Shares of the networking giant climbed 9.6% to $19.02 Thursday, boosted by the tech bellwether's comments on its conference call and interviews. The results also lifted shares of networking firms Riverbed (RVBD) and Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), which gained 4.7% and 3.5%, respectively. Cisco rivals HP (HP) and Juniper (JNPR) were up 1.6% and 1.1%.
Despite concerns about a weak global economy, Cisco struck a positive tone during the call. The themes of the previous quarter were caution and weak guidance, but this time Cisco had a number of achievements to talk about.
After warning of deteriorating orders in its fiscal third quarter, Cisco "noted a marked improvement over the past eight weeks," said Nomura Equity Research analyst Stuart Jeffrey in a note released Thursday. "Declines in Europe are set to deepen, but North America and Asia are showing signs of improvement."Cisco's fourth-quarter revenue from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) slipped 4.5% from a year earlier. Revenue from the Americas, however, climbed 7.3%, while Asia sales increased 7.9%. Boosted by its U.S. enterprise business, Cisco grew its Americas product orders 4%, and it was three times that amount in Asia. EMEA product orders slumped 6%. During an interview after the market close Wednesday, CEO John Chambers said the company's enterprise business could be better. The San Jose, Calif.-based firm, he said, plans to replicate its service provider strategy to tap more dollars in the enterprise industry.
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