Cisco Delivers Strong Quarter, Big Dividend Boost

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Cisco ( CSCO) were pushing higher in Wednesday's extended session after the Dow component beat Wall Street's expectations for its fourth-quarter results and gave a major boost to its dividend.

The networking giant brought in revenue of $11.7 billion, up from sales of $11.2 billion in the same period last year, and above analysts' estimate of $11.6 billion.

Excluding items, Cisco earned 47 cents a share, compared to 40 cents a share in the prior year's quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 45 cents a share.

"As a result of our strong performance, continued execution on our plan to deliver profitable growth, and commitment to shareholders, for the full fiscal year, we delivered revenue growth of 7% as well as a record year in revenue and earnings per share," explained Cisco CEO John Chambers, in a statement.

The company also said it's boosting its quarterly cash dividend by an eye-popping 75%, going to 14 cents a share from a prior payout of 8 cents.

"Cisco has the financial strength and flexibility to effectively invest in our business, pursue strategic opportunities, such as acquisitions, as well as return a minimum of 50% of our free cash flow annually through dividends and share repurchases to our shareholders," explained Cisco CFO Frank Calderoni, in a separate statement.

For its fiscal first quarter, Cisco expects revenue growth, excluding its NDS acquisition, of 2% to 4% compared to the prior year's quarter. Including NDS, the networker expects first-quarter year-over-year revenue growth of 4% to 6%.

Excluding items, Cisco predicts first-quarter earnings of 45 to 47 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 46 cents a share.

The company's shares rose 5.36% to $18.28 in extended trading.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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