More importantly, the company told investors to expect something that they haven't seen since 2015: revenue growth. Price target increases proliferated as Cisco said it expects second fiscal-quarter sales to increase by 1% to 3% over the previous year. The company's transition away from hardware to software revenue models continues, with recurring revenue contributing 32% of sales. The Catalyst 9000 family of switches had a promising launch, and the company touted hybrid cloud deals with Alphabet's (GOOGL - Get Report) Google, Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) and Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) .
Here's what Wall Street analyst were saying about Cisco's results:
George C. Notter, Jefferies
Buy, $40 (from $37)
"The results support our view that the IT/networking environment for Cisco is relatively strong right now - despite some specific slowness in Service Providers, Emerging markets, and Routing. The print and the guidance are important milestones - they may change some investor perceptions about the company as a 'melting ice cube' fighting an ongoing battle against workload migration, market share pressures, etc. Potential tax reform, the dividend yield, and valuation are also attractive."
Alex Henderson, Needham
"The good news on the quarter was Security business with 8% Revenue growth and 42% increase in Deferred Revenues. The bad news is a decline in Routing and Switching. The new Infrastructure Segment declined by 4.2% versus a 2.8% decline in the year-ago. Service Provider was particularly weak in the quarter with Product orders down 6% with Enterprise not far behind down 5%. Commercial up 12% and Government up 3% helped offset the weakness. A stronger guide with actual year-over-year Revenue growth of 1%-3% was the highlight of the print. Cisco has not produced Revenue growth since October 2015."
Tim Long, BMO Cpaital Markets
Market Perform, $36 (from $32)
"Cisco's transformation continues to take shape amid growing traction for its subscription offerings and an increasing recurring revenue base. The early traction of the Catalyst 9k is encouraging as Cisco brings a subscription model to its switching business. That said, Cisco still faces some headwinds in key parts of its business, as routing and the enterprise vertical face challenges. "
Erik Suppiger, JMP Securities
Market Perform, NA
"We believe Cisco's rebound in security revenues may surprise some investors given that competing vendors, including Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP, MP) and Fortinet (FTNT, MO, $41 PT) both guided lower. We view the re-acceleration in CSCO's security business favorably for Palo Alto as we believe it suggests at least some segments of the security market were healthy during the quarter."
Alex Kurtz, KeyBanc Capital Markets
Overweight, $39 (from $33)
"Our CSCO thesis remains centered on the opportunity related to the 5+-year-old installed base of Catalyst switches that are primed for some improved end-customer demand with the introduction of the 9300 series earlier this summer, incorporating a new software capability that dramatically improves automation, security, and provisioning and should distinguish itself from prior refresh attempts by Cisco."
Mark Moskowitz, Barclays
Overweight, $37 (from $34)
"If the model can firmly flex toward low-single-digit growth and exhibit accelerating growth in deferred revenue, then the stock's valuation multiples stand to increase 1.0x or more, which our new price target begins to incorporate."
Vijay Bhagavath, Deutsche Bank
Buy, $45 (from $40)
"CSCO's 'Network Intuitive' portfolio [is] driving key partnerships and deal wins: GOOG (Hybrid Cloud partnership), BABA (new insertion at BABA; CSCO Nexus Switch), etc. In our view, CSCO is likely to become more competitive at Large Enterprises and Hyperscale Clouds (Management noted 'Network Intuitive' changes the discussion with customers; currently speaking with all Large Web Scale providers)."
Brian White, Drexel Hamilton
Buy, $44 (from $39)
"The tone of Cisco's call was positive and product orders returned to growth (up 1% YoY) in 1Q:FY18 after flat performance in 4Q:FY17. That said, weakness in the enterprise market was a surprise and driven by a slower sales cycle with very large, global enterprises evaluating new Cisco platforms; however, commercial experienced a sharp acceleration."
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