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Tech bellwether

Cisco Systems


was down 11.7% in preopen


trading after

posting second-quarter earnings before items of 18 cents per share, below the

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate of 19 cents. It was the first earnings miss for Cisco in three years.

Sales rose to $6.75 billion, short of the Street's estimate of $7 billion to $7.2 billion.

The network equipment maker also said growth would come to a halt in the next six months due to the slowing economy and curtailed technology spending.

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Lehman Brothers

downgraded Cisco to buy from strong buy.


said several other firms issued downgrades or cut estimates.

Other network companies were also lower.



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was down 4.2%.