Networking heavyweight Cisco Systems Inc reported numbers for the fourth-quarter and year that were perfectly in line with expectations. Pro-forma net income for the quarter surged 34% to $383.2m, or $0.55 per share, on revenue up 37% at $1.77bn. With the announcement, Cisco takes its highly-prized streak of consecutive revenue and earnings growth to 30 quarters. For the year, pro-forma net soared 53% to $1.41bn, or $2.05 per share, on revenue up 57% at $6.44bn. The results exclude merger-related charges of $290.6m for the quarter – stemming from the acquisitions of Ardent Communications Corp, Global Internet Software Group, Skystone Systems Corp – and $508.4m for the year, from those deals as well as the previously-closed purchases of Telebit Corp and Netsys Technologies Inc. Results also include one-time gains of $18m and $152.7m for the quarter and year, respectively, from the sale of a minority stock investment. Including all this activity, fourth-quarter net income fell 45% to $151m, while net income for the year rose 15% to $1.05bn. Earnings per share fell 46% to $0.22 for the quarter, and rose 11% to $1.52 for the year. The company assures us that it is making outstanding progress in all three of its key markets – Enterprise, Service Provider and Small/Medium Business – and Wall Street expects the streak of improved earnings to continue. First Call is looking for earnings of $0.59 next quarter and $2.61 by the end of the fiscal year.
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