Cisco's (CSCO) upcoming second-quarter earnings are expected to shed more light on how well the company is operating around the world, specifically China and what investors can expect regarding tax repatriation.
Areas including North America and Western Europe may have been bright spots in the quarter, according to Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron, but there's concern about emerging markets.
"Overall, we believe Cisco remains appropriately conservative in its outlook given the tough environment, and believe last quarter's expectations reset lowered the risk of a near-term earnings disappointment," Kidron wrote in a note to clients ahead of earnings.
The new administration's tax policies are also likely to be of interest to investors, given Cisco's large overseas cash hoard.
With President-elect Donald Trump having taken office in January 2017, Cisco and CEO Chuck Robbins are likely to be asked what the company thinks about Trump's upcoming tax reform policies. Cisco has $61 billion in overseas cash and any move towards bringing that cash from overseas at a low tax rate could be used for increased spending on R&D, buybacks, dividends and acquisitions.
Earlier this month, Trump said more details on the tax policies he intends to propose would be forthcoming in two or three weeks.
The San Jose-based networking giant is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of 56 cents a share on $11.55 billion in sales, according to analyst estimates compiled by Yahoo! Finance.
The company has also been losing market share to its competitors, which highlight the need for Cisco to compete on software and services, particularly cloud-based software.
Over the past 12 months, shares of Cisco have gained nearly 25%, compared to the near 22% gain in the S&P 500.
Here are three ETFs that may benefit if investors like Cisco's second-quarter results.
First Trust NASDAQ Technology Dividend Index Fund
The $662.8 million First Trust NASDAQ Technology Dividend Index Fund (TDIV) has Cisco make up 7.49% of its portfolio, charging investors an expense ratio of 0.50%.
Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha has highlighted the increased focus on software defined networking, which he believes is one of the largest threats facing the Robbins-led company.
"We remain concerned regarding the impact of SDN threatening what remains the most profitable part of the IT stack," Garcha wrote regarding Cisco's upcoming results. "We believe it will introduce competition at multiple points in the network and while the impact will take time, the threat will be very real, shrinking gross profit dollars for the entire networking stack." Credit Suisse has an underperform rating and a $25 price target on shares.
iShares North American Tech-Multimedia Networking ETF
The $76.3 million iShares North American Tech-Multimedia Networking ETF (IGN) has Cisco make up 7.47% of its portfolio, charging investors an expense ratio of 0.47%.
First Trust Nasdaq Cybersecurity ETF
The $166.6 million First Trust Nasdaq Cybersecurity ETF (CIBR) has Cisco make up 5.55% of its portfolio, charging investors an expense ratio of 0.60%.
Oppenheimer's Kidron, who rates Cisco shares outperform with a $34 price target believes that Cisco's shift to subscriptions over traditional hardware sales will pay off, but it's a longer-term issue.
"Longer term, we remain positive on its business-model shift to subscription-based solutions as it tries to overcome challenges in its traditional routing and switching end-markets," Kidron wrote to investors.
Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski noted that two positives are starting to show themselves for Cisco, including better cyclical demand and the eventual tax repatriation holiday. However, there are also a few negatives, including its limited cloud exposure and the amount of mutual fund companies who own the stock, which leave Goldman with a neutral rating on shares.