narrowly beat expectations in its fiscal second quarter.
The San Jose, Calif. networking gearmaker posted earnings, excluding one-time items, of 32 cents a share, compared to 38 cents a share in the year-ago quarter and analysts' expectations for pro forma profit of 30 cents, according to Yahoo! Finance.
Sales for the second quarter ended last month were $9.1 billion, down from $9.8 billion a year ago and just above analysts' targets of $9 billion.
Cisco showcased solid financial strength during a period of significant economic challenge," said CEO John Chambers in a press release.
Tech investors see Cisco, with its broad reach globally and its roster of customers from big businesses to telcos, as having a good view on the health of IT spending. The credit crises and sluggish economy have added to concerns that orders for new equipment continue to dry up.
Leading into Cisco's earnings report, some analyst have been bracing for a much
than some had hoped for. New rounds of spending cuts by telcos and companies all across the commercial sector don't necessarily bode well for big networking equipment investments.
Cisco is expected to give its outlook for the April quarter. Analysts expect an adjusted profit of 29 cents a share on a 3% sequential dip in revenue to $8.71 billion.
In the press release, Cisco hinted that cost cuts would continue, but not in a dramatic fashion.
"We remain comfortable with our long-term vision and strategy as we move into new market adjacencies and prioritize our existing opportunities. We intend to accelerate the alignment of our resources to prioritize future growth opportunities, gradually decrease our operating expenses," Chambers said in the release.
Cisco shares rose 2% in after-hours trading Wednesday.