based Target have jumped more than 20% in 2012, pushing the stock's forward price-to-earnings ratio to 12.97X vs. a multiple of 13.55X for the S&P 500 as of Friday's close.

Other companies reporting on Wednesday include Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Agilent Technologies (A), Applied Materials (AMAT), Citi Trends (CTRN), Deere (DE), Hot Topic (HOTT), Limited Brands (LTD), NetApp (NTAP), Petsmart (PETM), SINA Corp. (SINA), and Staples (SPLS).

Wednesday's economic calendar is busy with the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly mortgage application activity index at 7 a.m. ET; the consumer price index for July at 8:30 a.m. ET; the Empire State Manufacturing survey for August at 8:30 a.m. ET; industrial production and capacity utilization for July at 9:15 a.m. ET; the National Association of Home Builders housing market index for August at 10 a.m. ET, and weekly crude inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.

And finally, JDS Uniphase (JDSU) was surging in late trades after the optical networker reported non-GAAP earnings of $35.3 million, or 15 cents a share, on revenue of $439.3 million for its fiscal fourth quarter, beating the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of 12 cents a share in the June-ended period on revenue of $422.6 million.

The company also forecast non-GAAP revenue of $415 million to $435 million for its fiscal first quarter ending in September, surrounding the current consensus view of $427.1 million. The stock was last quoted at $11.11, up 4.6%, on after-hours volume of 1.74 million, according to Nasdaq.com.

--Written by Michael Baron in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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