Cisco Making All the Right Moves

CEO John Chambers is back in Wall Street's good graces.
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Cisco (CSCO) - Get Report shares hit a two-year high as Wall Street applauded a reborn winner.

For the second quarter in a row, Cisco

beat and raised its growth forecast. That in itself is a crowd-pleasing achievement made even more special by the glowing assessment by CEO John Chambers that the company was "firing on all cylinders."

The numbers and the renewed enthusiasm of Chambers earned the company some ratings upgrades and a host of upward revisions to sales and profit estimates from analysts Thursday.

Raising his rating to buy, UBS analyst Nikos Theodosopoulos praised Cisco's ability to make all the right moves.

"We believe Cisco has executed well with the Scientific-Atlanta acquisition in addition to gaining share in its routing and switching markets," Theodosopoulos wrote in his research note Thursday.

Other analysts, after trying to poke holes in the story on an earnings conference call, came away convinced by the solid fiscal first-quarter performance.

Even skeptical fans like JPMorgan analyst Ehud Gelblum became believers. Gelblum asked on the earnings call if the real growth engine was simply the developing markets. Chambers answered that "the balance was amazingly good everywhere."

After hearing Chambers rundown of business units Gelblum wrote in his report that eight of Cisco's top 10 revenue products grew more than 20% year-over-year. Gelblum has a buy rating on the stock.

Summing up his investment thesis, Gelblum pointed to the success of set-top boxmaker Scientific-Atlanta and the liberty it gives Cisco.

"SFA is opening-up new product cycles and reinvigorating top-line growth, while providing cover for Cisco to become more aggressive in its core business," Gelblum wrote.

Cisco shares were up $1.78, or 7%, to $26.88 in midday trading Thursday.