NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Cisco (CSCO), the world's largest network equipment maker reported fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday and it would seem that the company did its best-convincing job yet of why it deserves to regain its status as one of the best-run technology companies on the market.
Leading into the call, I recommended buying the stock in anticipation of what would be its sixth consecutive earnings beat. As a reliable mail carrier, it delivered!
For the quarter, analysts were expecting net income of 45 cents per share on revenue of $11.62 billion, an increase from the 35 cents (or 17%) earned the previous year. For the period May to July, Cisco said it earned $1.9 billion, or 36 cents per share -- representing an increase of 56% from the same period of a year ago when it earned $1.2 billion, or 22 cents per share. Excluding costs and special items, earnings arrived at 47 cents or 2 cents higher than consensus estimates.
The company reported revenue of $11.7 billion, beating analysts' estimates while topping last year's mark of $11.2 billion. The better-than-expected results were largely attributable to growth in North America -- in particular the U.S. as sales grew 7%. The company did not fare so well overseas and in particular Europe and the Middle East where it reported a 5% drop in revenue.If you recall, this was the chief concern of management when it offered the less than favorable guidance in its Q3 report sending its stock tumbling by double-digit percentage points although it logged a beat in both the top and bottom lines. However, this time guidance was better and investors applauded by sending the stock higher by 5% to $18.21 in extended trading -- representing its highest level since May. For the current quarter, the company expects earnings per share of 45 cents to 47 cents on revenue in the range of $11.5 billion to $11.9 billion - in line with analysts' EPS forecasts of 46 cents and revenue of $11.7 billion. The company earned $8.04 billion, or $1.49 per share for the full fiscal year -- representing an increase of 24% from $6.49 billion, or $1.17 per share, in fiscal 2011, while revenue arrived at $46.1 billion, up 7% from $43.2 billion in the previous year.
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